The Acoustic City
A publication as part of my UCL/Leverhulme Residency is now out:
The Acoustic City consists of a series of cutting-edge essays on sound and the city accompanied by a specially commissioned CD. The book comprises five thematic sections: urban soundscapes with an emphasis on the distinctiveness of the urban acoustic realm; acoustic flânerie and the recording of sonic environments; sound cultures arising from specific associations between music, place, and sound; acoustic ecologies including relationships between architecture, sound, and urban design; and the politics of noise extending to different instances of anxiety or conflict over sound. This innovative essay collection will be of interest to a wide range of disciplines including architecture, cultural studies, geography, musicology, and urban sociology.
You can get it here
Moers Festival, Moers, Germany, Saturday 07 June and Sunday 08 June, 17:30 - 20 clock
THE COMMANDERY - LACOMMANDE | 23 May | 19h00
Halle des expositions d'Évreux | Thursday May 22nd | 8h30
ARTOTHÈQUE ESPACES D’ART CONTEMPORAIN PALAIS DUCAL | Tuesday May 20th | 21h30
Sonic Lyon, Lyon, Thursday May 15th
Cave 12 Wednesday May 14th - 21h00 (concert 21h30 !)
Fuse Arts Space, City of Bradford, UK
Join us to celebrate the launch of Bradford's newest contemporary art space! We'll be opening our doors to unveil the first UK print exhibition of Portrait Salon 2013, with a live performance from BJNilsen and music from Bomb Shop DJs. Free entry, free drinks - we have limited capacity so get down early! Find out more about Fuse Art Space
Opening party: Friday 10th January 2014, 7pm
5-7 Rawson Place, Bradford BD1 3QQ
SCHNEIDER TM // BJ NILSEN
DOUBLE RELEASE CONCERT 21 Nov 2013
Ausland Berlin, Deutschland
Schneider TM - "Guitar Sounds" (Bureau B)
BJ Nilsen - "Eye Of The Microphone" (TOUCH)
+ party with Falko Teichmann! Doors & Bar 21:00 h | Concerts 22:00h | VVK @ koka36
OUT TODAY*** Eye of the Microphone
Available to order from November 20th
Extended Digipak - 3 tracks - 43:19
Mastered By Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Track listing and notes:
2. Coins and Bones
3. Twenty Four Seven
BJ Nilsen (b,1975 Sweden) Is a sound and recording artist. His work is based on the sound of nature and its effect on humans. He primarily uses field recordings and electronic composition as a working method. He has worked for film, television, theatre, dance and as sound designer. His newest album presented here is “Eye Of The Microphone” [Touch # TO:95, 2013] - a somewhat surreal audio rendition of the sounds of The City of London. Currently also working on The Acoustic City, a book publication with CD, co-edited with Matthew Gandy, [2014, JOVIS Verlag, Berlin].
Recorded and Mixed in London 2012 – 2013
++ To stroll properly, one should not have any particular plans ++
In 2012 I received a scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust for a one-year Artist in Residency at the UCL Urban Laboratory in London, to introduce sound as an art practice to urban scholars and students. As part of my research I decided to dérive the city.
I spent full days and sometimes nights sweeping the streets and its interiors for sound - walking and listening with no route or intention. A city without sound does not exist. Every location, passageway, alley, road, park, and pub contains its own world of isolated sound events and patterns - the sound of a shopping bag caught by the wind on the asphalt of a busy street when a bus passes by. What seems to be merely a bus is also a cacophony of sounds, a sound world in itself: hydraulics, breaks, interior noise, honking, public announcements, humans, rolling bottles, cell phones, mp3 players. The rattle of an air-conditioning unit in an old pub toilet gradually develops its broken down sound over many years, creating a raga for it own demise. Nobody seems to hear it. Is it there? The choice of sound varies; it's a personal selection, some sounds made it into this composition, many hours of recording didn’t.
Sound composition can alter space and time and transform a specific location and experience into an imaginary world.
Standing on Francis Street behind Victoria Station, it is a sunny spring afternoon and the air is crisp. For a location so central it is a quiet street, for about ten seconds… As the bells of a nearby church in the Diocese Of Westminster start to chime I press record. They merge into a vehicle and then into a woman on a bike, and as she breaks to make a turn, in the distance a cellphone rings. All the time a train engine has been idle.
London pulls you towards water. You are bound to reach the river at some point. On a grey and foggy afternoon, I reached the bank of the Thames during low tide. There, the sand, algae, mud, and brick buildings isolated the acoustics revealing great detail. An almost interior space, surrounded by old shoes, pieces of porcelain, half a chair, bones, bricks, wood structures, and washed up electronics, it felt like looking into the future as well as the past. To the left there were the distant smudged out towers of Canary Wharf, and to the right Tower Bridge completely shrouded in fog. The drones of the clippers on the river suddenly sounded electronic, the occasional vague beep of metal detectors belonging to coin hunters tracing our past. A chainsaw starts up from one of the workshops nearby. Back in the studio, listening, a surreal city begins to unfold.
2. Coins and Bones.
Without the multi-sensory impressions and visual synchronisation at the very present moment of recording, certain memories and perceptions seem to grow stronger.
Maybe a pure field recording is not the most accurate representation of a place.
3. Twenty Four Seven.
Where does the city begin?
We took the East Anglia Line from London Liverpool Street only a 30 minute ride away and we arrived at Cheshunt Station and stepped into Lee Valley.
It is a vast area of water, grass, reed bed, and woodlands, and lots of wildlife. The weather is perfect, a clear and warm summer day. Here, the sound of distant trains going back into the city served as a backdrop together with overhead airplanes. As we are sitting on a small grass patch by a large pond, ducks, swans and coots suddenly notice us, expecting some food. We gave them some tiny pieces of bread. The swans took over and started to fight. After a long track we end up by Regents Canal and The Kingsland Basin Redevelopment site.
Twenty four seven doesn’t exist here. It’s a microclimate of nuances and the personal mind of getting up early to make some recordings.
A microphone is both a lark and a night owl.
St. Paul’s as seen from the London Eye. Cranes rebuilding the City – a highchair for birdsong...
Touch Radio 100 | BJNilsen
Continue reading: Touch Radio 100 | BJNilsen
Tutto Bene, Mamma?
Sound design for Tutto Bene, Mamma? by Gloria Mina
15 June - 6 July 2013
The Print Room present the UK Premiere
In a new English version by April de Angelis
A unique theatre experience in complete darkness directed by Ewan Marshall
FEED AT KW 062713
Thursday June 27th, 2013
Kunstwerke, Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin
Doors: 19h, Concert: 20h, Tickets: 10€
DIGITAL IS DEAD
May 2nd at Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX1 1BP
"DIGITAL IS DEAD is a festival about post-digital music practice. When digital technology is no longer novel, when zeroes and ones become ubiquitous in everyday life, what happens to the way people write music? Over three evenings and an afternoon from the 2nd to 4th of May, Oxford will play host to some of today's foremost electronic music artists. With headline sets from Tim Hecker, BJ Nilsen and Oval, this is an insanely rare opportunity to see some of the biggest names on the scene play on consecutive nights, all in the same place."
More info here