Sounds of the Early 21st Century aims to document the audio manifestations of unique locations across the globe. Established in 2010, Jonny Wray and Mat Rademan dedicate the same clarity of vision and attention to composition to this ongoing series of field recordings as they do their (non) musical projects.
The result is an approach to capturing acoustic occurrences in both natural and human worlds that is uniquely their own. The project's forbearers and direct inspirations include such ventures and luminaries as Syntonic Research Inc. - "Environments" series, the Voyager Golden Record, Dan Gibson's "Solitudes" series, the work of John Cage, and The Golding Institute’s examinations of the sounds of contemporary American culture. Perhaps most significant among these influences is the seminal “Environments” field recording series, remarkable for its acute attention to audio fidelity and inventive selection of locale. These two themes in particular see their continuation in Sounds of the Early 21st Century. Where this project breaks with its predecessors is its interest in urban malaise and the volatility of nature. The intersection of time and place is explored, and the result is not always picturesque. Far from the well-worn path of transporting listeners to an exotic, peaceful environment that many previous aural documentarians have treaded, Sounds of the Early 21st Century chooses not to place agreeable sounds on an undeserved pedestal. Instead, a selection of unique locations are presented in all their unvarnished glory, whether polluted or tranquil, chaotic or serene. You are hearing moments in the beginning of the second millennia, like it or not.
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