may 18th-19th: field recording workshop, malmo, sweden
june 7th: invited speaker, sounding space symposium, Chelsea college of Art and Design, London
june 13th-20th: field recording workshop with Chris Watson & Jez riley French, Iceland
22nd june - 2oth august 2013: audible silence: the tate, sleeping and waking' - headphone piece exploring the hidden sounds of the Tate modern building, Tate modern, London
July 11th-14th: workshop, Alghero, Sardinia
July 15th-20th: jez riley french & pheobe riley law @ Stazione Topolo festival, Italy
september 6-8th: field recording workshop with jez riley french & chris watson, norfolk, uk - places available
october 4-13th: installation (room tones / littorals), Spazioersetti galleria, Udine, Italy
october 11th: resonant terrain walk, castletown, portland as part of the b-side symposium
november 23rd-24th: a quiet position: south hill park - 2 day field recording workshop
november 25th: individual tutorials + listening group presentation, Oxford Brookes Uni, Oxford
december 6-8th: field recording workshop with jez riley french & chris watson, norfolk, uk - places available

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

catch AQP at 'end of the road' festival !

with Jez Riley French, Chris Watson, Julia Holter, Jana Winderen, Signe Liden, Dawn Scarfe, Kiyoshi Mizutani, Sawako, Ames JN Newton, Embla Quickbeam, Fiona Sally Miller, Peter Toll, Anne Guthrie & more....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

jez riley french - 'a quiet position  |  (resonances) leigh woods'

digital download

leigh woods sits on the south bank of the avon gorge on the edges of bristol - one of those liminal spaces that we perceive according to our subjective ideals - a small piece of nature where we might find some calm, both in terms of sound and sensation. 

‘an english woodland is a place of contemplation, wherein ones most obvious companions are the birds, trees and ones preoccupations alone’ in fact, as the lens of field recording shows, there is a cacophony of sound that, closely observed, allows us to form a more rounded view of locale and our impact on it. In this way, when the question is asked ‘what is the sound of leigh woods ?’ the first responses could be birdsong, the rustle of leaves in the breeze, children playing and climbing etc. However, if a single sound dominates the woods it is the constant sound of traffic on the A4 below. Perhaps, as listening becomes a more diverse and enacted choice with a wider potential than mere hearing, we will begin to take stock of whether our understanding of nature and countryside is or ever was based on a stable reality. over the course of the year I visited leigh woods there seemed an invisible barrier between myself and the locale. Eventually I gathered around 40 recordings that represented various aspects of the woods and that communicated something of its position. A selection of these were used in a three sectioned commission exploring the contemporary and historical use of the woods. this release uses some of the field recordings to form the two ‘a quiet position’ pieces, which can be listened to anywhere, including as you sit in or walk through leigh woods, if you happen to visit. Also included are some of the individual recordings and a map showing the locations. 

commissioned by: National Trust / Trust New Art Bristol / MAYK

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

an extract from a recording of cod, shrimp & krill recorded in Iceland, June 2014 with 2 x JrF d-series hydrophones....

recorded with 2 x JrF d-series hydrophones placed directly in the 100 degree centigrade + mud pools at Krafla, Iceland, June 2014....

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

inspired by Flickr: Jez riley French

Geology is at the heart of our latest Inspired by Flickr contribution. Out of more than 1 million images, field recordist and artist Jez riley French was drawn to a simple line drawing of a piece of chalk, found amongst the pages of the 1883 publication 'The History of a Lump of Chalk, etc' by Alexander Watt F.R.S.A.
- See more at:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jez riley French - 'room tone'


available now

recordings of architectural acoustics, locales filtered through buildings

recorded with JrF contact microphones, geophones and conventional microphones

sections of the work were exhibited at Continuo Associazione Culturale gallery, Udine , Italy 

'room tone' comes amidst a sustained and intense period of creativity for Jez riley French....the subtlety, the fantastical attention to listening and bringing new aural experiences to his audience grows more and more obvious with each release'

'....just when you think JrF has opened your ears as wide as they can go, he reveals yet more'

'a simply stunning first I can hardly hear anything other than the low throb of the geophone recordings but, as with anything of value, the more I listen the more that is revealed, not least of which is the way the sounds sit alongside ones actual surroundings, as Jez intends, without even attempting to dominate them'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

major new project going ahead:
'house dissolve' - an entire stone built house, disused for some years, is dissolved in a solution - the sound heard via multiple hydrophones.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

new album of hydrophone based recordings

available now as a limited edition cd and digital download

Thursday, April 3, 2014

clevedon for lunch, then on to dorset....

beginning work on recording the valley of stones....for a performance event in the valley 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

lengthy negotiations, running to months then years, were needed for 2 recording sessions to take place inside the structures of the humber bridge - directly under the carriageway and in the north bank footing tower. eventually permission was granted and, for the first time, a private individual was allowed to make sounds recordings.

care was taken to choose the specific locations and the set the equipment for recording. my normal way of working is to be in the location listening and to record when the moment feels right, but on these occasions that was not possible, as only maintenance and inspection teams are allowed to stay in these restricted spaces.

so, after positioning the contact mics and conventional microphones, I pressed record and returned to the main bridge offices. 4 hours later I was escorted back to retrieve my equipment and, hopefully, 4 hours of recordings. what was actually gathered was around 1 1/2 hours of usable material and a 2 1/2 hour recording of an inspection team walking around the recording locations discussing various technical, structural details. whilst frustrating on one level, it is this kind of unplanned for situation that makes field recording a creative act rather than a mere technical exercise.

the piece presented here features two sections of the recording sessions, in 2008: firstly under the road carriageway and then in the north footing tower. 
re-posting / gathering of a few short extracts from experiments with 

(adapted) geophones

geophones are measurement devices for monitoring seismic activity. 
they're not really designed for audio although some are often hooked up to audio recorders - with varying degrees of success.
 and so, for the past couple of years i've been experimenting with different ways to adapt the geophones to give a decent audio signal.

below are some of the resulting'll need headphones or proper speakers (not computer speakers) to hear these....

an earlier test, shortly after an initial adaptation of a single geophone - ground spike placed against the railings of the humber bridge....

you'll need headphone for this piece & the geophone recording comes in stronger towards the middle of the piece...

in this piece for tate modern, the end section was recorded using geophones placed on the floor of the turbine hall during the night....the sound we hear is the earth vibration filtered through the structure - mixed with the slight rumble of traffic and the river....a section of this recording was also exhibited at Tate Britain, pressed onto vinyl - it was quite something to watch people trying to hear the sound....


& again, you'll need headphones or speakers (not computer speakers) to hear this track properly - the geophone coming in towards the middle of the piece....

bower floor | dawn chorus with rain | canyon wires
music sits above and under the first impression.
when duration allows these things come into focus, increasingly.
in swifter moments a sense of quietude is possible.
still, finding pace with listening as a lens, moving
recorded september 2012, during time spent following a residency at The Wired Lab, this piece begins with two recordings playing at the same time. One of a bower floor, with contact microphones and geophone (nb. some of these low frequencies will not be audible via computer speakers) alongside a dawn chorus amidst light rain - drops falling centimetres from a conventional stereo microphone. Towards the middle of the piece, a further contact microphone recording enters, revealing one of the most bizarre fence wire sounds i've yet managed to gather. Despite returning to the same stretch of canyon fence several times, this particular effect was only present on one occasion and lasted for around 10 minutes. My best guess is that humidity and the rising temperature combined to create a momentary, unrepeatable and extremely evocative effect on the wires. It is this infinite and unpredictable aspect to listening in situ that continues to fascinate me. Getting closer to and underneath the surface of environments and spaces is a constant revelation, a constant pleasure.
jrf c-series contact microphones | jrf prototype geophone | sanken cuw-180

Friday, March 14, 2014

nice review, inc. words on the extract from 'teleferica'....

'The second half of the program was curated from open call submissions. It was such a pleasure to finally hear Jez Riley French’s Teleferica recording after reading his previous guest blog about the process of placing contact microphones on teleferica wires used to haul wood from the hills into the village of Topolo in Italy. Initial listening was abstract and gave me a feeling as though I were listening to something from the inside. When I found out it was the contact mic piece that French had written about, I thought about it for a long while later that night – how each leaf or bug or bit of dust grazing the wires became a full, present sound, and how we otherwise simply would never notice'

Thursday, March 13, 2014

collaborative sound walk for MayFest, Bristol

What would we hear if, on one night, we could enter into a museum of sounds – the sounds that have resonated through the site of Leigh Woods across its history? The echoes of a fire crackling through an ancient camp, or tidal rhythms above a tropical sea bed, three million years ago? Perhaps the sound of the Earth slowly turning, or the groaning of oak trees upon an arctic tundra?
Following a year-long residency with the National Trust, artists Tom Bailey and Jez riley French invite audiences to go with them on a re-exploration of a beloved Bristol landscape, wandering with field recordings in the dark.
Nightwalk 2014, commissioned by Trust New Art Bristol and MAYK as part of Mayfest for the National Trust Leigh Woods.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

'foxley woods fence posts' 

will be part of the current season of events at the Juan March Foundation, Madrid, Spain

Thursday, February 20, 2014

the 1st edition sold out in just a couple of months !

2nd edition now available:

'In the Field - the art of field recording'
by Cathy Lane and Angus Carlyle.

240 page book, hand sewn with flaps.

conversations with Manuela Barile, Angus Carlyle, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Viv Corringham, Peter Cusack, Steven Feld, Felicity Ford, Jez riley French, Antye Greie, Christina Kubisch, Cathy Lane, Francisco López, Annea Lockwood, Andrea Polli, Ian Rawes, Lasse-Marc Riek, Hiroki Sasajima, Davide Tidoni, Hildegard Westerkamp and Jana Winderen. 

cover photo by my daughter (proud dad moment !) Pheobe riley Law

£12 + postage and packing

book + postage options

Friday, February 14, 2014

field recording, in all its forms, has been through incredible creative growth in the last few decades & yet its essential power to engage us in the act & art of listening remains inextricably linked to its subtle simplicity, its ability to make us listen ever more closely to the world in which we move by making us stop for a time....

during 2013 I curated several audio screenings - playback sessions of field recording based work - this collection gathers some of those pieces and, in my opinion, offers a fascinating insight into some of the varied approaches taken by the artists / recordists involved.

Friday, January 31, 2014

a special 8 channel mix of 'teleferica's' will be premiered as part of Artisphere's Fermata exhibition. 

line up for this major exhibition:

                                                                      Alvin Lucier
Christine Sun Kim
Jez riley French
Lawrence English
Ryuichi Sakamoto
The Books
Brian McBride
Eddie Ruscha
Francisco Lopez
Alberto Gaitán
Annea Lockwood
Chad Clark
Kate Carr
Forest Swords
Jarboe (Swans)
Scarfolk Council
Devin Underwood (Specta Ciera)
Markus Guentner
Toni Dimitrov
Lucianne Wolcowicz
Salome Voegelin
SaåadIM Rawes (London Sound Survey)
Don Zientara & Ian Mackaye
John Henry Blatter

Monday, January 20, 2014

to london with Pheobe, who takes the best photos of me for certain !

portabello market, rough trade west, nice hotel with a pillow menu !, tate britain to watch the vinyl cut being installed, looking at the turners, tate modern to listen to the full 'audible silence - tate' piece with pheobe, harry callahan exhibition....

interesting (!) to be in the Tate jukebox as part of the british art walkthrough timeline - bowie, eno, dowland, gainsborough, deller, lucas, turner,....& jrf ! er....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

'Quiet fields on the way from work' - Skolska 28, Prague

Tomáš Procházka, Handa Gote, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga Lucie Vítková, Jez Riley French, Noid, Peter Graham, Andrea Neumann, Ferran Fages Slávek Kwi, Peter Cusack, Michal Kindernay, Miloš Vojtěchovský, Udo Noll

curated by Ivan Palacký January 14.January 29, 2014

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

two archive releases:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

tracks 1,2,4,7,8,11: instrument
from the hundreds of pieces for guitar, cello, piano, analogue synthesiser, zithers and other non conventional instruments, these pieces (recorded between 1990 & 2006) focus on work that sits at a distance from my other creative output.

tracks 3,9,10: clear input pieces
i began using clear input methods as a sole improvisatory element in the early 1990‘s and continued experimenting with the technique until the early 2000‘s. similar to ‘no-input’ this involves using no conventional instruments but rather feeding the output of a device, in my case a guitar effects rack, into the input, creating a feedback loop that is then manipulated by using the same devices parameters only.
the numbering system halts in 2006 at piece number 640, recorded in 2004. 

tracks 5,12 : field
early field recordings archives will feature on future releases (perhaps). these two pieces represent a meeting point between various music techniques i have used in the past and field recording.

track 6: tape / wax  |  collage
much of my tape archive is on reel-to-reel tape and yet to be archived. these pieces, again from the 1990’s as far as I can tell, were recorded using cassette tape sources, loops, electronics and turntable.

all tracks have been taken from cdr archives or the original tape / minidisc source. 

perhaps only loosely connected to what i was doing with my other creative interests at the time and since, these tracks represent something tangible - an acceptance of process and exploration

this remarkable public building was, for a time, derelict and on the verge of being demolished. A team of dedicated volunteers and fundraisers have, along with all the other activities that now take place there, given back to the nation a remarkable listening lens. 

every building has its own voice, to which is added chorales of the locale in which it sits. I often spend long periods of time listening to buildings and think of it as a privilege and a rare chance to spend time allowing their voices to become fully audible to me. However, asking others to do this at the same time is, I have to admit, often a big ask. We as a species are happy to sit quietly watching something - a view, a picture, a tv or cinema screen, but to sit and listen, paying as much attention to the audible as we do to the visual in our daily lives is something that remains a challenge or a puzzling idea for lots of people.

in the afternoon our small group were free to explore the entire building, listening to it with our ears and with various microphones and devices. During the afternoon break myself & Rae made a recording with small omni microphones in one of the pool sections (tracks 1 & 3), this included playing back into the space a geophone recoding made earlier. In the evening we invited the public to come and listen to this remarkable space (tracks 2 & 4). Some asked what we were listening to or what for ? most expressed surprise at how much they enjoyed the experience even when they perceived that ‘nothing’ was actually being played in the space. That, it seems to me, was a good outcome indeed.

- jez riley french