Thursday, 19 December 2013

a specially edited 20 minute section of my piece for Tate Modern - 'audible silence - the tate, sleeping & waking' will be the soundtrack in the special family gallery installation - from 21st Dec - 19th Jan....very pleased that younger folks are getting to hear it even more.

A section is also part of the 'Juke Box meets Tate Britain' installation / activity - at the learning gallery, Tate Britain until Feb 2014.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

two archive releases:

Monday, 9 December 2013

please note: this blog is no longer regularly updated - time is a precious thing indeed and whilst I do what I can to further the various positive aspects of field recording its become increasingly difficult to find time to post information on the rapidly expanding field recording world.

however, I do curate and admin a very active group on facebook 'a quiet position' - do connect there if you've enjoyed this blog

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

this remarkable public building was, for a time, derelict and on the verge of being demolished. A team of dedicated volunteers and fundraisers have, along with all the other activities that now take place there, given back to the nation a remarkable listening lens. 

every building has its own voice, to which is added chorales of the locale in which it sits. I often spend long periods of time listening to buildings and think of it as a privilege and a rare chance to spend time allowing their voices to become fully audible to me. However, asking others to do this at the same time is, I have to admit, often a big ask. We as a species are happy to sit quietly watching something - a view, a picture, a tv or cinema screen, but to sit and listen, paying as much attention to the audible as we do to the visual in our daily lives is something that remains a challenge or a puzzling idea for lots of people.

in the afternoon our small group were free to explore the entire building, listening to it with our ears and with various microphones and devices. During the afternoon break myself & Rae made a recording with small omni microphones in one of the pool sections (tracks 1 & 3), this included playing back into the space a geophone recoding made earlier. In the evening we invited the public to come and listen to this remarkable space (tracks 2 & 4). Some asked what we were listening to or what for ? most expressed surprise at how much they enjoyed the experience even when they perceived that ‘nothing’ was actually being played in the space. That, it seems to me, was a good outcome indeed.

- jez riley french 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

a nice blog post from Steve about the Wildeye trip to Iceland earlier this year, with examples of his recordings & photos....thanks Steve !

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

insect recordings, gathered from sweden, italy and across the uk....

new release - a dawn chorus recording, with conventional microphones & geophones, recorded at foxley wood, Norfolk....

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

for those unable to get to Tate Modern to hear my headphone piece, it's now available online also:

highly recommended website featuring field recording focused video of the Finnish coast:

Monday, 12 August 2013

digital reissue of out of print releases, inc. from the 8cm cd reviewed in The Wire:

review from 'The Wire' (December 2008 issue):

'two pieces comprising untreated field recordings of Yorkshire waterways, recorded with the composer's self built hydrophones. He insists that it's not the technical perfection of a location recording that he's after, but a sense of emotional interaction with the landscape. That's not to say that he's slapdash with his methods - both tracks have a fabulously evocative tactile quality that clearly demonstrates the composer's attention to, and delight in the most minute details of sound. The result of such open-hearted diligence is a brief, captivating mini-cd, beautifully packaged (Richard Skelton's work comes to mind), and which reminds us that listening is the most important part of composition' - Keith Keith Moliné

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

recently the artists Sebastiane Hegarty and Dr. Simon Park attempted to dissolve one of my hydrophones in sulphuric acid - an experiment that not only resulted in some interesting sounds but also in the surprising fact that the hydrophone survived !

here's the post from his website, where you can also listen to a sound sample:

I recently visited the chemical abode of Dr. Simon Park with the nefarious intention of immersing a hydrophone in Sulphuric acid and listening as it recorded the sound of its own dissolve into silence. I provided the hydrophone and Simon provided the acid (also known as oil of vitriol), along with the appropriate protection of gloves and goggles. We decided to conduct the experiment outside on a garden table, its surface protected from harm with a copy of the Sunday Times supplement, featuring Princess and sprout.
Unfortunately, this vitriolic and potentially expensive experiment failed, the Jez Riley Frenchhydrophone quietly surviving all attempts at chemical destruction. However, we were able to conduct other experiments into the sonification of chemistry. Simon has recently been encasing deceasedbumblebees in the blue sarcophagi of copper sulphate crystals. Knowing the anhydrous properties of the compound, Simon suggested we listen to the compound (also known as blue vitriol) quenching its thirst for water. As he dropped the white powder into a plastic container of water, we could hear the exothermic reaction, as energy was released in a short, but deep blue fug of sound. Using a pipette we dripped precisely measured droplets of water onto a hydrophone covered in the compound, producing sonic eruptions of blue like tiny burns in the surface of audition.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

a short extract from the on-going teleferica project & forthcoming release

Friday, 2 August 2013

120+ minutes of audio + 60 page pdf book of photographs

5 tracks - 91+ minutes of audio + 61 page pdf book of photographs


Sunday, 28 July 2013

2 track download album


2 x 8cm cdr on A6 art cards + download + 3 additional cards with download links to exclusive tracks by JrF, Sawako & Hiroki Sasajima

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

for 6 musicians & locale (topolo, italy - july 2013)

photos by Maria Silvano

Sunday, 7 July 2013

archives # 2

Thursday, 4 July 2013

two recordings....

an unprocessed field recording of the external staircase at the School of Architecture, Sheffield - resonating with the wind and recorded using 2 JrF c-series contact microphones.
This recording is best listened to on headphones.

tadpoles and water beetles, recorded at Froghall Wharf, Derbyshire - June 2013 with 2 JrF d-series hydrophones into a Sound Devices 7-series recorder.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

new things....

new 'caught by the river' fanzine on field recording, edited by Cheryl Tipp & featuring writing from various folks, including myself....

available from the CBtR website + i'll have some copies soon

also, coming soon: a very limited edition set of 3 postcards (published in Japan) with links to field recordings by myself, Sawako & Hiroki. I'll hopefully have around 20 copies for sale....

Saturday, 8 June 2013

i'm pleased to announce that my commission for Tate Modern will be available for listening at The Tate Modern from June 22nd for 2+ months:

audible silence: the tate, sleeping and waking

jez riley french

buildings sing....their walls, their floors, chairs and tables are full of sound, of their own music, made by vibrations, made even by the world turning. these pieces feature only untreated sounds directly recorded with special microphones and listening devices in the tate building itself.

'for this set of 3 new pieces Jez spent several nights alone in the Tate Modern building, listening for hours, capturing moments when the surfaces of the structure resonated or the sounds normally beyond our range of hearing offered up particularly evocative, unscripted compositions'

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday, 26 April 2013

for folks with DPA, Sanken, Sennheiser etc lavaliers these fluffy wind protection bubbles look really interesting.

some test units have now arrived and i've been out testing them with the DPA4060's over the last couple of days. I intend to do further, longer tests in the coming weeks and will be posting some audio soon, but for now here are my initial findings:

. one drawback of other fluffy's for small lavaliers is that they have a habit of falling off, which can be an expensive issue if one spends lots of time out and about recording in different conditions and environments. The BBi's (bubblebee industries) have a much better way of overcoming this issue by having very tight elastic (?) and also with the inclusion of the small 'bubble' space inside. 

. BBi's come in a variety of sizes for different mics. With the DPA's (with metal screen on) its actually the 03 size that fits best. The 04 size fits well with the DPA's with the foam pop-shields on also.

. I ran most side by side tests with the DPA4060's in this manner:
  1) no fluffy's on
  2) rycote fluffy's on
  3) BBi's on - size 04 (with & without foams)
  4) BBi's on - size 03
  5) BBi's on - size 02
tests focused on voice, wooded environment with birds, empty church, piano in church.

. so far i've not detected any large (in relative terms) differences between the rycote and the BBi's in terms of sound quality / clarity. One possible area of difference was slightly noticeable in tests on the voice but further tests are needed to fully explore this. It's a very, very slight difference and those who know me will know that I'm able to listen extremely critically when needed so its unlikely to be an issue  for most purposes, even if there is a difference - which i'm not convinced of yet (could have been down to very slight distance between each of the mics or indeed the voice travel itself).

. depending on their price (UK price still to be announced) for now i'd say the advantage of having fluffy's that stay on & that sound very clear indeed means the BBi's are a serious addition to the market. I would think that eventually all fluffy's will have some better way of holding the mics in place or built-in air gap - perhaps like the Rode Lavalier fluffy's, where the mics click into place and are held in a very small air protection cage. Until then, it looks and sounds like BBi have provided a solution that is well worth looking at.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday, 8 April 2013

I'm now able to supply those great DPA mics to UK customers including the worlds best omni-directional mics:

SMK4060 kit with mounts, xlr adaptors etc.

SMK4060 Stereo Mic Kit w. 4060

The SMK4060 Stereo Microphone Kit is a cost-effective and flexible stereo recording solution aimed at project studios and for discreet mic setup on stage. 

The SMK4060 combines two DPA 4060s omnidirectional miniature microphones, Hi-Sens, with a variety of mounting accessories. These include the BLM6000 Boundary Layer Mount, which can be used in conjunction with a 4060 (or any of DPA’s miniature mics) to place the mic on a reflective boundary such as a floor, wall, ceiling, piano lid etc, enabling them to capture the ambient sound of the area. The sound captured from this “pressure zone” has higher sensitivity, clarity and intelligibility compared to the sound captured from the "free air" and serves as a kind of acoustical zoom. 

