Pedagogy of the Plants

Archive for the ‘Field Recordings and Music’ Category

Listen Under the Overpass

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overpass listen


Under glazed hazel, fibrous tissue tugs, fixing eyes to matching four inch screens. Father and son synchronize strides along the cement path. Colorless injection molded earbuds drown cardinal song, eddies whispering rivulet secrets, and eighteen wheelers thumping down the concrete and steel bypass twenty feet above. Stopping, the boy slaps dad on the shoulder, points, then shouts, “Listen!” The irony of exclamation from self-induced deafness is lost when curiosity focuses on two syllables yanking son and father from oblivion for a few minutes.


Rural Psychogeography

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Random horned bovinae and a derelict timber mill are but two curiosities greeting the (intentionally) lost along Madison County’s rural backroads.


Madison County Cattle Farm

Listen to four minutes, thirty-three seconds:

Weyerhaeuser Mill

Closed Weyerhaeuser Mill

After the crash, Weyerhaeuser closed its Colbert facility. From the 2008 press release:

“Demand for engineered wood products continues to decline due to a slowdown in the housing market.  As a result of these challenging market conditions, the Colbert facility will close for an indefinite period of time while we continue to balance supply with demand.”

Madison County Creek

Let’s hear it for the trees!

Disintegration and Growth

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Rusted rooftops like this one on Highway 15 evoke William Basinski’s melancholic tribute to September 11th. Listeners experience emotive decay as looping classical snippets on vintage magnetic tape deteriorate while ferrite disintegrates like oxidizing tin in the Georgia sun.

Dlp 2.2:

Dlp 3:

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Camping and Surfing in Frisco

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North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge spits drivers out onto a series of bridges along the final stretch of Highway 64.

Belle Orchestre’s complex and explosive cover of “Bucephalus Bouncing Ball” is the perfect accompaniment to highway driving in the sun…

If curious, here’s the frantic yet graceful original by Richard James:

After making a right on Highway 12 in Nags Head, encroaching dunes battle pernicious bulldozers along a series of awe-inspiring islands known collectively as the Outer Banks.  The photo above was taken in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

A kayaker’s dream, each island’s western edge hosts a tannic labyrinth of canals teeming with waterfowl and reptiles.

Tourists from around the world (and beyond) descend on the Outer Banks each summer.

Prometheus, are you getting this?

Frisco Campground rests among sand dunes and shrub thickets in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

In one of Janissse Ray’s memoirs (maybe Ecology of a Cracker Childhood?), she describes a friend who, within a given year, measures his quality of life by the number of nights outside, dreaming under the stars.  This character resonated in a way that wouldn’t take effect for seven years.

So this is a summer of firsts.  On a tiny ribbon of sand and scrub over 600 miles from home, I camped alone for the first time, and surfed waves above shifting sandbars closer to the edge of the continental shelf than any shore on the eastern seaboard.

What’s next?

White Dam and Eastern Bloc Blues

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Remnants of incapacitated industry bring to mind contemporary interpretations of Eastern Bloc sounds.  This first sample, produced by the Polish nu jazz duo Skalpel, offers hip hop beats occupied by Polish jazz samples scrubbed from the archives.


Igor Boxx, 1/2 of Skalpel, recently went solo with the debut album Breslau.  Compared to the lush, polished sound of Skalpel, his tracks have a colder resonance.

“Russian Percussian”

“Fear of a Red Planet”

Aaron Funk is a Canadian electronic artist known as Venetian Snares.  During a 2005 trip to Hungary, he produced the album Rossz Csillag Alatt Született.

The concept of the album came when Aaron Funk imagined himself as a pigeon on Budapest’s Királyi Palota (Royal Palace).  Its third track, “Öngyilkos vasárnap” is a cover of the song “Szomorú vasárnap” (“Gloomy Sunday”) by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress, which has been referred to as the Hungarian suicide song. According to urban legend, Seress’s song has inspired the suicide of multiple persons, including his fiancée. The song was reportedly banned in Hungary. It has also been covered by many artists. Billie Holiday’s vocals are sampled in this track.


“Öngyilkos Vasárnap”

Ghosts of Summer

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This ghost plant’s had many lives.   Continue reading about the succulent specter…

Flowers in the Hood

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This afternoon I walked to school to check on our class vegetable bed and take some photos along the way.  During the school year, the morning walk takes between ten and fifteen minutes.  Avian neighbors’ songs become familiar, as do annual changes in foliage, and the comfortable smells of breakfast.   Continue the tour…

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm