Thu September 18, 2014

Inside San Francisco’s Secret SoundLab

Have you noticed how the way a space feels really depends on how it sounds? Take the California Academy of Sciences for example. With all the hundreds of visitors running around you’d think it would be crazy loud. But the voices aren’t overwhelming at all. 

That’s because a San Francisco company designed the sound in here. Yes – designed the sound! There’s people who do this everywhere. They’re called sound architects. At engineering firm ARUP’s SoundLab they can listen to the sound of buildings before they’re even built. 

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Thu June 20, 2013
Arts & Culture

Audiophiles: Music for the heart at the Chapel of the Chimes

Martina Castro recording "The Heart Chant" at the Chapel of the Chimes
Photo by Julie Caine


Thu March 21, 2013
Arts & Culture

Entering the soundscape with Bernie Krause

In this episode of Crosscurrents, we go on a sonic tour of sounds from everyday life, led by bioacoustician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause.

Part I.

Bernie Krause says if we really listen, we’ll hear an animal orchestra out there and we need to protect it.

“Fully 50 percent of the habitats I’ve recorded are now quiet. It tells us about so many things about ourselves and how we’re doing in relationship to the rest of the living world around us,” says Krause.

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Thu September 20, 2012
Arts & Culture

Audiophiles: Cellist Zoe Keating Takes to the Woods

Zoe Keating's unique style of music has gotten her to the top of the iTunes classical and electronic music charts, and all the while she's remained an independent artist. KALW's Martina Castro went to talk with her at her home studio about how she experiments with the sound of her instrument.

All the music in this story was performed live during this interview. And it was all performed by just one woman, her cello, and her laptop.

Zoe Keating is walking me around her house. We're looking for woodpeckers.

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Wed September 5, 2012
Arts & Culture

The Audiophiles: Finding music in the sounds of Antarctica

Local composer Cheryl Leonard recording the sound of Antarctica
Oona Stern

Antarctica is officially the coldest, windiest, and driest continent on Earth. At almost one and a half times the size of the United States, 98% of it is covered with thick sheets of ice. With a landscape like that, it seems like it would be a pretty quiet, lifeless place, right? Well it’s not.

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