Exactly one year ago, I decided to record one sound from my environment every day for the next ten years. This felt rather distant at the time, given that I am usually unsure of my plans next Thursday evening. Commitment issues notwithstanding, thus far my quest has been successful; 365 sounds out of 3,650.
Why am I doing this? At first my motivation was to manipulate these sounds into musical compositions. As a composer and producer, I am obsessed with using digital signal processing to turn innocuous objects and naturally occurring phenomena into instruments that have personality and enigma. For example, I might record the sound of a miter saw growling to stretch into an aggressive textural drone. Or if it starts raining, I might build a song around the percussive pitter patter of drops on a window-mounted air conditioner.
An unexpected side effect has come from this daily documentation. I am becoming more aware. Not to wax overly poetic about all that the earth has to say to us, but I believe there is something to be said for paying attention. After one year of this routine, I have met new people, drawn crazy looks from strangers, and discovered pieces of wildlife I would not have otherwise.
Now I am here on the internet to share. I intend for this project to become an open forum that will bring other nerds together who love to record and make sounds. I will start by posting a short, simple track that I made exclusively using these samples as well as a suite of individual sounds for anyone to use! If you would like to share something that you have recorded, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post on the blog. By shaping our own sonic worlds through listening and recording, perhaps we might inspire each other to make something great.
Here are some of my mystery samples.
Here is the track: