Sonorous Blog

UPDATE 1/20/14

balanced unbalanced



Lead Artists: Annea Lockwood, Jeremiah Moore, and Glenn Weyant

The ASAE presents a hands-on Field Recording Workshop in conjunction with the Balance/Unbalance 2015 Conference at Arizona State University.

More information about the Balance/Unbalance 2015 Conference can be found at :

The goal of the workshop is to offer participants a hands-on experience of soundscape recording in a natural environment, while learning about the field recording practices of master artists, and participating in a conversation and skill-share with the artists and other participants around the techniques and philosophy of field recording.

The workshop will take place on March 25-26, the two days prior to the Balance/Unbalance 2015 Conference.  It will be led by three working artists, each with a significant and unique practice in field recording. The site of the hands-on session is the Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed at sunrise, 90 minutes north and east of Tempe.

More information and example recordings from the site can be found here:

UPDATE 7/12/14

Now Available

Sketches of Tucson : Monsoon 2014


Although Sonorous Desert City is the title of a CD/Download release, the title was conceived more as a description of process than final product. This sound vision is now being taken further with the release of Sketches of Tucson : Monsoon 2014, an ongoing series of compositions and improvisations exploring the musicality of the Tucson urban soundscape during this season of dynamic transition.

Sketches of Tucson will be updated with new tracks and materials on a semi-regular basis. Everyone who purchases this album will receive full access to ALL the audio tracks plus bonus material, regardless of the album's state of completion at the time of purchase.


UPDATE 6/13/14

sonorous desert city

The Super Happy Lucky Fun Raffle has a winner!

Congrats to Private First Class Tom C. of  California who was visiting his mother in Tucson and happened to pick up a copy of the Sonorous Desert City download/sticker at Revolutionary Grounds .

He said he spent an entire day trying to figure out where the cover art was shot from. An instrument of original design is on the way and thanks to everyone who played.

UPDATE 4/30/14


sonorous desert city


Hi all,

At this very moment, as your exhausted and dilated eyeballs are engaged in furiously scanning the illuminated squiggles flickering upon the screen before you, a limited run of Sonorous Desert City Project download cards that double as !!!***STICKERS***!!! are being distributed for !!!***FREE***!!! throughout Tucson in various ways along with an even more limited run of discs for those fetishists who prefer to keep things physical.

And as if that were not enough, you can also get your choice of a disc or download sticker by taking a soundwalk on May 8th around 6 p.m. during the Tucson Pima Arts Council New Works Showcase --- The Maker House, 283 N. Stone Ave.

However, since many of you reading this live in places where there is lots of water, green fleshy plants, few haboobs and even fewer venomous creatures lurking around every turn left unstoned, it probably isn’t worth your time or money to travel to Tucson for a free Sonorous Desert cd or download --- I say probably because in the plus column Tucson does have a ridiculous number of microbreweries these days, so that could prove an incentive for some.

To accommodate this quirk of demographics and expunge the digital divide, let it henceforth be known I shall ship a download sticker to anyone, anywhere in the world so long as they are among the first 100 people to request one by May 31.

Email me your name/mailing address and you can be the first on your block to own The Sonorous Desert.

But wait.... THERE'S MORE!!!!

As if that karmatic schmear of sonic awesomeness was not enough --- as an added dollop of goodwill and joy, everyone who emails me a jpeg of a Sonorous Desert City sticker posted somewhere interesting will receive a one-of-a-kind curated collection of images, videos and sound oddities drawn from over 30+ years of soniCanta creation and acquisition.

+++PLUS++ everyone who sends in a picture will be automatically entered into the SUPER HAPPY LUCKY FUN RAFFLE for a chance to receive a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, custom built, signed and numbered musical instrument of original design.

Imagine what you could do with that!

The Sonorous Desert City is also for sale on CDBaby (best price: $4.20),  iTunes and Amazon (twice the price and then some) if you want to buy it.

Eventually you should be able to tune the Sonorous Desert in on Spotify and other streaming stations as well.

Because this work was funded by a Tucson Pima Arts Council grant, once the cds and download cards are gone they will be gone for good.

There are no plans for a second run unless nomisma ex machina should happen.

So there you have it: sound schwaag galore and all for the asking.

It’s been great fun listening to the Tucson soundscape transform over the past couple of months and composing this work.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I’m also deeply and forever grateful to John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and R. Murray Schaffer whose inspirational and foundational sound ideas were the fertile soil from which this project grew.

Till again, stay tuned, thanks for listening and enjoy The Sonorous Desert wherever you may be…




UPDATE 3/02/14

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on two soundwalks with Arizona Daily Star reporter 

"On a recent Thursday morning, a reporter and two photographers follow him on a “sound walk” around downtown. His first stop is one of his favorites for listening: the waiting room of the Amtrak train station.

When he steps inside and shuts the door, the street sounds fade. Weyant stops and stills. He listens to the snoring of a man asleep on a bench, the squeak of an opening door, the muffled music from the nearby Maynards restaurant, and an approaching train.

He steps outside, faces the tracks and stands at attention. The man’s snores are replaced by louder music and a couple of men talking at a table. The train gets closer and louder. When it thunders by, it is a roar you can feel as well as hear. All other sounds fade away.

Then the train is gone, and other sounds return. A bird chirps. The men continue to talk. Construction sounds from a nearby building going up start to trickle in. The music from Maynards becomes the dominant sound.

Listening, it’s easy to imagine the city, a mix of the old and the new. One busy with cars and new construction, but open enough to let in the sound of birds."

UPDATE 1/16/14

On January 1, the first phase of the Sonorous Desert City Project: Suite I-III --- six months of field recording --- was completed and phase two --- composition, implementation and dissemination --- got under way.


From June 30, 2013 to January 1, 2014 roughly three hundred soundings were conducted in three central Tucson locations: Downtown, the University of Arizona campus and Reid Park.

These unique and historically significant recordings documenting  evolutionary leaps in the transformation of Tucson's vibrant sound ecology where labeled with location, time and date.

The recordings which have durations running from 10 minutes to one hour, were obtained from both fixed locations and various sound walks.

A photograph was taken at each primary recording location and the GPS position of each recording was noted.

Approximately 100 three-minute sound clips were then paired with the images in individual videos which also note the location, date and GPS location.

These videos were then embedded in a sound map and are available to the public as a lasting record of Tucson's acoustic fingerprint during these six months of acoustic transformation.

View Sonorous Desert City in a larger map

Many of the locations and conditions documented --- in particular those experienced in the Downtown area --- no longer exist or will cease to exist in the near future.


During the second phase of the Sonorous Desert City Project, the full collection of soundings will be evaluated, analyzed and transformed into a three part compositional score utilizing the sound of Tucson as orchestra and audience.

This work is tentatively expected to be completed in March and released to the public at no charge both as a limited edition cd and download.

Stay tuned and in touch.



 UPDATE 9/21/13

Coke Wisdom O'Neal MOCA


As of today, the first-half of the sound gathering phase of the Sonorous Desert City Project is complete.

Over six hours of recordings --- made in 10 minute increments --- have been cataloged and mixed.

Two minute highlights from many of those soundings have been transferred to MP3 and posted on the designated sound map linking to videos documenting sound, GPS data, an image of the recording location and the date.

Once the first phase is completed on December 31, the original.wav files will be used for composition of the three part suite.

When I first began this process on July 1, I thought I knew well the voice of the three primary Tucson locations targeted in this project --- Downtown, the University of Arizona and Reid Park.

But as with anything, the more I listened the more I heard.

I am deeply grateful to the Tucson Pima Arts Council for funding this venture and providing me with the opportunity to newly experience the acoustic architecture of Tucson while sharing it with the world.

Right now the summer sounds are shifting into fall.

The insects are fewer, the monsoon has begun to wane, students and those fair souls who fled summer's heat for more hospitable climes are sheepishly returning.

The days are shorter and the nights cooler which means the drone chorus of swamp cooler and air conditioner motors is abating.

Plants are in final bloom or sliding into decay creating their own resonance. Migrating bird songs fill the air in the spaces between.

This time of year in Tucson is a movable feast for all to hear.

When deciding what and where to record, I've been focusing specifically on authentic sonic DNA.

This has meant discovering listening experiences in public places often overlooked.

In some cases this has meant moving though a space on a sound walk, and in others listening from a fixed location.

Some external recordings have included: construction, cremation, art, trains, people, insects, traffic, wind, bikes, water and machines.

But I've also used custom built contact microphones to uncover unique sounds --- such as the drone of streetcar wires or Sonora --- which are housed within structures and require a bit of extra effort to hear.

In a couple of instances I've also employed a custom built hydrophone, which offers access to sounds never before experienced on dry land.

The busy season in Tucson is underway, and over the next three months I'm looking forward to listening to what comes next.

And when I do, I'll be sure to share it with you.

Stay tuned,





sonorous desert city