New England Phonographers Union

Outdoor quadraphonic concert for World Listening Day

Saturday, 19 July 2014, 4:00 p.m.

Public Access Park Area of Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant



The New England Phonographers Union (NEphono; for this concert Matt Azevedo, Ernst Karel, and Jed Speare) celebrates the fifth annual World Listening Day with a special outside concert overlooking Boston Harbor, at the Public Access Park Area of the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, on Saturday July 19th at 4pm. This free concert is hosted by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA). Please bring sun hats, umbrellas, and sunscreen, because there is no shade on the hilltop concert site.

For this concert, they will make use of unprocessed recordings made with accelerometers within the Deer Island facility. Accelerometers record vibrations of solid objects directly, as opposed to air microphones which record changes in air pressure levels. These vibrations are in the audio range, and so do not need to be treated or processed in any way to be made audible as sound. In combination with air recordings, these recordings make sensible the overlapping sonic planes and complex machine arrays of the waste water processing environment.

NEphono has made location recordings at Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant and the five MWRA Headworks that serve it since 2010, and has performed several concerts using these recordings. In 2011, NEphono performed on World Listening Day in the historic pump station at Deer Island. That concert featured extensive location recordings made at the plant of the vast network of infrastructure and large-scale machinery that comprises the facility, re-presented at the site itself.

Since then, NEphono has continued its MWRA cycle with recordings of five urban Headworks that service Deer Island and has presented an outdoor concert of those recordings at the park at Nut Island in Quincy in 2012, and in the vast Hall of Engines at Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in 2013. A second concert at the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in May 2014 featured the new Deer Island recordings made with accelerometers. Now, for this concert, the phonographers present the next elucidation of this material once again at Deer Island itself, in an open hilltop area which overlooks the vast facility, Logan airport, and the entire Boston Harbor Islands area.

World Listening Day is observed between the 14th and 20th of July, honoring the July 18th birthday of renowned Canadian composer and educator, R. Murray Schafer. Prior concerts of the New England Phonographers Union have been at Studio Soto (Boston, MA), Boston University Art Gallery, Buoy Gallery (Kittery, Maine), Nut Island (Quincy, MA), Metropolitan Waterworks Museum (Brookline, MA), and Mobius (Cambridge, MA). A review of their May 2014 concert at the Waterworks Museum can be found here: The New England Phonographers Union would like to thank the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority for access to the facility to make the recordings, and for hosting this concert.

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