Also included in the kit is among others the DMM0007 soft rubber holder. This allows all kinds of instruments, from acoustic guitar through grand piano to drums, to be mounted in the best-sounding position, using special non-marking adhesive discs 

Also available as SMK4061 with a DPA4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphone, Lo-Sens.

What is in the boxThe DPA SMK4060 Stereo Microphone Kit contains:

2 x 4060 Omnidirectional Mic, Hi-Sens, Black, 3 meter cable, high boost and soft boost grids
2 x BLM6000-B Boundary Layer Mount, Black
2 x DAD6001-BC MicroDot to 3-pin XLR (P48) w. Belt Clip
1 x DMM0007 Universal Surface Mount, 5 pcs.
2 x DMM0011-B Magnet Mount, Black
1 x DUA0560 Windscreen, Black, 5 pcs.

PRICE: please email me for a quote
(the price will be very competitive)

to view the entire DPA range visit the DPA website here.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

a selection of recordings made by various recordists using JrF contact microphones, hydrophones and coils:

Sunday, 24 March 2013

new series on Channel 4 - sound by Chris Watson using JrF c-series contact mics to listen in on the internal sounds of various animal & insect eggs:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Saturday, 2 March 2013

now available for free / donate download:

a quiet position - wired lab

this collection of pieces stems from a workshop delivered at the Wired Lab by Jez riley French in September 2012. Those who attended (+ a few other artists with connections to the site) were invited to submit tracks representing discoveries made. 

In addition, Jez created one of his ‘scores for listening’ for the Wired Lab and this is reproduced in the pdf artwork.

Chris Watson kindly also submitted a track capturing aspects of ‘rolling stock’, one of the projects that Sarah Last & Dave Burraston of The Wired Lab curate away from the main Wired Lab site.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

recently i've been looking into a new backpack for carrying gear on longer walks & Martin Hogg sent the following pictures & info on the Tamrac Expedition 8 - which is large enough to take a blimp & lots of other gear + a laptop:

So here’s what you can cram into the main bit of the bag. The velcro compartments are totally customisable:
the rode blimp (NT4 inside)
Marantz PMD661
Edirol R-09
Rycote fluffy and pistol grip
DPA 4061 kit 
AT897 mic
(i’ve had a tiny tripod in here before too, at the same time)

The bag is meant to take enormous heavy camera lenses so is built like a tank but relatively light weight. I walked miles and miles around sweden with it full of this kit and although heavy when full it’s extremely comfy for long hikes. Very waterproof also.

zipped sections on the inside of the lid fit all contacts/hydros and spare cable etc.

two outside pockets have a number of small pouches which i keep all adapters, spare batteries, spare HD cards, notebook etc etc

There’s a space here for tripods/boompoles but the boom pole will NOT be allowed as hand luggage (i stashed mine in the other luggage with clothes for a trip and unpacked it on arrival).

Martin Hogg 
Twitter is @acoustic_baffle

Friday, 1 February 2013

a new piece by Jez riley French is now available on Touch Radio 

it features recordings made on a trip to Australia in 2012 for a residency at The Wired Lab, though these particular recordings are from the Blue Mountains region.

bower floor | dawn chorus with rain | canyon wires

music sits above and under the first impression.
when duration allows these things come into focus, increasingly.
in swifter moments a sense of quietude is possible.
still, finding pace with listening as a lens, moving
A quiet position: amidst the bright work
A one day workshop / field walk around Tottenham Marshes with Jez Riley French
Saturday 23rd March | 10am prompt start - 5pm finish | Tottenham Marshes
Meeting point: Tottenham Hale Station at 9:45am or SoundFjord gallery at 9:15am prompt
Free but reservation ticket is essential.

Listening and recording; above and under the waters.

All are welcome, though the day will be most fully explored by those with their own recording equipment. We’ll be listening in on the sounds of aquatic life through the use of hydrophones, the resonances of bridges and other structures along the way via contact microphones, using other techniques to listen in on hidden audible signals and of course taking in the sounds of birdlife in the area. 

Meeting outside Tottenham Hale train station at 10am, we will walk along the Lee navigational canal, stopping when and where the mood takes us. Listening, discussing and simply enjoying the local soundscapes of this oft overlooked part of London. Depending on the weather, we might decide to head back to the SoundFjord gallery for a warm up and further discussion later in the afternoon.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Jez riley French - 'instamatic: czech republic'


6 pieces, recorded during 2 different trips to the czech republic, featuring conventional and contact microphones & listening glasses.

available as a digital download only - free or donate if you would like to contribute - profits will go towards future releases by other artists. thanks.

Monday, 28 January 2013

available from february 2013
(shipping around 18th Feb)

'In the Field - the art of field recording'
by Cathy Lane and Angus Carlyle.

240 page book, hand sewn with flaps.

conversations with Manuela Barile, Angus Carlyle, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Viv Corringham, Peter Cusack, Steven Feld, Felicity Ford, Jez riley French, Antye Greie, Christina Kubisch, Cathy Lane, Francisco López, Annea Lockwood, Andrea Polli, Ian Rawes, Lasse-Marc Riek, Hiroki Sasajima, Davide Tidoni, Hildegard Westerkamp and Jana Winderen. 

cover photo by my daughter (proud dad moment !) Pheobe riley Law

£12 + postage and packing

1st printing now sold out

Patrick Franke has made available over 200 of his bird recordings from Kazakhstan on the xeno-canto website & they are well worth exploring + can also be downloaded in MP3 format.

species include: chukar partridge, marsh sandpiper, White-crowned Penduline TitClamorous Reed WarblerRosy StarlingCommon Rosefinch, Pine bunting etc. etc.  - 118 species in total !

Thursday, 24 January 2013

new release: 


movere (estonia)  |  jez riley french

a residency at Moks in rural Estonia during spring 2009 came at a time where my thoughts about improvising with field recordings and methods of composition where in flux. they always are of course, but it’s fair to say that during 2009 my work was moving in a series of different directions.

. the simplicity and clarity of placing unprocessed single recordings within durational frames 
. the continuing power of hidden sonic elements to create their own compositions 
. the energy of textural intuitive playing . the quietude of audible silence
 . the stillness of movement contained with photography, for scores and more

some recordings, like those in my ‘instamatic’ series, are immediate and work as documents of listening. others take time and drift in and out of ones view. it is some of these later recordings that form the basis of this new release. they have taken time to appear, time to ‘fit’ and time to be fully formed.

motet: from the latin movere, ("to move"), describing the movement of different voices against one another

movere (estonia) begins a new series of works, centered around the word ‘movere’, that focus on ways that field recordings, including those of in-situ responses, act as choral musics - voices of places, objects and actions working with and against one another towards a, still intuitive, compositional line.

movere (estonia) is released on february 11th as a limited edition taiyo yudon professional cd-r, mounted on A5 recycled card.

3 short extracts from the three 'motets' on the disc can be heard here:

extract from a longer interview by Sabine Verdely:

SV: I read your words about this release and new series of works and I hear in the pieces that they are not as subtle, in a normal meaning of the word, as I expected. There is more density and impact. Can you talk about this ?

JrF: yes, I understand what you mean. I'm working on some more 'movere' works that are very subtle - a step closer to quietude than, say, the 'audible silence' pieces. However the pieces on this release are a kind of cleansing, a way to say that something from the time of their origin was started and has a kind of trailing light that is still visible in the present.

SV: Is it music of a kind that you don't perform now ?

JrF: hmmm, well, live I always perform intuitively so its impossible really to say what is going to happen. I think though that some of the grain in these pieces, especially the third motet which is the earliest, represents an approach to intuitive composition that I was questioning and, in some ways, I have other questions now. 

SV: I think I am not alone when saying that I think of your work as always being quiet. I am not talking about volume with this. This release is more like the cd you made with Hankil Ryu, yes ?

JrF: well, both that cd (birdcage wallpaper) and the pieces on this one are quite close in terms of when they were recorded or begun, so yes, i'm sure there are some connections, though on the cd with Hankil I am actually playing very quiet sounds.

SV: I know when you are playing concerts you have used the salt a lot for a long time and also paper, but here you make with them a different type of sounds. 

JrF: yes, I think I agree with that. Oddly, I was in rural Estonia and it was very quiet and secluded there. It was unusual for louder sounds or approaches to appear when I was recording. On the second motet though there is a very quiet sound, of fingers, which whilst quite loud volume wise, is actually a very subtle sound. I had the microphones very close to my fingers and so this is perhaps one place where its possible to hear quietness even in something close to the ears so to speak.

SV: I am thinking a lot when I am listening to this cd. I find that some parts are a surprise to me. Did you aim for this ?

JrF: no, not at all. I simply make the music that I like or that seems to arrive. I left these particular recordings alone for a long time. I didn't even have them waiting for a possible release. In fact I was working on another set of pieces and then I decided to listen again to the work from Estonia and I found that the first and third motet now felt 'right' for a release. The second motet was not complete - its actually two recordings and for a long time I didn't know how to connect them. I often find that things find their place in ways that simply just arrive. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

all engraved glass and . point engraved digital download releases have been re-priced to £4.99 (for standard releases) or free / donate (for archive and a quiet position releases). This decision comes as a result of extensive research and seeking the opinions of folks worldwide - thanks for the input ! all profits go towards future releases....

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

new series on channel 4 - starts 21st January and if you hear bees they'll be the ones I recorded for the show....