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Thaw : Field Recordings From Minnesota


Aural experiences frozen in time, ready to melt in your ears. Quintessential Minnesotan soundmarks (a hockey rink, lakes, geese, loons) mingle with local takes on familiar soundscapes (airport, construction site) and, of course, some accidental voice mails.

Audio gathered in Minnesota both by local recordists and by visitors from as far away as NYC, San Francisco, and the UK. See the bios page for more info on these artists.

A remix project using these tracks as source material is coming soon... stay tuned.


Download Full Album:


we001 - Thaw - Field Recordings From Minnesota (89.4 MB)


Download Tracks:


Track 01 - Greg Schaefer - Score (0.8MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-R37 Minidisc Recorder, Sony ECM-MS907 Mic
Recorded at a Squirts hockey tournament at the Osseo Ice Arena in Osseo, MN. I like the brief lull just before the goal is scored; it's the sound of anticipation.



Track 02 - Michelle Nagai - Overlook on Lake Superior, Night (1.39MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-R90 Minidisc Recorder with Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone
The Lake Superior recording and the piece from Gooseberry Falls were made on a lovely weekend trip with my good friend Laurie. It was my first time seeing the lake and my only trip ever to that part of Minnesota. I almost didn't make the trip, and am so thankful I did in the end. Recording the lake late at night I was terrified of encountering a bear but managed to survive somehow.



Track 03 - Jaron Childs - Throw-Away Lines Often Ring True (accidental field recording #1) (0.2MB)
Recording equipment: telephone, voice mailbox, recorded to minidisc with a Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone held up to the receiver
My best guess is that people are sitting on their cell phones and inadvertently leaving messages on my answering machine. Now i know what it sounds like to be inside someone's purse. Be good to each other. Jaron



Track 04 - Mike Hallenbeck - Canoe Trip (3.75MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-M10 minidisc recorder, ECM-MS957 stereo microphone
Excerpt from a document of a canoe trip with Viv Corringham and Ahmet Dogan in the summer of 2005. I have no idea where we are at the time of this particular passage, but I know the trip involved the circuit of Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. Viv and Ahmed paddled; I sat in the middle and recorded. The repetitive sifting sound is Viv's life jacket, directly in front of the mic; I used her as a human shield to avoid wind noise. We passed between and under a variety of walls and bridges that periodically alter the acoustics of the recording.



Track 05 - (os) - Leech Lake (6.03MB)
Recording equipment: Radio Shack DR-84 "Vox" Digital Recorder
Recorded while cruising a motor boat around Leach Lake using a Radio Shack DR-84 "Vox" Digital Recorder in my shirt pocket.



Track 06 - Annie Baxter - The Office (7.06MB)
Recording equipment: DAT Recorder, Omnidirectional Microphone
Recorded in the offices of Minnesota Public Radio, St Paul, MN, in April 2005 during construction.



Track 07 - Rob Danielson - Dora Lake (4.75MB)
Recording equipment: MBHO 100D/603 Omni-directional Mics Spread 21", Sound Devices MP-2 Mic Preamp, Sony D7 DAT
Recorded July 14, 2003. Quiet night in a remote area. We drove to a spot on the map in North Central Minnesota that seemed to be the furthest from roads and took a very musty cottage on Dora Lake. It was very quiet except for a family playing volley ball on the other side of the lake. The sun set, the family went inside, the bugs came out and the buzzes of a mercury vapor security light faded-in blanketing the soundscape. The resort attendant acknowledged the problem but could only offer, "The electric company won't allow me turn it off manually." I set-up in a small sound-shadow created by an empty cottage and recorded all night. Aside from the very distant mink frogs, the loon (and coping with the light buzzes) the recordings are as "full of nothing" as it gets. To make the space audible, I increased the volume while notching out bands with excessive noise.



Track 08 - Jaron Childs - Throw-Away Lines Often Ring True (accidental field recording #2) (0.9MB)
Recording equipment: telephone, voice mailbox, recorded to minidisc with a Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone held up to the receiver



Track 09 - Viv Corringham - In Transit (8.49MB)
Recording equipment: Coresound Binaural Microphones and Sony MD50 Minidisc Recorder
Recorded 2005, just after I moved to Minnesota and was travelling between Minnesota and London, UK, about every month. My main experience of my new home was Minneapolis airport, where this was recorded.



Track 10 - Bryce Beverlin II - Black Hawk Up (9.38MB)
Recording equipment: Minidisc, Condenser Mic
Recorded: May 16, 2005, noon at Island Lake School in Shoreview, MN Source: Black Hawk helicopter



Track 11 - Abinadi Meza - Crows (3.11MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-N707 Minidisc Recorder and AT-822 Microphone



Track 12 - Viv Corringham - Silver Lake (1.78MB)
Recording equipment: Coresound Binaural microphones and Sony MD50 minidisc recorder
Recorded 2005. The thousands of giant Canada geese at Silver Lake are one of Rochester's most characteristic sounds. They churn up the area into a huge mess of droppings and mud, and I read somewhere that a survey was done to see if lpeople wanted a culling so some grass could grow back, but they chose the geese.



Track 13 - Jonathan Zorn - The Duck Cycle (3.78MB)
Recording equipment: Sony Portable Minidisc Recorder, Sony ECM-MS957 Microphone
This recording was made on the walking path around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. I came upon a very talkative group of ducks and decided to stay and record. One by one the ducks flew away. Several flew right over my head. The ducks circled the lake for awhile, and then they all came back to the water.



Track 14 - Jaron Childs - Throw-Away Lines Often Ring True (accidental field recording #3) (4.24MB)
Recording equipment: telephone, voice mailbox, recorded to minidisc with a Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone held up to the receiver



Track 15 - Mike Hallenbeck - Wind with Cat (6.77MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-M10 minidisc recorder, ECM-MS957 stereo microphone
Maybe it's just me, but 2005 was the windiest Minnesota winter I can remember-- which is saying something. I took to leaving my minidisc recorder out on the front porch to gather all the wonderful sounds. Upon playback of this particular recording, I discovered that a visitor had dropped by briefly to add some cameo vocals to the soundscape.



Track 16 - Michelle Nagai - Gooseberry Falls (3.37MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-R90 Minidisc Recorder with Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone
See notes for Track 02



Track 17 - Nathan Larson - Stop and Go (11.3MB)
Recording equipment: Sony DSC-P100 Cybershot Digital Camera
Recorded June 2005 in an 04' Volkswagen Passat with the driver window rolled down during a session of "stop and go" traffic (rush hour) on Hwy 169 north of Hwy 62 (Crosstown). The track begins with waiting in line at the on-ramp. Once given the green light, I proceed into the madness. You can hear the sound of an 18-wheeler slowing down to let traffic onto highway. As usual, the traffic heading in the opposite direction was moving at a much faster pace.



Track 18 - Michelle Nagai - Birdsong in St. Paul, Dawn (14.5MB)
Recording equipment: Sony MZ-R90 Minidisc Recorder with Sony ECM-MS907 Microphone
Recorded from my apartment window. I lived in St. Paul only for the summer, and was often staying up reading all night long, so my mind in the early dawn hours was a strange and open place, perfect for tuning into the sounds of summer mornings coming alive.







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Thaw - Field Recordings From Minnesota