Tag Archives: sound design

Chris Watson Interview

This Chris Watson Interview is a must watch for anyone interested in field recording, sound design or general innovations in sound art practice. Watson (who I have blogged about before) is arguably the world’s best field recordist and his tips and ideas are definitely worth a quick listen.



Check out this wonderfully vibrant short featuring some pretty incredible visual and sonic effects.


Following on from the Bonsai post, another example of an interesting piece of art that draws guidance from nature.

Bowing a Bonsai

A few months ago a video did the rounds that featured sound designer and composer Diego Stocco creating a musical instrument out of a tree. He carved away the branches to achieve a complementary set of pitches then proceeded to tap and bow away at them. It was a fascinating process to watch, regardless of the results, and now he’s done it again. But this time the whole affair is a little, well, smaller.

He has applied the same technique to a bonsai tree, to great effect. Stocco explains his processs:

“To determine the key I used the lowest note I could play and recorded the rest around it. Besides playing the leaves, I used bows of different sizes, a piano hammer and a paint brush.”

An interesting example of the intersection between art and nature! Check it out for yourself.

Here‘s a link with some more pictures and vids.
Here is Stocco’s official web page.

Attention to Detail

Christopher Nolan’s Inception seems to have caught people’s attention almost as much as Avatar and for good reason. Check out this clip which gives an insight into just how much attention Nolan and co. paid to the finer sonic details…


Trimpin's Klompen - Photo by Thomas Crenshaw (CCBY)

It’s film festival time in Dunedin again and what a good time of year it is. Among my personal highlights so far was Oscar-winning ‘A Prophet‘ and Oscar deserving ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop‘. You owe it to yourself to see both.

Those of you with an interest in D.I.Y. acoustic sonic wizardry also ought to head along and see ‘Trimpin: The Sound of Invention’. Trimpin is the single-name moniker of the eccentric German-born inventor/artist/musician whose life and work is documented in the film. And this guy is serious about his life and work. The sheer number of bizarre contraptions and gadgets he calls his own is astounding. Tours of his studio reveal the kind of cluttered wonderland usually restricted to fantastical kid’s movies. That probably has something to do with his child-like curiosity – he talks of his life being one big experiment that’s still very much going on.

The filmmaker followed Trimpin for two years and managed to capture some pretty great stuff, including the evolution of a musical collaboration with long-time envelope pushers The Kronos Quartet.

Official website here.

On Holiday in Your Headphones

One of the enduring figures in the realm of field recording and blogs about field recording is San Francisco based blogger The Quiet American who runs the eponymous blog. In the introductory section to the site viewers are warned that the comments therein are of a highly opinionated nature. This is part of what makes the Quiet American worth visiting. The other part is the wonderful collection of field recordings and compositions that the writer has put together, many of them derived from exotic, far-flung corners of the earth. As well as being beautifully designed, the site is deep and idiosyncratic, a combination which, should you take a liking to the style, makes for many hours of engaged perusal.