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San Francisco: a city returning to the sea

imgres-3San Francisco, USA, and a field recording from Powell and Market Street by local artist John Morin, who’s taken a fascinating creative approach to the Oblique Strategy cards he was dealt, Turn it upside down and Feed the recording back into the medium. Here he explains what he did.

“This reimagined piece was created with suggestions from the Oblique Strategies cards that instructed me to feed the recording back out of the medium as well as turn it upside down. I interpreted these directions in a few different ways.”

“The first thing I did was play my original recording through a set of small speakers out in the original recording location of Powell and Market in San Francisco.”

“I positioned the speakers so that they were facing a large concrete wall and then recorded the output as it reverberated off of the wall and mixed with the new ambient street sounds.”

“The effect was a layering of sound, with the reverb sounds being tinny and light compared to the more heavy street noises.”

“In addition, instead of turning the track upside down, I stretched it out. Using Paul’s Sound Stretch software, I stretched the original track out to 89 minutes to give it a real haunting, drone-type quality.”

“This stretched-out track led me to create the second half of the piece, which sounds ominous and maybe a little frightening. The sea gulls, the fog horns, the city… all falling back into the sea.”

City version:


Memory version: