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Discovered sound artists

Introduction to a few great sound artists I have been researching lately

Bill Fontana

He is an American composer and artist. He is known internationally for his experiments that use sound to transform and redefine perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. He works with videos as well, he keeps them simple but effective. I think some have too much of effects but the fact that they are essential allows the viewer to focus more on the sound.

In his show “Primal Sonic Visions”he tries to awaken a global emotional reaction to the environment. As people enter the space, they begin an emotional experience as they encounter the primal power and beauty of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy sources.

“Visitors then entering this exhibition are met with an organically flowing and immersive series of sonic and visual abstractions created from renewable power sources of wind, moving water, the sun and ancient heat from the core of the earth.”

The videos aim at the creation of an atmosphere which is based on the different sounds, mainly of water, recorederd in all different countries.

I believe the presentation of his work is very effective and creates immersive experiences.

Link for interview http://echosounddesign.com/media/PBS_Hear_Now..mp4    

Leif Bush

He is a great sound artist who listens to the rhythm of nature and follows it, in order to record “nature’s music”, and then he tries to connect it with the visual as well, which is something I have been working in my own practice.

His practice revolves around the monitoring of nature’s sounds with Terrain-Based Constructions . These are conceptually identified as unique catalysts and conduits for re-contextualizing Earth’s wave and vibration “sound tracks.”


Terrain Instruments are sound-monitoring constructions and installations in the landscape which allow the artists to work with sound as a simultaneous adjunct to form, seeking and orchestrating actual natural forces rather than simply physically replicating them or synthesizing artificial sources.

Terran instrument mix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAnUuSn0l9k      

His own approach to composition incorporates both decision and chance. The viewer/listener is asked to use new channels of perception to experience artworks that proceed from a traditional source, the natural environment.

Link for interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw8QJ2ZXx_s    

Johanna Hällsten

Her work focuses on the translation between different cultures, species, and forms, to address the interrelation between sounds and environments, and the transience of the sound spaces created through movement. She also attempts to give voice to phenomena we do not normally think of as having a voice such as vulcanos.

Rupture (10min performance by choir)

In her piece Rupture, for example, she aims at the exploration of different translation processes within music and voice performance making the a choir perform the sounds of the environment and the animals inhabiting it.

The use of voice in her work explores the dynamic of a shared voice whilst also being able to draw attention to the individual’s role in communicating as part of a symbiotic system.

What interests me about her practice is her work of translation and analysis of the environmental languages and the audience participation within some of her pieces, where the public is invited to perform as an impromptu ‘choir’. She brings the performance in dialogue with her sound work, which is then activated by the action of the public.

Russell Frehling

He is a deep listening engineer who runs the nonprofit foundation “Pauline Olivero’s Deep Listening Space” and also worked on behalf of Greenpeace in Iki (Japan) on acoustic underwater fences for dolphins that were supposed to prevent conflicts between fishermen and the animals.

He is an expert in sound work and avant-garde recordings, for which he is best known.

His installations are essentially works of sculpture with sound employed for its physical ability to occupy and define space and function in three dimensions. In his work the materials and structure for each piece are drawn from the “available” ambient sounds and physical properties inherent in each site: the sound of the work is the sound of the place.

Alan Lamb

Alan Lamb is a sound artist, composer, sculptor and biomedical researcher who has long been fascinated by the vibrating qualities of telegraph wires. Since he was a child, he and his sister used to press their ears against a telegraph pole to ‘hear the sound of the world’. He has worked with abandoned telegraph wires on several sites across Australia and installed new structures in order to produce and record music from them.


Lamb is arguably best known for his large-scale aeolian systems, which he has built on a number of properties across the south-west of Western Australia. Lamb constructs, treats and records the sounds of suspended wires in the natural landscape, and has made over a dozen recordings of these sounds since 1979.
In 2011 Lamb built an iteration of an instrument that he had been working on for some time – the Chaos Machine, which vibrates a number of wires using pulsed and fluctuating magnetic fields. 

Alan has also completed extensive research into auditory perception and developed theories relating to the wire music and its behaviour.

Here’s a link to his interview https://sonicfield.org/2011/07/alan-lamb-interview/