Friday, 18 December 2009

5 favourite sounds of 2009

last years 5 favourite sounds of 2008 on the 'in place' blog was really interesting & fun so here goes again !

please send me a list of the 5 favourite sounds that you have heard during 2010 for inclusion on the blog:

it's simple....choose five favourite sounds heard in 2009 - they can be ones you've gathered yourself, heard in situ only (natural, man made, at concerts etc) or on recordings you have made or aquired....submitted lists will be added to the post upon reciept by email to this address:

last years choices can be viewed here

have fun & I look forward to reading your choices ! & of course have a nice xmas & new year !

submitted by Jez riley French:
1) my daughter laughing, singing & making silly noises (UK & Venice)

2) Thornwick Bay rock pool inc. the sounds of beadlet anemones & limpets (East Yorkshire)

3) my fingers rubbing together inside an old oil storage tank (Estonia)

4) salt on paper (UK, Estonia, Austria, Czech republic, Belgium)

5) Teazel plant (Norfolk)

& because this blog is my party & i'll list if I want to ! here are some runners up for me:

6) flask (Belgium)

7) metal street railings (Belgium)

8) East stairs (West Yorkshire)

9) Empty factory with birds gathering (Estonia)

10) & the sounds of several churches & bookstores across Europe
submitted by Pheobe Law (wonderful daughter & artist):
1) the sound of eating home made marshmallows
2) various self made silly noises & sounds
3) hearing the sounds that my Dad finds
4) the sea at Venice Lido
5) the sound of ice skates across the ice
submitted by Daniel Jones (improvising musician, UK):
1) There is but one sound that has eclipsed all others for me this year... hearing our baby's heartbeat for the first time on Wednesday 16 December during our second midwife's appointment was not only stunning, heartwarming and relieving it also reduced me to a blubbering idiot.
submitted by Natalia Borrissova (artist, Germany):
1-5) hi jez, u got better? that sounds nice too (5 times + hi-hik)
submitted by Patrick Farmer (improviser/UK):
1) The overflowing Elan Valley dam.
2) The quiet over the Kerry Forest at dusk
3) The acoustic confusion of a working quarry battling into the hillbeneath me at Rodneys Pillar
4) The sounds that I can't hear: Land Snails and derelict buildings that I can't access.
5) Photosynthesising Pondweed at the Severn Farms Pond.
submitted by Ana Jasmina Oseban (writer & translator, Austria):
1) thousands of people singing "Seeeeeeelma, Seeeeelma" on the concert of Bijelo Dugme (me being one of them) (Celje, Slovenia)
2) the sound of tram in the evening on a nearby tram station (Graz, Austria)
3) people laughing on the street that my windows are facing (Graz)
4) a kitten mewing in the street (Graz)
5) the lapping of the waves of the Mura River around midnight (Graz)
submitted by Anastasia Vronski (musician, artist, Russia):
1) Light snoring of my grand mother letting me know she's living .

2) I had heard many woodpickers already but this one was joyful almost mad calling kuy kuy very loud and picking on the tree and then jumping on the floor and making holes in the snow, and on the tree again ; Very excited and making more noise.
3) The Letterist Choir at the beginning of Isidor Isou's movie of Venom and Eternity.
4) The sounds of the quite noisy Paris Metro .I also heard a very good ''Bob Dylan'' and tsigani there .
5) A very young and bad guitarist practising '' Cocaine'' on the steps of Opera and trying to sound old and missing the same section again and again.
submitted by Goh Lee Kwang (sound artist, Malaysia):
can only think of 4 sounds:
1) revenant (Yannick Dauby Olivier Feraud John Grzinich Hitoshi Kojo Patrick McGinley)
2) topolò CD - the Ang Mo Faux (Ty Constant, Peter Edwards, Steven M. Miller) concert in Kuala Lumpur.
3) Lasse-Marc Riek's demo (to be release on Herbal 2010)
4) Harbour - Jason Kahn - Vanishing Point CD
submitted by Diane Hope (field recordist / USA):
1) 'Tune' played by hailstones hitting the iron railings as a huge winter storm hit the seafront on Morecambe promenade in the ‘cold snap’ just before Christmas

2) Voice of Richard Isman, caretaker at the ghost town of Fairbank, on the San Pedro River in Southern Arizona – a cross between Clint Eastwood in ‘Pale Rider’ and Deputy Dawg! (as heard on R3’s ‘Between the Ears’ Ghost Town in June)

3) Stallion whinnying and pawing the ground at the Babbitt Annual Colt Sale near Flagstaff Arizona, July

4) Old schoolhouse bell at the Arizona Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum, Flagstaff, Arizona

5) Incredibly controlled, sustained sliding high note hit by Inna Dukach singing the role of ‘Musetta’ in the Royal Opera House’s December production of ‘La Boheme’
submitted by Julian Skrobek (musician / France):
1) the workers renovating my building.

2) my neighbour moaning all through 'Amériques' because I stole his program during intermission at Varèse's retrospective in Paris.

3) Chinese radio.

4) the M.R.I. scan I took.

5) Henri Chopin breathing in La Plaine Des Respirs re-issue on Tochnit Aleph.
submitted by Milos Vojtechovsky (artist/Skolska 28 gallery/Czech republic):
1) Improvisation during the workshop New maps of time with John Grzinich. Recording down at the undergrounds sand pools. Performed by John Grzinich, Stanislav Abrahám, Lucie Pachová, Matěj Kamenický, Miloš Vojtěchovský, Matěj Gorner, Eliška Svobodová, Lucie Juřičková. Recorded by me. Rehearsing for the sound event Lucid Dreams of Mr. William Heerlein Lindley.

2) The September night at the Liben penisula. If you walk little further direction the improvised bar U Budyho towards the river the beat from the party fade away under the chores of crickets. The sound of the water was recorded at the Rokytka, the rest is from the area around the garden district. Warm September evening invited people to sit outside, sipping beer and watching the dark sky.

3) Ambient sound from the installation of Sam Ashley Life is Short and getting shorter all the time.

4) Laughing of my 10 month old daughter when she see watches on my arm.
no recording

5) Cyclist on the Railway bridge
Peter Cusacks recording of a passing cyclist on the wooden planks of the footpath across the Railway Bridge in Smíchov. Recorded with a contact mike.
submitted by Phill Harding (sound artist/UK):
1) overhead curlews and distant sirens. 5:40 PM Mar 16th

2) a magpie, sitting on top of a pawnbroker's sign, cackling. 6:16 PM Jun 8th
3) fog. silence. 3:17 AM Jun 29th

4) heavily laden train. the ecstatic squeaks of the space between the carriages. 11:43 AM Aug 26th
5) gentle fizz of powerlines in the mist. 7:36 AM Nov 8th
submitted by Daniel Crokaert/Mystery Sea/Unfathomless (artist/label owner, Belgium)
1) the modulated hums of a water purifier in the quiet night (Louvranges/Belgium) nearby some cousin's home
2) the sound of skis in the snow perceived from the middle of a forest (Auris en Oisans/France)
3) hearing for the first time Will Menter's sound sculptures in Vignemont (stone quarry)
4) bees in the lavender of my own garden this summer
5) sounds derived from the Mamori Sound Project (Francisco López Amazon worshop)
submitted by John Kannenberg (sound artist, USA):
1) A film projector in Henrik Håkansson's installation "Monarch - The Eternal", The Power Plant Gallery, Toronto
2) Train at night crossing the Huron Street bridge, Ann Arbor, Michigan
3) The neighborhood sounds of El trains and traffic outside the windows of my old sun porch in Chicago
4) The sound of my three Buddha Machines running simultaneously
5) The reverberations of my hands clapping into the original echo chamber at the Motown studios in Detroit
submitted by Philip Julian (authorised version label / cheapmachines/UK):
1) Torrential rain shower in the early hours of the morning - 21st August, Chausseestraße, Berlin.
2) An unprepared piano being dragged around a large, empty room during a house renovation.
3) The noise of passing trains heard from underneath bridge 240 LBW, South London.
4) Self-noise from a Roberts R606-MB radio, no waveband selected.
5) Unexpected massed birdsong following a short, heavy burst of rain - somewhere around midnight, 25th September, South London
submitted by Hannah Marshall (improviser, UK):
1) the sound of someone laughing while i had my face pushed into their warm back.
2) the open roaring silence of snow laden dartmoor.
3) amazing klezmer and sephardic ensemble playing in some woods in east sussex.
4) the sounds from my open throat as i lay on the floor of a large empty room.
5) Patti Smith's voice live at the royal festival hall.
submitted by Mark Peter Wright (sound artist / ear room blog editor/UK):
1) Chasing the sound of peewits with a good friend (Lancashire).

2) Air vents in sun street passage (London)

3) The start up sound of a cotton making machine (Manchester).
4) The huge storm above my hotel room (Poland)

5) A long wire fence resonating in the wind across the moors (Herefordshire)
submitted by Jana Winderen (sound artist):
1) The sound of a Sea Urchin feeding in the lagune Glimma at Hammarøy, Norway (June).

2) Sound of bats hunting, late at night by a forrester´s cabin in the Kaliningrad region, Russia (July).

3) The sound of the wings of a raven as it flew over the Icefjord Kangia, Greenland (October).

4) Cracking of ice 60 meters below the sureface in Disco Bay, Greenland (October).

5) Wind howling from the North Sea by the mouth of the river Coquet, England (October).
submitted by Dale Lloyd (and/oar):
1) Wind through the trees in a quiet neighborhood of Whittier Heights, Seattle.

2) Rare thunder in Seattle.

3) Rain hitting my 15th story window during a storm.

4) Tomoko Sauvage: Ombrophilia (either/OAR / and/OAR) True story: both the arrival of her son and the CD coincided on the same day after both being delayed from the same original due date one week prior.

5) Celer: Levitation And Breaking Points (to be re-issued by and/OAR in 2010)
May Dani Baquet Long live on in peace and love;
may we all do the same while still here on Earth.
Submitted by Toshi Nakamura (musician / artist, Japan):
- Washed and rinsed wine glasses, put on a very smooth and clean surface, starting to whistle...
- chirping birds outside my window
- occasional utterance by Kanta Horio during his performance at Loop Line, Tokyo, every time he encountered unexpected events or made a mistake
- a performance by Tetsuo Kogawa at Instal 09, Glasgow
- the gears and chain rolling on my bike when they are washed and given fresh grease
submitted by Antti Tolvi (musician, artist/Finland):
1) my new shakuhachis high notes
2) lau and nuutti singing as a duo
3) bullet-train passing by
4) 100-200?? swans flying over
5) Pandit Nikhil Banerjee in peacefull lake Turajärvi
submitted by Michael Pisaro (composer/ USA):
- Quiet river at night (Grosse Mühl, Neufelden, Austria)
- Winds blowing through the canyon (San Gabriel Mountains)
- Lead dust being sifted into a metal bucket
- Tuned traffic (recorded from inside a small, heavy pipe)
- The silence in the hills _after_ the tree cutters have stopped. (Val Verde)
submitted by Mark Valentine:
1) Percy, purring.

2) The wind, roaring.

3) Pages, turning.

4) “Scarbrurr ! Wooshn’t it be gret just to go to schleep and wek up in Scarburroww eh?”: one old drunk on a train to another, on hearing the destination announcement. Samuel Beckett and Alan Bennett all in one.

5) Hugo Montenegro, Classical Gas. Sheer grin-inducing cheese.
submitted by John Grzinich (sound artist/Estonia):
I must have 50 but here's just a few in chronological order:
1) Ominous buzzing lights of the Katowice train station
2) Common Snipe after midnight in the Emajogi river delta
3) Glass tubes placed in the Peipsi Lake
4) Acoustic sounds of ant highways in Ahja
5) Drips of the channels under the Bubenec Sewer Museum in Prague
submitted by Maksims Shentelevs (sound artist, Latvia)
1) Ghost orchestra – that I discovered appearing in 5 minuts after playing strings of kokle (latvian folk zither) by motors. Ghost is always different – distant singing, horns, hindu temple, harmonium, etc, depending on current resonation. In 15 minutes I fall in light trance. A very nice discovery.

2) vibration of short circuit in the speaker cone transferred to strings via steel wires (cut strings)
3) amazing frogs on a nice shallow Engures lake – sounded like a dozen large glass balls rolled in hands.

4) My throat singing trainings (more sort of vacuum cleaner buzz then proper throat singing)

5) Noize gig that I went to yesterday – great performance by Kaspars Groševs and his friend
submitted by Mark Wastell (musician & owner of Sound323, UK):
- My Paiste Tam Tam, never ceases to amaze me
- My four year old daughter saying "Daddy ..... I love you!"
- Recordings of Miles Davis Quintet on their European tour 1967
- Otomo Yoshihide's piano feedback piece at Cafe Oto
- Those torrential rain storms we had in London a few weeks back
submitted by Mike Harding (Touch records, UK):
1. Bruce Gilbert's sounds breaking the sensors at Café Oto on The Night of the Long Worms, 19.xi.09

2. Berlusconi's cry of anguish as he is struck in the face by a protestor in December

3. Mistaking my owl ringtone (recorded by Chris Watson) for a pigeon at East Croydon station

4. The Honey Bees of Cherry Hill Farm & The Bee Symphony at Pestival, The South Bank, in August

5. Philip Jeck's soundcheck at Café Oto for Atmospheres 3, December 7th
submitted by Chris Hladowski, in no particular order (musician: Nalle, Family Elan)
1)The dizzying, intoxicating sound of myriad amplified muezzins around the historical district of Sultanahmet in Istanbul.
2) The sound of a lone muezzin wailing plaintively at 5 o'clock in the morning, echoing down a magnificently deserted gorge at Faralya, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and then, almost in recognition of the absurdity of it all, letting out what I am sure was a little chuckle at the the end.
3) The sound of muezzins in Manningham, in my hometown of Bradford, particularly when the two closest to my house get going at the same time.
4) Being at pains to make a sound document of the rag-and-bone-man who used to trundle along my parents' back alley, before the sale of their house, the house I grew up in.
5) Discovering that that very same rag-and-bone-man can be heard and seen around the back of the lovely house I moved into in March of this year!
& 3 more:
6) My beautiful new bouzouki
7) The sound of the wind blowing through Patrick Farmer's hair in Glasgow city centre
8) The deathly, torturous sound of M.W. snoring on innumerable occasions during A Hawk and a Hacksaw's 2009 European/North American tour.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I'm very pleased to announce a new release by Kiyoshi Mizutani - field recordings from Onoji, Japan.

Mizutani has released several fantastic works in his career including 'scenery of a border' (and/oar) & 'Yokosawa-iri' (cmr).

His work is always fascinating for it's simple ability to capture personal moments of exploration and progress through the environment in question & 'Onoji' is another great addition to his discography.

The simplicity and clarity of his journey through Onoji is not affected by his use of wind noise, an issue on which he states: 'Certainly, wind noise often ruins a recording. However, I occasionally feel it is effective.I will not reproduce the reality. It is greatly different from the actual sound and the sound recorded through the microphones. Moreover, it is different to hear the recorded sound, and to hear the sound actually. When considering it like that, there is no distinction between wind noise and other recorded sound. The wind noise is felt as one of the effects. How to feel it is different for each person. Moreover, it depends on ones feelings at that time. I leave it to the person who hears it'

highly limited edition taiyo-yuden cdr mounted on oversized art card + additional postcard. Shipping of this release will begin 1st week of November 2009 - it is likely to sell out very quickly so do please get your order in early if you want to make sure you get one.

postage options

the following images were taken by Kiyoshi Mizutani in situ:

Friday, 30 October 2009

the in-place blog mp3 library

over the coming months there will a new on line libary of straight field recordings, the aim being two-fold:

1) to highlight some of the basic techniques for visitors to the blog who are faily new to the art of field recording

2) to showcase works by established & emerging artists

these files will be posted to a pre-dated post & links displayed in the 'mp3 files on in place' box in the right hand column of this blog.
already added are several extracts by myself (jez riley French):

new releases by Angus Carlyle & Simon Whetham

Simon Whetham - 'undercurrent'

capturing Simon's performance at the Grey Area Gallery, Brighton early in 2009, this limited cdr ep release showcases some his skillful live combining of his field recordings. A rich array of crackles, buzzes, groans & splatters dominate throughout. Only 50 copies available.

Angus Carlyle - 'some memories of bamboo'

Kami-Katsura is a small suburban district in Kyoto, Japan. Bounded to the east by residential and light industrial areas that run up to the Hozu River, to the west it is held in check by wooded slopes and valleys where the population falls away as the altitude gently climbs. For all the movement of people and vehicles, the district exudes a certain tranquillity which is reflected in the acoustic atmospheres from before dawn until after dusk.

Angus Carlyle spent three weeks over a period of two years walking up and down a parcel of land measuring 500 metres long and no more than 100 metres wide, looking, listening and recording. Although it was the inspiration behind his return to the Kami-Katsura district, he never quite managed to capture the striking sounds of a bamboo forest animated by wind that he had first heard on his visit in 2006.

Other acoustic events did make their way into his microphones: rain dripping into a cemetery watering-can; the heavy passage of the maroon trains of the Hankyu company gleaming north and south on the Arashiyama Line; the hubbub of one café and the more subdued mood of another; the river bubbling and sliding through the valley, birds and insects marking out the air with their noises; people wandering the forest trail or crossing the asphalt roads.

In “Some Memories of Bamboo”, these unprocessed recordings have been stitched together to evoke the heard life of Kami-Katsura, the district’s textures offered more colour through the short stories that accompany each track in the CD booklet.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

new Portuguese net label for field recordings

Green Field Recordings is a portuguese netlabel focusing mainly in pure field recordings.

Please visit them by clicking here.

they are currently looking for demos for the first few online releases.

Friday, 16 October 2009

John Grzinich - interview on EarRoom

the latest installment in Mark Peter wrights ongoing interview series is with John Grzinich - the acclaimed sound artist, who works extensively with field recordings & is based in Estonia.

do take a look by clicking here.

above images: 1) John & JrF in Riga, Latvia
2) John @ seeds & bridges, east yorkshire (photo by Ian Cleary)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

new release: Catherine Kontz - 'canvas'


. point engraved edition eg.p02

8cm cdr on printed art card in plastic sleeve. Limited edition.

1. T-Tree for piano solo (2008).
composed and performed by Catherine Kontz. (11:11)

2. Cahiers Trouvés for electric guitars and effects (2008).
composed by Catherine Kontz. Performed by Henri Växby. (9:24)

Both T-Tree and Cahiers Trouvés are part of a series of large-format ‘canvas-scores’ in which I explore different types of notation that leave the player a certain amount
of freedom and scope for spontaneity and creativity whilst keeping to the idiosyncratic
techniques and sounds of the instrument.

