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Los Angeles River Field Recording Workshop with Lawrence English and Steven Roden

August 11, 2012 @ 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm


$60 per person
$50 for LACE Members
Space is limited to 15


The beauty of field recording is that it can happen anywhere. This August, join artists Steve Roden and Lawrence English as they cast their ears towards to the Los Angeles River, seeking out the natural and urban sounds that collide along its banks. The LA River is one of the iconic visual landmarks of the city, and it also happens to contain a diverse sound world, both above and below the surface. Join Roden and English as they explore various “sound locations” along the river, collect recordings, share techniques/methods and discuss the ways in which field recordings can be used in sound art and music practices.


You don’t need to be a skilled field recorder to attend – this is for everyone, from the curious first timer to the well-experienced sound designer. This field trip will cover not just technical aspects, but philosophical, aesthetic and conceptual approaches to working with environmental sound.


Participants are required to bring their own recording device – whether it is a digital field recorder, cassette recorder, minidisc, iPhone, iPad, video camera, or other mobile recording device. Roden and English will teach how you can capture very interesting and compelling recordings using any kind of technology.



Lawrence English is media artist, composer and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He utilizes a variety of approaches including sound, installation, projection and polymedia objects to create works that meditate on subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to consider that which might sit at the edge of or beyond their perception. His pieces have been presented widely in Europe, the UK and Japan, as well as in the USA, NZ and Australia.


In 2006 English produced Silence Listening, a series of sound art works specifically for the deaf and hearing impaired. He published the book Site Listening in 2009, a methodology for engaging with sound encountered in public and environmental spaces. English has performed fieldwork in Antarctica resulting in The Antarctica Suite including the 10 screen, 8.8 sound installation The Monolith. His achievements also include the completion of a series of public artworks, a number of collaborative exhibitions, and multiple curatorial projects in sound for the Institute of Modern Art under the moniker Mono. Outside of his art practice, English composes provocative sound and music of which The Wire notes “the use of space and silence is remarkable” and Signal To Noise calls “extraordinarily gorgeous modern music concrete.” He has written extensively for publications orbiting topics of music, art and culture.


Steve Roden is a visual and sound artist based in Pasadena. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film/video, sound installation and performance. Roden’s working process uses various forms of specific notation (words, musical scores, maps, etc.) and translates them through self-invented systems into scores; which then influence the process of painting, drawing, sculpture, and sound composition. These scores, rigid in terms of their parameters and rules, are also full of holes for intuitive decisions and left turns. The inspirational source material becomes a kind of formal skeleton for the finished abstract works. In his visual works, translations of information such as text and maps become rules and systems for generating visual actions such as color choices, number of elements, and image building.


He has been exhibiting his visual and sound works since the mid 1980?s, and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including: Mercosur Biennial Porto Alegre Brazil, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, UCLA Hammer Museum Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art EMST Athens Greece, Singuhr-Horgalerie in Parochial Berlin, Center for Book Arts New York, The Kitchen New York, Pomona College Museum of Art, La Casa Encendida Madrid, Susanne Vielmetter LA and Berlin Projects, Studio la Citta Verona Italy, and others. In 2010, curator Howard Fox organized the exhibition steve roden / in between: a 20 year survey, which opened at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, and was accompanied by a full color catalog.