Reality-Based Sound Workshop with Ernst Karel

Reality-Based Sound Workshop with Ernst Karel

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Reality-based Sound Workshop with Ernst Karel calls for paricipants
Deadline: 01 Nov 2017

Workshop: 06 and 08 Nov 2017, 10 am – 6 pm
VUI Studio
3C Tong Duy Tan Street, Hanoi


This two-day workshop will focus on an approach to documentary audio through the practice of location recording and composing with location recordings. (Often called ‘field recordings’, these might better be considered as ‘fields recordings’.) This approach to working with sound does not privilege the human voice, and considers the process of recording as part of engaging in an encounter with a social situation or lived environment through all of one’s senses. And through this encounter, audio recordings arise. Once audio recordings have arisen, we engage with them anew in the process of listening back and editing.

In the workshop we will listen to and discuss relevant audio pieces, as well as ideas about audio as a way of exploring ‘place’. We will then get started right away by choosing a site or network of sites, where participants will engage in the acts of listening and recording. Individually, participants will listen back to their recordings, and make selections to present to the rest of the group. At this point, the emphasis shifts from the original site of engagement with sound, to the new space of an encounter with audio in the studio. As a group we will listen to, discuss, and work on issues of editing and composition both collectively and individually, using a multitrack editing environment (Reaper).

The workshop will take place in the context of Hanoi Docfest 2017:
Venue: VUI Studio (No. 3C Tong Duy Tan Street)
Time: 10AM – 6PM, Nov 6 & Nov 8, 2017 (02 full days)

This workshop is part of the symposium ‘Space, Time and the Visceral in Southeast Asian Cinemas’, organized by the Southeast Asian Cinemas Research network, in collaboration with Hanoi DocLab; sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.


– This workshop is aimed at artists, students, musicians, and others with an interest in location recording and nonfiction audio. Previous experience in sound recording is helpful but not required; all levels are welcome.
– Enrolment is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
– Participants will ideally provide their own stereo recording equipment (a small handheld stereo recorder such as the Sony PCM-M10 would be fine), and headphones; a few extra recorders will also be available for use. A portable computer with multitrack audio editing software (a good low-cost option is Reaper) is useful but not required.
– Language usage: English only
– Fee: 600,000VND; and 400,000VND for Doclab students

Register now before Nov. 1st, 2017.


Ernst Karel makes electroacoustic music and experimental nonfiction sound works for multichannel installation and performance. His recent projects are edited/composed using unprocessed location recordings; in performance he sometimes combines these with analog electronics to create pieces which move between the abstract and the documentary. Recent sound projections have been presented at Sonic Acts, Amsterdam; Oboro, Montreal; EMPAC, Troy NY; Arsenal, Berlin; and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Sound installations in collaboration with Helen Mirra have been exhibited at Culturgest, Lisbon; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Audiorama, Stockholm; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; and in the 2012 Sao Paulo Bienal. Video with multichannel sound collaborations include Ah humanity! (2015, with Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel) and Single Stream (2014, with Toby Lee and Pawel Wojtasik). Other projects include the long-running electroacoustic duo EKG, and the location recording/performance collective the New England Phonographers Union. Recent nonfiction films on which he has done sound work include The Iron Ministry, Manakamana, and Leviathan, all produced in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, where as a Lecturer on Anthropology, he teaches a class in sonic ethnography.

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