The score for T-Tree was a gift for my father on his 65th birthday.

Cahiers Trouvés was commissioned by Rational Rec and written for Henri Växby.“ (C.K.)

Recorded at Masters Lodge, London in June/July 2009.

Photo & design by JrF

Further details and images coming soon on this site & here
Richard Pinnell has also just reviewed this release here

postage options

4 new releases

Jez riley French - '....the bright work' - hydrophone recordings

1) East Yorkshire waters: Thornwick Bay # 2

2) Czech waters: Dolni Pocernice lake

3) English waters: River Cherwell

4) Estonian waters: Mooste jarvi, Apnajarve, Palojarv & Vohandu river

recorded 2008 / 2009 with JrF hydrophones & others.


taiyo yuden cdr mounted on oversized photo card + additional photo card.

postage options


a few copies of the 'as (urfaces)' cd & print set to accompany an exhibition of work completed during my time as artist in residence at Hull School of Art & Design are now available. There are only a handful of these left though.

details of the pieces included on the cd can be found by clicking here.


review from 'just outside' (Brian Olewnick):

'a more purely field recording-oriented release (though French bows or otherwise touches various surfaces on three of the six tracks). Here, one's reaction I find often depends "simply" on how intriguing one finds the given sound-field in play. Even there, you're almost compelled to give a deeper listen if, initially, you're not so fascinated; often there's more at hand than you thought. The one unenhanced cut that I immediately loved was the fourth, "as030", which features a motor of some kind (I think), it's strong, subtle and varies hugely within a narrow focus. The lengthy final track, the one on which bowing can most clearly be discerned, works pretty well also, a rich range of rubbing-induced can easily imagine wallowing it it with pleasure in an actual installation. It's a good disc....'


3inch split cd on 'compost & height':

Jez riley French - 'pelure # 6'

A composition of untreated field recordings capturing the seating fabric and floor surfaces of Peel Hall, Salford, prior to giving a performance there later the same day. I enjoy the simple pleasure of spending some time quietly exploring like this - listening to the audible silence of objects and environments that surround me. Recorded November 2008

Rob Curgenven - 'largo affettuso'

Field recordings + Transparence resonating dubplate (feedback, surface noise and room harmonics) performance recorded live at Extrapool, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 8th March, 2009 by Martin Luitenremixed and mastered at B52, Berlin, Germany, 12th & 13th March, 2009additional overdub - Fender guitar feedback, recorded 1st February, 2009 at the Cloud Factory, Amsterdam,

Limited edition of 50 copies mounted on wooden square.


Free MP3 & PDF download:

Jez riley French - 'four approaches to quietude - bruxelles, June 2009'

a limited 3inch photo card mounted version of this release is also available:

postage options

Peter Maynard - 'stone house journals'

Peter Maynard - 'stone house journals'

(self released / field trip 1)

3inch cdr

The thing I like about Peter's field recordings is in thier raw state. On this release he mostly leaves out anything other than straight recordings of the environments around a group of stone houses in the Drome region of France. Towards the end of the single 22 min track there is a musical element, but according to the sleeve notes this too was something that was listened 'on location'. The flow of the track up to this point has a kind of natural sense of place & then takes a slight shift to one that seems less organic somehow.

For it's 22+ minutes this release contains an enjoyable, compressed audio journal of Peter's time on this trip to France & is worth tracking down. The recordings aren't polished up to the point of blandness & I find this adds to the spontaneous mood of the work.

If you want to get hold of this disc try Sound 323 or send me a message at & i'll forward it to Peter.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Michael Pisaro - 'Only' (harmony series # 17)

Throughout the month of August 2009, a selection of artists and musicians were invited to perform Michael Pisaro's Harmony Series, a project initiated by Jason Brogan, and produced by Compost and Height. The documentation of Only [Harmony Series #17] can now be viewed/downloaded from

Only [Harmony Series #17] Artists: Adam Sonderberg Barry Chabala Ben Owen Casey Anderson James Saunders Jason Brogan Jason Kahn Jez riley French Joseph Clayton Mills Julia Eckhardt Julia Holter Manfred Werder Michael Pisaro Patrick Farmer Richard Kamerman Rhodri Davies Ryan Jewell Sam Sfirri Sarah Hughes Steve Roden Vanessa Rossetto

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

site / Citation

Site/Citation is a daily audio journal dedicated to the "quotation" of local environments - usually urban, usually dominated by noise pollution. For the first 47 days (approx. 7 weeks) I used only the binaural mics attached to a PCM-D50 field recorder. My hope was to establish a blatant fabric of tones that were imminent everywhere - in rooms, on the streets - because the city is dominated by (because surrounded by) highways and busy avenues. In the next few weeks I'll be experimenting with a single RODE NTG-2 shotgun mic, using it to pick up particulars lost to room or ambient noise.

I edit minimally - mostly for dynamics, volume and equalization - in Sound Forge v. 9.0. I record religiously, scouting several locations throughout the day then listening and editing and posting in the evening. My goal is to sample 365 days a year (starting this August 3rd), listening to the autumn and winter die down, then wake again in a spring cacophony of aviary orgasm.

The files can be streamed or downloaded. I welcome comments and eMail (, and hope you'll sample my work and remix it.

As John Cage, Happy New Ears.

Monday, 31 August 2009

JrF & Neil Davidson - photographic score realisation

available now from the 'compost & height' online label:

click here to download or stream

'Sunday afternoon, 29th March, 2009 - Neil's flat in Glasgow, in the kitchen with the window open: here is a recording, very much a location recording, of myself & Neil Davidson playing one of my photographic scores. These pieces begin with a very wide field of interpretation available to the performers & in this case the informal & sociable nature of the session had a significant influence on the work (positive). Neil plays acoustic flat wound guitar with preparations & I play field recordings, zither & paper. Glasgow contributes wind rattling the window & other sounds coming in through it' - JrF

Lasse-Marc Riek - listening workshop

sound artist (& part of the Gruenrekorder team) Lasse-Marc Riek has posted some images and text (in German) on a recent listening workshop he led - it can be found by clicking here

Sunday, 30 August 2009

gruenrekorder - Thomas Andre / Eisuke Yanagisawa

another new release on Gruenrekorder's field recording series:

Thomas André - Recorded in China.

click here for samples & more info. Review below:

first of all the track listing on the sleeve is wrong, so it should be as follows:
01. Choir of the Temple of Heaven

02. Great Wall

03. Roller Coaster

04. Men Sing

05 & 06 & 07. Tao Temple

08. Night in Beijing
09. Women sing
10. Airport 6am

10 Tracks (49'17")

CD-R (50 copies)

(c)Artwork / Audio / Photos by Thomas André

Gruenrekorder / Germany / 2009 / Gr 069
Let me begin by saying that track 8 - 'night in Beijing' makes this a worthwhile purchase on it's own. In fact for me it's probably a track that is best heard in isolation from the others as it's the only one that really goes beyond the audio postcard approach of this release.
Now, I have been known to be critical of field recordings that are more or less 'travelogue' & my reasons ae simply to do with having listened to a lot of field recordings for a very long time. I don't think it's possible to capture anything emotive of a place by simply pointing a microphone at it and bunging the results onto a cd. That said, it's usually always interesting to listen to location recordings.
Many of the tracks on Thomas's cd capture aspects of local folklore - music features heavily on 4. There are many, many excellent cd's of Chinese traditional music recorded on location & while I assume the intention behind this cd was to provide a representation of the artists trip to China, I was happy to skip these tracks.
Actually, if you program your cd player to just play tracks 2, 5 , 7, 8 & 10 you have, in my opinion, the best of this cd & it seems to hang together better like this. It makes it something 'more'. These tracks feature various simple, and often quiet moments - often with a lot of activity somewhere in the landscape but somehow giving an impression that communicates something far more real and far more exciting.
The 20+ minute track (8) 'Night in Beijing' is a recording made from a 10th floor apartment balcony window where Thomas was staying. In the distance one can hear the constant sound of thousands of cars & indeed it's a sound that will be familiar to us all. In fact it's a recording of one of those sounds we all take for granted and that even can annoy us at times. It's a way of recording that I know very well & it's this way of capturing a sound that we all take for granted and presenting it in a way that allows the listener to find a new way in, a new way to appreciate sound as something good and interesting rather than an aspect of our lives that just sits there, unnoticed or serving to annoy, that makes field recording such an exciting art form.
So, do get hold of this disc - but take my advice & program your player as I mentioned above - those 5 tracks are the core of this release - they are the tracks that make this cd worth the entry price.
I recieved some of the recordings featured here from Japanese recordist Eisuke Yanagisawa sometime ago & it's good to see that Gruenrekorder have put this disc out.

Scenery of Water Eisuke Yanagisawa

Gr 060 Gruen CD-R

Field Recordings from Vietnam, Myanmar and Japan.

'We can’t listen to the water itself. We can only hear the impact of water on something. When I listen to the sounds of shallow stream for a while, suddenly I feel as if I was caught in the water and listening them from inside of the water. When I listen to the sounds of water dripping in quiet situation, my ears enjoy listening to the rhythmic patterns of its occurrence and fading into the back ground. The sounds of water make random rhythm, delicate melody and subtle overtones which vary depending on the physical contact surface, room reverberation, spatial size and so on. In other words, the sounds of water reflect the character of the space. And the space emerges through the sounds. In that sense, we may listen to the scenery through the water rather than listen to the water in the scenery' - Eisuke Yanagisawa

01 Bathroom, April 2006, Kontum, Vietnam.
02 Cicada and Stream, June 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
03 Frogs in a Shirine, May 2005, Kyoto, Japan.
04 Hanoi Rain, August 2006, Hanoi, Vietnam.
05 Hallow Pole on the Beach, September 2007, Tsuruga, Japan.
06 Kyauktan , December 2004, Kyauktan, Myanmar.
07 Rainy Morning, June 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
08 Shishiodoshi, August 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
09 Sagaing Hill, December 2004, Sagaing, Myanmar.
10 Uguisu, July 2007, Kyoto, Japan.
11 Under the Stream, August 2007, Kyoto, Japan.

11 Tracks (34′19″) Headphone listening is recommended.
Over the course of these 11 short tracks we are simply presented with a selection of recordings made by the artist that feature water in various ways. We hear dripping taps, rivers, waves & rain. Only tracks 6 & 9 appear to have other elements that dominate the recordings.
It's a hard cd to review to be honest. For the most part I'm left wnating to hear longer takes of just a few of the tracks & I can only assume that this is all that was recorded at the time. If you can get past that then you'll be ok listening to this disc. The tracks featuring rain are the most interesting for me as they do capture a sense of place - the humidity and the wet, bright green and mud coloured landscape comes into ones mind. That & the open doors of houses and buildings in countries where sweat and rain are constants.
As with several of Gruenrekorders field recording series cd's we are presented with work by artists who are failry new to field recording. At thier best that sense of early excitement and exploration comes across and in this release I think we can hear someone taking some steps forward, but it needs to be said that these are very simple recordings made with very simple equipment. There are no hydrophone recordings - these are all made with normal ambient mics.
It will be interesting to hear what he does next.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

ear room - re-sounding dialogues across the globe

a new online interview project curated by Mark Peter Wright has just launched - you can take a look by clicking here

there will be an interview every month & the first edition !

second edition is now online also - featuring Janek Schaefer.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Vanessa Rossetto - 'Dogs in English porcelain'

In recent years there has been a (mostly) fascinating number of releases that in some way capture the daily living environment of the artist involved. Vanessa Rossetto’s ‘dogs in English porcelain’ (on her own music appreciation label) is one such cd & among the most interesting - devoid as it is of the usual boring, uncreative and shallow end of technological showmanship.

It’s best not to think about this disc – don’t read this & listen to it with any ideas. In fact, why bother writing about it at all ? well, for one thing hopefully it’ll tempt a few folks to get hold of a copy .

I don’t much go in for deciphering music / sound so I won’t attempt to fully detail what sounds can be heard. Occasional snatches of Vanessa’s viola, violin, cello & turntable peer out through domestic recordings & various hums, rumbles, crackles, birds, tv and street noise.

Allowing the whole piece to simply occupy ones own listening space offers up a rather private sounding exploration. There is something in the way the recordings are placed together, without manipulation and with a confident disregard for undue polish, that allows Vanessa to communicate something personal & yet fully accessible.

