Framework:afield #326 Episode 4 Worlds Unheard

The fourth and final edition of the World Listening Project’s mini-series for Framework Radio will broadcast on Sunday, April 24. “#326 Worlds Unheard” was produced by Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) member Gregory O’Drobinak who assembled a fascinating collection of recordings of physical and non-physical phenomena normally beyond the range of human hearing and experience.

Use the broadcasts page to learn when and where Framework Radio is broadcast. On the Monday after its broadcast Framework is available as a podcast on Visit the archive to search and listen to past shows, also.

Worlds Unheard is a program that brings to the listener a variety of sound experiences that are far beyond our capacity to hear in everyday life. Some sounds require translation to be heard, like the extremely high frequency utterances of bats or the extremely low frequency vibrations of the earth. Others simply need to be picked up with the appropriate transducers and then amplified directly. This is only a small sampling of an immense world of sound that is available for us to discover and enjoy.—Greg O’Drobinak

(category / artist / sounds heard || description || website)

Ultrasound / Raimund Specht / bats: Noctule and Pipistrelle

Ø   A recording of ultrasonic utterances from two different bats brought into our range of hearing
via the Avisoft software package.

Living Cells / Anne Niemetz / sonocytology (sound from cells)

Ø   The sounds made by the microscopic movement of cells rendered audible via the atomic force microscope. A tiny
cantilever rests on the cell and picks up its vibration much like a phonograph needle.

Living Cells / Joe Davis / sounds of cell movement

Ø   Groups of one-celled organisms whose movement is rendered audible by Joe’s Audio Microscope. It uses a dark-field illumination technique with a coherent light source. This light is modulated by the movement of the cells and converted to audio by an amplified photo-detector.

Structure Transduction / Greg O’Drobinak / pneumatic HVAC steam valve

Ø   The sound of air and steam picked up with a geophone placed on the pneumatic control pipe in a machine room. The geophone is a sensitive electro-magnetic transducer normally used for recording seismic events, but it is also useful for recording other small vibrations.

Structure Transduction / Jodi Rose / mix of bridge sounds: “Norse Bridge Apocalypse”

Ø   Sounds from the cables and superstructure of bridges picked up by various piezo-electric transducers, amplified and woven into a composition.

Structure Transduction / Mark Bain / geosensor renderings of structural sounds

Ø   The physical vibrations within the architecture and furnishings of a large testing laboratory picked up by an array of geophones and amplified directly.

Seismic Waves / John Bullitt / seismic waves passing through the earth

Ø   A rendering of seismic vibration data of several areas of the earth greatly accelerated in time and amplified.

Electromagnetic Waves / Christina Kubisch / sounds of electromagnetic induction

Ø   The electro-magnetic fields of our urban environment are picked up via stereo induction coils built into a custom headset and amplified without modification.

VLF Sferics / Greg O’Drobinak / atmospheric whistlers

Ø   Whistlers
are electromagnetic waves in the audio frequency range produced when the energy from lightning storms is dispersed and diffracted in the upper atmosphere by the earth’s magnetic field. These waves (sferics), literally “nature’s radio”, are picked up via one magnetic (H-field) loop antenna [left channel] and one electric
(E-field) whip [right channel] antenna and amplified for us to hear. VLF is a term used to classify radio waves: Very Low Frequency

VLF Sferics / Stephen McGreevy / whistlers and dawn chorus

Ø   Stephen
uses a combination of H-field and E-field antennas to pick up a great variety of sferics. These natural radio waves are amplified directly for us to hear.

EVP [electronic voice phenomena] / Ray Cass / paranormal voice recordings

Ø   EVP uses radios and tape recorders to capture the disembodied voices of humans past. Ray is generally regarded as a notable master of the technique. There is no translation or modification of the audio signals that are picked up; they are simply recorded without modification when they occur.

EVP [electronic voice phenomena] / Michael Esposito / paranormal voice recordings

Ø   Michael is a contemporary EVP and paranormal investigator. We hear some of his private EVP recordings, untouched from their initial capture.



Crossing listening paths


Soundscapes are seldom simple; on the contrary, they tend to be complex sounding systems continuously changing in time, which no art or science can approach in depth on its own. Listening is the “corner stone” for the appreciation, participation and study of the sonic environment that surrounds and includes us. As Westerkamp (2002) remarks, it is the ecological balance of our planet that becomes audible “to those who care to listen.”
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Sonic Arts Festival

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Sound:Site – Sonic Arts Festival at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire, UK brings together a set of exciting projects from in and around the Sound Art community, framing contemporary practice and emerging online/offline possibilities.


Venue: South Hill Park, Bracknell, RG12 7PA. UK
Box Office: Tel 01344 484123
Sound:Site – Sonic Arts Festival
Date: Saturday 2nd October
Time: 10.00-5.30pm / 7.00pm evening concert
Tickets: £26.00 / £18.00 (students/members)
Box Office: 01344 484123

Talks and demonstrations exploring the Internet as a destination for making and showing artwork, for sharing sounds, bringing communities together, and curating sonic experiences. Sound:Site brings together a set of exciting projects from in and around the Sound Art community, framing contemporary practice and emerging online/offline possibilities.

Taking place in the splendid Georgian mansion that is home to South Hill Park, one of the UK’s longest surviving regional arts centre’s. The venue lies 25 miles West of London in the Thames Valley in Berkshire.


Chris Clark, Head of Digital Research, British Library “UK Sound Map”

The exciting new project being rolled out by the British Library to catalogue the sonic experience of the UK in the 21st Century.

Patrick McGinley “Framework”

Artist and broadcaster whose “Framework” radio show airs on Resonance FM and syndicates across Europe, acts as a hub for the global field recording and phonography community.

Kathy Hinde & Ed Holroyd “Twitchr”

The artists will talk through the concept and technical details of their “Twitter meets bird spotting” project “Twitchr” and then take everyone out to the Park for a live demo.

5 x 9 Micro-Presentations

A 5 x 9 minute info-burst from the community. Artists and instigators of web-based sound projects outline their approaches and challenges. Featuring: SoundFjord Gallery, Soundart Radio 102.5FM, Joe Stevens, Audio Gourmet Net Label, London Sound Survey

Felicity Ford & Paul Whitty “Sound Diaries”

Recording life in sound. Project of Oxford Brookes University’s Sonic Arts Research Unit

Performance: 7.00pm “Framework 250 Remixed”

Live sonic performance from artists who feature on “Framework 250” the recent definitive CD collection of phonography-based work, with Patrick McGinley, Simon Whetham, Jonathan Coleclough.

Further Info: Martin Franklin 01344 416261 | | Web: |

This event is generously supported by Sonic Art Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University

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