Hearing Oil


Over Spring Break, I took a Zoom H4N, a T-mic, a contact mic, a Sony cassette recorder, and a hydrophone to Southern California. I recorded sounds in Huntington Beach and Santa Barbara. I was interested in sounds relating to oil. The sounds could include, but are not limited to: cars, trucks, library music, synthesizers, pumpjacks, plastic frisbees scraping on the ground, the ocean, a chain-link fence surrounding a pumpjack, a gas station, an oral history about the beginning of the environmental movement, etc.. With this initial project I’ve been interested in the juxtaposition of recording technologies. I used a cheap cassette recorder with a HIGH signal-to-noise ratio…and a digital recorder that captures a broader range of the frequency spectrum. I’m aiming to do away with notions of “better” and “worse” and replace those ideas with...

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