Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Only Black Leprechaun

This post is about 40 days late of the holiday, but it's relevance is not exclusively tied to St. Patty. Today's audio has quite the story behind it, so here goes:

Another passion of mine is that of A Cappella singing. I was singing bass in a group called the UCD7 last fall when I was in school, which had eight members, but that's irrelevant. We had a gig at Dazzle Jazz Club in October, and arrived early to run through the set outside in the alley. We were in the middle of a John Paul Sharp arrangement of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" when a local intoxicated man sporting several green Mardi Gras beads and matching hat wandered over to us and started singing along, wildly out of tune. Luckily I had my Zoom H2 recorder handy, and captured the event, in which he reveals he is the self proclaimed "only black leprechaun."

A musical experience never to forget, have a listen:

UCD7 Feat. The Only Black Leprechaun

It's not a true binaural recording, so headphones aren't required, but it was recorded in the "surround" mode, so some localization effect is heard if you do use them.

Also, if you're in town, UCD7 will be singing at Dazzle again this Monday night, April 28th @ 7PM, 9th & Lincoln Downtown. Support Local Music!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


The All-Important Rule of Performance: Never play the riff of the tune you are getting ready to play during soundcheck. The rule applies to rock as well as classical concerts. I find it fascinating what musicians choose to play instead during this time.

My favorite part of a concert event is generally not the performance at all, but the ambience before, after and in-between. Especially shows with a live orchestra that warms up on stage or in the pit. The resulting sound is usually an atonal mass of sound with no structure, even to aleatoric 20th Century standards.

One of my band directors was quite aware of and must have despised this dissonant bliss, and always instructed the wind symphony to warm up only in a set concert key, limiting us to a more “pleasing” 12 note selection of the Ionian mode. I’d consistently make a point to discretely produce the occasional tritone or minor second to see if he was paying attention. He was.

I have encountered a true gem while scrutinizing the interwebs. Seattle based composer/phonographer Christopher DeLaurenti has released an entire CD of intermissions he has recorded, appropriately titled “Favorite Intermissions: Music Before and Between Beethoven - Stravinsky – Holst”. The limited re-release is still available as of today, as well as a free listening example on the site. Check it out:

It is a binaural recording, so please remember to use headphones!

Soundscape: World Premiere

Introducing my very first binaural composition, “Soundscape.” All source material was captured in the Denver Metro Area, namely the RTD transit stations, Auraria Campus and the Denver Zoo. I put together this sonic collage for my Junior Audio Seminar project in the spring of 2007. Now, a year after its completion, I think it’s time to throw it out to the digital masses.

Please use headphones.

5287 Feet - Soundscape.mp3

Here are some reviews amongst the first handful of listeners:

“…that's great stuff. Harrowing, in a way, but very compelling.”
-Gregory T.S. Walker, Associate Professor of Music, CU Denver

“What was the point?”
-Benjamin Harris, Professor of the Recording Arts, CU Denver

“The CD is skipping…”
-Shawn McNary, Professor of the Recording Arts, CU Denver
(in response to the use of loops in the composition)

-Jeremy Pickett, CEO of Dead Sparrow Records

“I’ll listen to it when I can both find the time and my headphones…”
-Sam McGuire, Professor of the Recording Arts, CU Denver

Please take the time to comment and let me know what you think.
Thank you

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome and Introductions

Hello and welcome.

My name is Brandon Jay. I have lived in Colorado, home of the Mile High City, for most of my life. I am 6 feet 9 inches tall, as close to a 7-foot man as you can get. This is how I hear my world at 5287 Feet.

This blog will feature field recordings and sound compositions by myself and whatever I happen to come across online. Here are a few introductory links to get you started and to have an idea of what I’m all about.


Quiet American

Aaron Ximm of San Francisco, sound artist and field recordist. His site is home to a weekly series of One Minute Vacations


A weekly broadcast in the UK. “framework is a show consecrated to field recording, and it’s use in composition. Field recording, phonography, the art of sound-hunting; Open your ears and listen!”

A great directory of field recordists and sound artists from around the world, and samples of their work.

Wandering Ear

A net label of all field recording, their entire catalogue available for free download, check ‘em out!

Wikipedia: Binaural Recording

Learn more about this phenomenon from the most reliable and trusted source in the universe!

Check back, more posts coming soon!