The Contraphonic Sound Series is a project that attempts to document cities through sound.
Sound is an oftentimes overlooked medium to engage the characteristics of cities and towns. Sound not only reveals the characteristics of a given place – think, the age of transit infrastructure revealed by the squeal of steel-on-steel or the subdued hum of electric trains – but also challenges the preeminence of visual culture to define a sense of place.
Sound can be utilized in the search for authentic civic identities in an age of universal aesthetic qualities.
The Sound Series consists of distinct approaches to document the aural city:
The field recordings and sound pieces in the A Lot You Got to Holler section are ambient field recordings and collected soundscapes of Chicago that allow one to listen in and interact with places on a map.
Tonal Drift is a collaboration with Adham Fisher of 1000 Stations.
Tonal Drift is an examination of place through the medium of sound, made via cut-up field recordings from locations across London, the Greater UK, and Chicago.
A Pittsburgh-focused series of curated and composed pieces by musicians sonically exploring a particular place, event, neighborhood or moment across their city’s history. The resulting work is released digitally with an accompanying booklet of essays and photos on the topic at hand.
The Chicago complement to Pittsburgh’s Fourth River series.
Press on the Sound Series
Exhibits and Presentations
The Contraphonic Sound Series Fourth River Exhibit was staged and hosted in The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's 937 Gallery from April 3-18, 2015.
A panel on the Contraphonic Sound Series was presented at 2012 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
Contraphonic, Inc. was a record label active from 2007-2013 (and in a previous incarnation from 2003-2007) that released records from noted composer Tobin Summerfield and his 20-piece ensemble Never Enough Hope, avant-garde trio Pillars & Tongues, legendary producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Material, Live Skull, etc), Pronto (the solo project of Mikael Jorgensen from Wilco), Adam Green (ex-Moldy Peaches), oRSo, and a host of eclectic and eccentric others.
The label initiated the Contraphonic Sound Series, which lives on.
A COLLECTION OF OLD MUSICAL RELEASES