In 1937, in a talk titled The Future of Music: Credo, John Cage said, "I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard ..."
As a salute to Cage for his leadership in what Joel Chadabe called "the great opening up of music to all sounds", and in the spirit of the 100th anniversary year of his birth, we are building a list of 100 sounds. If you're interested in participating in this project ... learn more
Meanwhile, please feel free to download any or all of these sounds and use them in your compositions. To download to a Mac, control-click on the title. To a PC, right-click on the title.
1: Good Friday Morning at Wombat Hill. Warren Burt. 10:30am, April 6, 2012. This recording, made in the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, contains the sounds of many Australian birds, including magpies, sulphur-crested cockatoos, currawongs, ravens, corellas, pardalotes, and the odd honeyeater or three. Dominating are the sounds of cockatoos and currawongs, and the odd (very odd) tourist or two can be heard as well.
2: Yaks at Gorak Shep. Amandine Pras. 3am, April 5, 2011. "This recording was made at Gorak Shep, Nepal, which, at an altitude of 23,500 feet (around 5,200 meters), is the last village before Everest Base Camp. My tent was in the middle of hundreds of yaks that were parked there in the evening and awakened to carry equipment to the Base Camp just as I started recording. I stopped the recorder when my hand was about to freeze. The temperature was about -15 degrees centigrade (5 degrees fahrenheit)."
3: Rain On Loypestreng. Atle Pakusch Gundersen. "The sound is an unmanipulated recording of raindrops on a transport wire. The wire is situated at Aurland, Sogn og Fjordane. Famous for its beautiful fjords. The wire is said to be about 100 years old and has been used for sending hay and firewood. In Norway there is an expression that goes 'knock on the wire'. Many people use this phrase for taking a telephone call without knowing where it originates, namely using transport wire for signaling."
4: Grande Ronde River. David Drexler, May 13, 2012. "This is the sound of the Grande Ronde River in eastern Oregon, recorded at Red Bridge State Park."
5: Vengtana Gates 1 Big Sur. Robert Scott Thompson, April 18, 2012. "A short recording of metal gates at the Ventana, Big Sur, California, April 2012. Recordings were made hand-held with Sony D-50 (unedited)."
6: Clearwater In Motion. Tom Beyer, October 8, 2010. "A short recording on the Clearwater Sloop during a sail in the Hudson River."
7: Under The Delaware. Paul Geluso, 2012. "Here is a sound recording made from capturing the sound of the Delaware River at its headwaters in Delaware County, New York State. I used 2 mono-hydrophone microphones for left and right channels. Nothing more."
8: New York Subway Sounds. Justin Mathew, 2012.
9: Antarctic Sounds, Andrea Juan, 2012. "Here are some sound files from Antarctica."
10: Galgibaga Beach, Stephen Saldanha, June 2012. "The recording I've uploaded here is a short clip of a beach I visited on vacation to Goa, India, known as Galgibaga Beach. At the time all I had with me was my H4 handheld recorder, the waves were crashing onto the rocks that were close to the shore, I had climb up on them and get my recorder low as I could without getting any splashes so my recorder wouldn't get ruined. It was just before sunset and was nice to end the day recording a lovely collection of sounds and then being able to watch the sunset as we walked back to our accommodation."
11: Dawn Chorus of Crows, Katharine Norman, July 2012. "A Burwell, UK, dawn chorus, a rather aggressive one featuring crows."
12: Stranded Boat, Hanns Holger Rutz, 3pm, April 26, 2012. "Walking around a stone beach on the North West coast of Ireland, I noticed a strange whistling sound and attempted to locate it. I soon realised it came from a strong wind playing in the sails and rigging of a rusty stranded boat. I could listen forever, as no gesture, no melisma would ever recur."
13: March 2001b, Giorgio Magnanensi, March 2001. ""Doug Shmidt called me one night as he wanted me to record these sounds. Recorded around midnight under the train tracks at Horseshoe Bay. A very long train on a very wide hill curve. Beautiful! Thank you Doug. Every time i listen to this recording I remember these few lines by Milan Kundera talking about Iannis Xenakis: 'His point of departure is elsewhere; not in an artificial sound isolated from nature in order to express a subjectivity, but in an ‘objective’ noise of the world, a sonorous mass which does not gush from the heart, but which approaches us from the outside, like raindrops or the voice of wind.'"
Sounds will be added as they're finished or on the way ...