I like the sound of rooms, of living rooms, of empty rooms, of street noises filtered through open windows, of pans boiling on stoves, of people in daily motion. So, for me this release was bound to get the thumbs up. I recommend it without hesitation, especially to those of you who like something of the human from the artist in your music.

A further review is available on Richard Pinnell’s always interesting site here

Thursday, 9 July 2009

a conversation with Brandon LaBelle

For several months myself & Brandon LaBelle have been chatting via email about some of the things that inform our work:

JrF: Your work often explores the relationship between physical spaces and sound (either already present or introduced). I wonder where you think this interest came from for you? Can you remember any early experiences that perhaps led you to this way of working or was it a natural progression of your journey through music & art for example ?

BLB: Yes, that’s a very insightful question, and I can definitely say it surfaced quite early on, when I was playing drums in bands as a teenager. The relation of sound and space became extremely present for me at this time, and maybe for a number of reasons continues today. Essentially, playing the drums introduced me, or taught me, how sound and space interact – of course, this is clear on an acoustic level, and yet I can also recall this realization was somewhat of a startling epiphany: that moment of first transporting the drums to another space, another location, to perform in front of people, and suddenly feeling the drums differently. It was suddenly as if it was an entirely different instrument, a different sound, which really broke open my relation to my actions as a drummer – this acoustical challenge in a way forced a recognition and negotiation with space you might say, through the moment of playing the drums. This simple experience opened up my understanding of making sound to that of the spaces around me – it made me realize that the object of the drum was also a spatial instrument, that it was defined by the space; but then of course, what follows is a sense that the drum can also define space. And I can remember this occurring in two ways. The first being the moment when my next door neighbor came over screaming at me to stop playing drums. His extreme emotional reaction was also somewhat of a revelation for me, because until that point I don’t think I realized how far my drumming could be heard, that it actually could affect someone in a completely different house. That was suddenly a deep understanding of the power of the drum, and maybe the power of sound, to create emotional response, to literally drive someone crazy. On the flipside, I distinctly remember that early experience of first playing to audiences – I was around 13 and 14 and my friends and I had a band (called Innocent Exile, after the Iron Maiden song) and we would play local parties. At first this all started very awkwardly, as we were not necessarily so good at that age, but surprisingly we did develop a rather distinct sound and ability to improvise, which seemed to go well in the party setting. Pretty soon we were playing every weekend, and this action, this sense of playing drums became a very active social situation – not only was I becoming defined as a drummer, a kind of sense of self, but also in doing so I became acutely aware of how the drums could also create extremely positive social experiences and spaces. That moment when you play and people begin to dance, that is a really valuable and generative experience that reveals sound and space as a social event, a social time. These experiences, or what I like to think of as drum lessons, definitely affected my sense of what it means to make sound, and to understand the movements that are possible within space.

JrF: Well, it would seem that the act of 'playing live' as a form of establishing or expaniding ones social life is something we and many others share. I too started early, around the age of 12 when new wave / punk first took off here in the UK & I was a fairly shy and awkward youngster. I somehow imagined that playing live would give me a way to say something to others from inside this 'musician' identity. I find it hard to track the changes in my development as an artist because, quite simply, it has been a natural process. So like myself the possibility to communicate directly with others was an important motivation behind you becoming involved in music, however with more abstract sound and, for example, field recording there is a much greater sense of being solitary and not creating a social activity - as opposed to being in a band and playing 'gigs'. So how do you feel about this ? about the way that whilst we develop to become much nearer in our attempts to communicate our inner creative voice we at the same time become involved in a less social way to create and perform our work ?

BLB: Interesting to question this push and pull, between an inside and an outside, between the imagination and a communicative act… I think this sense of finding your inner creative voice is a kind of important step – somehow, as you say, being a musician or a performer requires a great deal of confidence, to put something out there that is also extremely tied to the individual, and that necessarily changes you as well, it changes or effects how you then feel about yourself, who you are, etc. Though for me this process definitely resulted in making the inside and the outside more deeply connected, to overcome that sense of the isolated artist (I could actually never stand that role…) – I wanted that experience of drumming, that social and reverberant experience you might say to become an expanded space, where the production and reception become more bound to each other. This resulted in the question of working site-specifically, to loop the site, the social setting, the audience, into the process of the work itself – to involve others, and to blur the boundaries between objects and subjects. You might say, I become less interested in the drum as an instrument and more interested in the larger context and situation that the drum initially created or participated in. I guess I just didn’t want to be alone, but also recognized how there is already so much there to work with (found sounds), that there is so much which comes before I ever arrive (architecture), or which precedes me (context) and also determines me (language) in ways that are extremely curious, demanding, and enabling… So, I wanted to turn my attention to those aspects, and make them part of the project. How have you negotiated this tension, this position as an artist?

JrF: well, I suppose I have but it has always been important to me to not always attempt to place a theoretical thought process onto my progress or resulting work. Not by avoiding it - which would be just as much of a theory or approach as any other - but by the way it simply happens or the way I feel able to work. It is hard to put into words - basically there is a simplicity to my approach I think. One that is obvioulsly informed by my experiences and my feelings and thoughts and indeed by aspects such as architecture (for example in my recent work exploring the sonic architecture of buildings across the UK & Europe), context etc & I could talk about that but there is something in me that wants to not talk about it too much, especially not in a way that seeks to insist that these thoughts have to be understood for the work to be fully appreciated. I guess that could be the same for you & indeed for lots of artists but it's perhaps just that some find it easier to talk than others. I think there are areas of my approach to theory that are the result of various life experiences, various chips on my shoulder I guess, but I take the view that whilst there is an interest in overcoming those things it is also interesting to know that those things must also inform my work.

Here in the UK, which is where I live & so the only country I can comment on in this fashion, there has always been a clear link between artistic acceptance and ones ability to talk about the work rather than the work itself. It's a kind of intellectual snobbery that has strangled cultural life here in the UK and made worse by the opposing view that art should be therefore dumbed down to appeal to the masses. It's like we are missing the central core - that the work is what it is and whilst it can be influenced by as much social and environmental interaction as possible it is important for it to remain what it is and not to be altered, by the words or actions of others & by a process of influence by artists themselves, so that it fits into everyones expectations of it. I'm aware that that can sound rather confrontational to some, but it is in fact about the celebration of creativity, it's freedom and it's sense of exploration. To suffocate creativity, whether by way of ignorance or by an over inflated self-importance & a misplaced intellectual arrogance has such a negative impact that often goes unseen until its effects are too rooted into the culture. OK - rant over !

So, Brandon, can I ask if you are aware of the elements of your work that are related directly to where you grew up / live now ? & which would be there regardless of where you where ? is this ever possible ?

BLB: Well, maybe in this regard I’d have to follow your line that it’s not really so clear or easy to make the connection between the work and where I live, at least in terms of saying it definitely and in words. Of course, I’m always influenced by where I am – aren’t we all! – and I very much like the work to come from a process of investigation that has a lot to do with where I am. So, that is probably the one aspect that would be there regardless of where I am living or working. I’m not sure where this comes from, and if it arises from a certain environment or previous experience. I know for sure that in Los Angeles in the mid to late 90s, there was a scene happening related to experimental music that I do feel quite connected to. People like Damion Romero, Geoff Brandin, Erik Hoffman, Jorge Martin, and others such as AMK; the Haters, Steve Roden, etc., not to mention the SF scene with 23five, Randy Yau, Scott Arford, etc., all of this opened up a space of sharing that had a great effect on my work. (I have to also mention the presence of Eric Lanzillotta and his Anomalous Record shop, which used to put on excellent shows at this time, basically providing a space for experimental music to happen, in a very sustained and intimate way.) This was a very free and open time, before the laptop, before email, and which came from noise music or had a conversation with Japan at that time. People were working with all sorts of instrumentation, ideas, and approaches, from feedback systems to conceptual games, it felt very experimental in the best possible ways – no real identifiable thread, but more a collection of disparate people and impulses that did come together. I think deep down I always feel somewhat of a connection to this LA scene, and that particular moment, what was happening, and maybe this still comes through in my work, a certain west coast performativity, conceptualism, and playfulness.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

new release

the . point engraved series:

eg.pcd001: tierce - Daniel Jones / Ivan Palacky / Jez riley French

*8cm cdr on printed postcard / in plastic sleeve*

recorded @ seeds & bridges (afternoon)

Limited edition of 55 copies.

Daniel Jones - e-guitar, turntable, electronics, objects.

Ivan Palacky - dopleta 160 knitting machine

Jez riley French - guzheng, zither, field recordings, objects

prices (inc p&p)

review from 'just outside' (Brian Olewnick):

'I'm increasingly at a loss for things to say about work like this, especially when I enjoy it, which I very much do in this case. Descriptions are inevitably feeble but simply observing that it somehow conjures up a situation, a place, a real or imagined environment and does so convincingly doesn't do justice either. I will say the trio (Jones, guitar, turntable, contact mic, objects, mixer; Palacky, Dopleta 180 amplified knitting machine (!); French, field recordings, guzheng, zither, objects) strike a delicate balance, managing to capture something of a field recording feel in their improvisations (certain taps, for instance, evoking the naturally irregular rhythms of water drops), that the performance tumbles along like a quiet stream over a complex bed. It's really, really good (a 3", by the way) and you should hear it'


forthcoming . point engraved releases include discs by:

Kiyoshi Mizutani
Tim Parkinson
Thomas Smetryns
Patrick Farmer
Matt Davis
Matt Sansom
Dallas Simpson
Eric Cordier
& more....

each release will be a highly limited edition.

Andrea Neumann & Ivan Palacky

Andrea Neumann - inside piano
Ivan Palacky - dopleta 160 knitting machine
limited edition of 60 copies in a special cover
available direct from Ivan:
all i'm going to say about this cd for now is that if you're reading this blog & have an interest in explorative music / sound then I seriously suggest you get hold of a copy of this before it sells out ! (JrF)

Friday, 19 June 2009

sound escapes exhibition:

'sound escapes' - 25th July - 15th August 2009

Peter Cusack, Simon Elvins, Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons, Nikolaus Gansterer, Stephen Gill, Dan Holdsworth, Jacob Kirkegaard, Camille Norment, Dawn Scarfe, Thomson and Craighead

Curated by Angus Carlyle and Irene Revell;
produced by Electra
SPACE, 129 - 131 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH

Sound Escapes examines the very nature of sound. Why is one person's disturbing noise another's intriguing sonic landscape? In what ways are our emotions affected by sound? Are plants affected by music? Can you hear a photograph? Do ears make their own sounds? Does the microphone never lie? These are just some questions explored by the works on show.

The exhibition marks the culmination of an extensive interdisciplinary research project that has coupled artists with acousticians, engineers, and social scientists across the UK to explore how we can move beyond negative noise towards the idea of positive soundscapes. Posters illustrating the findings of this research - scans of the brain, measurements of the heart and the lungs, maps of city sound-walks and representations of the choices people make when thinking and talking about sound - are also hung on the gallery walls.

Thomson & Craighead's new work A universal machine for testing everything invites visitors to the gallery to make outgoing calls using a telephone line connected to a commercially available lie detector. Alongside the telephone and pinned to the wall are test reports documenting previous calls the artists made to a series of speaking clocks while traveling in the UK and abroad. The work is a playful engagement with the notion of speech intelligibility but also a statement of the ultimate futility of any mathematical algorithm to read the emotional affect of sound. Nikolaus Gansterer's piece, The Eden Experiment, also plays with the inherent subjectivity of the listening experience, in setting out the laboratory conditions in which two mouse ear cress plants are subjected to Bach and 'heavy metal' respectively during the course of the exhibition, all other parameters of the plants' treatment being equal. By contrast, Dan Holdsworth's No Echo is a series of large-scale photographic works of anechoic chambers, and presents an almost voyeuristic glimpse of these eerily arcane environments.

Peter Cusack's Soundscape Sequencer, the main artistic commission from the research project itself, allows visitors to mix surround sound into their own sonic panorama based on field recordings from different cities around the world. Using noise pollution statistics from DEFRA, Simon Elvins' Silent London shows a contoured landscape of the quietest parts of the city.

