"Sixty Second Theater"




In the week leading up to July 18th 2010, members of the international theatre sound design community were invited to submit a 60 second recordings of moments in their lives that week, in recognition of World Listening Day. This exhibition went live on July 18th and is archived here via SoundCloud.

Original press release:

"As theatre sound designers we often have to recreate naturalistic soundscape in a variety of auditoriums and on stages of various shapes and sizes. A consequence of this is that we're constantly listening to our environment, wherever we are, whatever we're doing, because simply we might need to produce something similar in support of a future production.

Everything we do is based on what we want our audiences to hear and this of course, is greatly informed by our own listening experiences. In reality many of the soundscapes created for theatre only contain sounds which are signature, or key, as such what we decide to remove from a naturalistic soundscape design is as important as what we decide to keep.

Many sound designers never leave home now without a portable digital recorder, primed and ready, in the hope of capturing sounds which may prove useful to our work, or perhaps to record an environment which we can use at later date as a reference source.

Most sound designers working in theatre today not only seek to understand the many sonic and acoustic elements which go into creating the infinite amount soundscapes which underscore all of our lives, but we also often aim to recreate and use to our advantage (and most importantly, in order to support to the playwrights words and ideas) the emotional and psychological affect which many everyday sounds have on each and every one of us.

Perhaps the playwrights Chekhov and Stanislavsky best illustrate theatres first tentative steps in exploring  naturalistic sound as an important emotional stimulus. Both of them listened closely to our world, they
produced, understood, researched and used sound with great success and were probably the first real theatre sound designers of the modern age. So, to both of them, field recordists, phonographers, audio ecologists and everyone else who attempts to gain a greater understanding of our world,
through listening to what it has to tell us, we salute you!

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to contribute to our small part of the World Listening Day celebrations. The OISTAT Sound Design Working Groups primary function is to promote and encourage the sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills between theatre sound designers and
technicians globally whilst ensuring that we contribute to and learn from the wider international community of sound practitioners from all disciplines.

Anyway...here's what some of the theatre sound design community (including a non sound designer or two!) have been listening to this week...recorded with whatever devices were to hand…and in no particular order...."

Steven Brown

OISTAT Sound Design Group

18 July 2010

"Sixty Second Theater"

Contributors -


Janne Auvinen (Finland)                    



  1. Unsilence
    Part 1 – South


  1. Unsilence
    Part 2 – Southeast


  1. Unsilence
    Part 3 – East

I made three one minute recordings
at my summer cottage in Enonkoski, Finland. +34°C at the time of
the recording. It is in the middle of nowhere and the silence is
fantastic. Unless you are a sound designer listening to details of
the silence. The unsilence. These three recordings are not edited
and there are no overdubs, just plain two track stereo.


All the tracks were recorded with
an iPhone/Blue Mikey set on the ground. Free Blue FiRE recording
software. Amadeus Pro on Mac to cut the one minute parts out of
the recording. 


Sound quality was not the number
one priority. Just documentation and notation for my later project
in Rauma theatre.


Steven Brown/Listen Hear Sound
Projects (United Kingdom)





  1. Brighton
    Seagulls – My early morning call in Brighton. Seagulls and
    air conditioning units. Zoom h4n/Rycote Windjammer.


  1. I
    must remember to fold my clothes when I take them out of the
    dryer -  To save
    time packing. Zoom h4n/Rycote Windjammer.


  1. Gatwick
    Airport Train – Brighton to London Victoria train
    approaching its stop at Gatwick Airport. Zoom h4n/Rycote


  1. Traffic,
    Rain and Thunder – In Manchester. Naturally. Zoom h4n/Rycote

Steven John and Nela Brown
(United Kingdom/Croatia)




  1. Formula1
    Practice Silverstone 10.07.10 iPhone - Silverstone,
    Northamptonshire - Formula1 British Grand Prix,


  1. Shacklewell Primary

Jethro Joaquin



  1. Tropical
    City suburb after midnight – Manila


  1. Crowing
    Roosters at 2AM (Tropical City suburb after midnight) –

Karen Lauke


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  1. In a shop
    with distant music and faint talking,




John Leonard





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  1. A
    Minute Off - Starbucks, Camden Parkway, London. 15:30, July
    9th, 2010. Ad-hoc binaural recording of the atmos in a busy
    Starbucks, with me getting the dregs of a Frappucino out of
    the bottom of the container, through a straw. Equipment: 2 x
    DPA4061 omnidirectional microphones clamped above either ear
    by a pair of Sony V6 headphones, recording into an Edirol R44
    hidden in a Waitrose plastic shopping bag.


  1. Balcony
    Blackbird – Private residence, Belsize Park, London. 19:35
    9th July 2010, A mature blackbird uses our balcony railing as
    a songpost. I've just acquired a Sennheiser 418 and wanted to
    try it out. Equipment: Sennheiser MKH 418 Stereo Rifle
    Microphone (M/S), hand-held, hence the slight noise at the top
    of the recording. Edirol R-44 Recorder.


  1. Open
    Window -  Private
    residence, Belsize Park, London..16:30 10th July 2010. Sitting
    by an open window, proof-correcting an article. A gust of wind
    blows the shell-lamp-shade, as a motorcyclist passes by.
    Someone in the street below laughs. Very faint laptop
    keystrokes and clock tick. Equipment: Zoom H2 & Rycote


  1. Tube
    & Phone - Baker
    Street Underground Station, London, en-route to a production
    meeting. 10:10 July 12th 2010. Waiting on platform for
    underground connection, reading Metro. P.A. announcement,
    doors close, train leaves, hydraulic track switch hisses,
    tinkly mobile phone rings. Equipment: Zoom H2 & Rycote


  1. Carwash
    - Inside Audi A4 Avant, The American Hand Car Wash, York Way,
    Kings Cross, London. 15:30 July 12th 2010. High Pressure
    Washer on car exterior, operative bangs on car roof, car
    advances slowly through rinse system, wipers engaged.
    Equipment: Zoom H2 & Rycote Windjammer.


  1. Voice
    & Heels - Bond Street Underground Station, London,
    connecting passageway. 15:00 July 13th 2010. Group of school
    kids chatter in distance, woman walks past in high heels,
    loudspeaking help-station unit ringing tone. Equipment: Zoom
    H2 & Rycote Windjammer.


  1. Audience
    - Audience Chat. Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London. 19:25
    15th July 2010. Audience chatter before performance of John
    Adams' 'I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky'.


  1. Mind
    The Gap - 
    Piccadilly Circus Underground Station, London. 12:50 16th July

    Mind The Gap announcement & tube train departs.

Martin Paling


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  1. Bandsaw


  1. Rattle


Rick Malone
(United States of America)

  1. Shady Grove -  a
    bunch of folks talking at the Shady Grove restaurant in Austin, TX
    on July 102010, 
    before going to the theatre. 

Joe Pino
States of America)



  1. Pittsburgh Morning - 40°25'48"N / 80°03'10"W,
    1053ft above sea level, Pittsburgh PA USA. 7.18am

Richard K Thomas
States of America)





  1. Racquet


  1. Winch

Don Tindall
States of America)



  1. Madeline Plays with a Box and Cup (2010-07-13) - A
    minute of 16-month old Madeline playing with a box and a 
    plastic cup. New York.

Dave Tosti-Lane
States of America)



  1. Lunch Conversation (07 14 10) - A lunchtime conversation
    in a noisy café regarding a Merce Cunningham event we're working on. Seattle.