City Frequencies

City Frequencies is a collaboration with Matt Adair (also my collaborator in Random Acts of Elevator Music) where we use field recording and sampling to explore aspects of the modern metropolitan environment.

For some more details on these projects, particularly regarding some of the technical details, you can check out the official City Frequencies website.

City Frequencies was originally a live surround-sound audiovisual performance at the Melbourne Town Hall in the 2000 Next Wave Festival. We aimed to capture a 24-hour snapshot of the Melbourne CBD’s sonic environment and encapsulate this in an experimental music performance, combined with a video and photo collage. We spent several months recording a multitude of sounds from the CBD, including buskers, trams, garbage trucks, office sounds, snatches of conversation, restaurant noises, etc. The performance used a quadrophonic PA system with all sounds sourced from the CBD manipulated and triggered using samplers and software. Read more on the original City Frequencies project.

Our next project was Café Voyeur, presented in 2004 at Kent St, a café/bar in Smith St, Fitzroy, as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Over a weekend we placed small microphones in vases of flowers to record the conversations of café patrons which we used to create a collage of voices and spoken word fragments. This was then presented back in Kent St as a surround-sound installation. (I should mention that people knew they may be recorded – we actually promoted this and gave people the option to opt out).

More recently we contributed a piece of music to the Clan Analogue compilation Distance: Sounds for an Empty Space, released in 2020. Our track “The Interests of Entities” samples sounds that are surround us in the city outside of the range of human hearing, including signals from mobile phone data, internet streaming and advertising billboard trackers.

Check out the extensive details about these projects on the official City Frequencies website and via the links below.

Original City Frequencies project
Cafe Voyeur
Performances & Installations

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