Camille Norment's work Driveby gives the visitor a phantom impression of a car driving past outside the gallery, through a physical experience transmitted at low frequencies from a gallery window, with a heavy bass giving the impression of an exaggerated onboard speaker system. In an examination of the listening process itself, Jacob Kirkegaard's work Labyrinthitis is a ceiling mounted installation of a series of 16 helicoidally spaced speakers, mimicking the shape of the inner ear. These speakers emit tones which trigger 'otoacoustic emissions' - a little known phenomenon where the ear itself resonates sound. If subjected to the right combination of frequencies the inner ear vibrates and emits sound. The tones making up Labyrinthitis are recorded otoaccoustic emissions from Kirkegaard's own ears, which he has composed into a musical piece. Complementing Kirkegaard's installation is a new selection of Stephen Gill's Audio Portraits which draw out the human act of listening in photographic form.

Other pieces in the exhibition include a new work by Dawn Scarfe which recreates mysteriously shaped Helmholtz resonators in glass (an example of Helmholtz resonance is the sound created when blowing across the top of an empty bottle), which visitors are invited to use in and around the gallery.

Members of the Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons have been tracking down sounds for over half a century and the flag of this association of amateur recordists flies in the gallery courtyard as an emblem for those for whom sound is always a positive force.

A new publication will accompany the exhibition, available free of charge in the gallery. The publication will document in more detail the six strands in the research project itself, as well as the works in the exhibition.

About the research project: Sound Escapes is an exhibition that marks the end of the Positive Soundscapes Project funded by The Engineering And Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). Alongside a public interpretation of the central research strands of the project, the exhibition also includes new and existing artwork by artists who, whilst not involved in the research project directly, work with soundscapes across a wide range of practices and whose work is in conversation with the scientific and sociological questions posed in the research.

The research itself breaks down into six interrelated but distinct strands, each with their own disciplinary area and research methodology:
1. Psychoacoustics - fMRI scanning of the brain's responses to auditory stimuli (University of Manchester and University of Nottingham).
2. Physiological Acoustics - Measuring changes to heart, respiratory rate and galvanic skin response during exposure to auditory stimuli (Manchester Metropolitan University).
3. Sociology - Soundwalking and focus group research to explode attitudes to sounds in two cities (University of Salford)
4. Perceptual Acoustics - Using laboratory listening to rate and rank peoples' preferences for sound quality (University of Warwick).
5. Artistic Research - Using a variety of creative approaches to make the soundscape visible, legible and (most importantly) audible (University of the Arts London) 6. Environmental Acoustics - Extending speech intelligibility research as a tool for sound-mapping (University of Salford and University of Manchester)

More information can be found at

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

interview with Isobel Clouter & Rob Mullender

late last year and/oar released the cd 'myths of origin' by Isobel Clouter & Rob Mullender:

At long last, after a culmination of delays amounting to 3 years,
and/OAR is extremely happy to finally present a full length release
featuring "singing sand" and "booming sand" recorded in Japan and
Mongolia by British sound artists Isobel Clouter and Rob Mullender.
"Singing sand", "booming sand", "whistling sand" or "barking sand"
is sand that produces sounds of either high or low frequency under
pressure. The sound emission is usually triggered by wind passing
over dunes or by walking on the sand.

Also featured are field recordings of a traditional Japanese Sawara
Matsuri festival, a Suikinkutsu (underground water zither), Uguisubari
(or Nightengale floor), Chion-in temple and Saiho-ji temple .

The recordings came about as a result of a project instigated in late
1999, which bears witness to a long held fascination with how the
environment generates and shapes culture, memory and myth. There
was no desire to conduct any scientific or anthropological field work,
but to collect a set of recordings which would serve to illustrate how
precious the sonic environment can be, and to act as founding
materials for a soundscape collection at the British Library Sound

Track listing:
1. Sawara matsuri, Singing sand, Suikinkutsu
2. Kotohiki-hama - Kotoga-hama beaches
3. Chion-in temple, Nightingale floor, Saiho-ji temple
4. Dune ascent / descent
5. Aosigetunoer descent
6. Baoritaolegainuoer Natural Booming
7. Baoritaolegainuoer descent
8. Dune 3 descent
9. Tibetan Prayer wheels, Xiahe

The audio CD also features a PDF of extra photos pertaining to the
recordings that can be accessed on a computer, and comes
packaged in a four color digipak and a 12 page booklet.

This CD is dedicated to the memory of Professor Shigeo Miwa, whose
warm generosity and enthusiasm was invaluable to the success of
this recording project, and whose work is mentioned in an interesting
article about booming sand and the environment, a PDF of which can
be found here .

over the past few months I have been sending questions to Isobel & Rob as part of and/oar's on going interview series. You can read the full article here.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

unnamed music festival & wedding ceremony

so, last night I performed as a duet with Patrick Farmer at the last night of the unnamed music festival (thanks to Simon Reynell of Another Timbre for arranging these events). After our distinctly fractured set Keith Rowe, Martin Kuchen & Seymour Wright took to the stage. Now, I'm sure I enjoyed their set but my memory remains fixed on the last 5 minutes before the applause. The sounds made by the trio on their instruments had ended & there was the usual couple of minutes silence of course - but as it went on the three players started, quietly to pack away their small objects - the sound of the room, the speaker hum & these tiny un self conscious sounds was the highlight for me ! I didn't want anyone to clap & i'm sure there were enough of us in the room who agreed on that - sadly someone got up to leave & so the applause came.

I finally got (thanks Richard) a copy of 'wedding ceremony' on Cathnor too:

Julia Eckhardt, Toshimaru Nakamura, Taku Sugimoto, Lucio Capece, Radu Malfatti, Christian Kersten - 'Wedding ceremony' (cathnor cath007)

I'd heard this cd a few times already & so putting it into my cd player at home I thought I knew what I was going to hear. Well, to some degree that was true but there was also something more: the calm & clear, familiar space of my home allowed me to let even more of this music to unfold. The sounds of the street outside + as in the end of the performance mentioned above, the sound of the space itself all combined to offer up layers of both immediate appeal & a Furuya-esque sense of respectful call to listen more.

I won't attempt a full review here. The best thing I can say is that this is a release that I will need a lot of time to listen & listen again to. I look forward to that.

Friday, 5 June 2009

exclusive radio broadcast (stream etc)

there will be a 28 minute section of my recordings broadcast from Portugal on the show curated by Paulo Raposo from Sirr records.

Tune in (over the net) on Friday, 12 June @ 20.30 on (streaming)

and Antena2, National Radio on 28 june 01-07h fm national broadcast (Portugal)