Sound of Ebb is an open source sound series that asks artists working with sound to respond to the question:

What is the sound of Recession?

During summer 2009, at the height of the recession, an open call was sent out asking artists internationally to contribute sound works that respond to their current economic, social and political climate. A moment of recession remarks a deceleration and slowing down – opening up to a space for reflection. When a tide recedes into a breathe of idleness, it leaves a moment for contemplation and listening to the sounds of the Self, of Others and the Environment. In a state of lull is there opportunity forge new values, forms of solidarity, closer familial ties, and explore healthier modes of consumption? Is there value within a moment of quietude and reflection to explore new possibilities for the future?

Derived from their personal and everyday experiences, over 55 pieces were submitted from 15 countries around the world including: US, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Australia, Spain, UK, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Bulgaria, Finland and Israel. Submissions ranged from field recordings, compositions, radio plays, soundscapes, to music that were conceptual, personal, critical and interpretive.

All submissions are archived online at: In following the open call, a specially curated compilation was created from the sounds that reflect a diversity of creative processes and ideas that begin to approach a collective understanding of the crisis through individual experience.

Sound of Ebb is a branch project of 'The End of Something.. A collection of reflections on the global crisis' that was produced in collaboration with Volume in 2009. /

Download the full compilation here: Sound of Ebb compilation (2010)

Also available on here - thanks to Ursonate fanzine (Spain)


As the question continues to remains relevant now in 2010, the open call remain open for submissions. All sounds will be archived online with potential to be selected for future compilations and projects.

What is the sound of recession?
What is the sound of re-emergence / the future?

Submit a sound that reflects on your current economic, social and political environment and to explore ideas, issues or areas of opportunity/hope. Pieces can be field recordings, compositions, radio plays, soundscapes, or even songs and pieces of music.. etc. They can be conceptual, personal, critical, creative or interpretive.

All works will be uploaded to online for free listening and sharing. Artists will be notified for any usage of their work. Please specify any terms of usage or creative licensing you would like to apply i.e. Creative Commons or Art Libre etc.

Works should be, but not restricted to 30 seconds to 5 minutes in length. Submissions can be collaborative or individual.

Please include your:

Short bio and link (50-100 words):
Sound: (in ogg, aiff, mp3 or wav file formats)

Email submissions to:
Audio files can be sent via or

Sound of Ebb compilation (2010)


Name: NicolaBogo
Location: Italy

Title: economicrisis
The feeling of loss and of misunderstanding on 9 overlapping voices of the first ministers of the 8 major countries and the President of the European Union talking about the NEW global crisis (every speech is taken from registration of the recent G8 or the World Economic Forum). So many words that no one can understand the sense.

Bio: Born in Ferrara, October 7, 1981. Lives and works in Ferrara. In 1992, he studied at the Conservatorio "G. Frescobaldi of Ferrara under the guidance of Paolo Ravaglia; By 1999 (today) he has played bass, guitar, clarinet, laptops, voice in several alt-rock projects with which he has performed live with throughout central and northern Italy, and producing various materials in the studio. Since 2008, began applying the study of music to other artistic disciplines i.e. visual arts, film, soundscapes and since 2009, he has been working as a sound designer with LaCRUNA.


Name: Heidrun Schramm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Title: Eine ganz reelle Zahl (Sound of Zero)
Basis of this conceptual sound composition: the word "Null" sampled from German TV newscast "Tagesschau" as one of the most frequently used word at the beginning of the economic crisis. Different drones of the stretched word "Null" (english: zero, null) - move like waves, side by side, or one after the other, from major to minor. Out of this soundtrack, the original sound appears: "Null" - "Komma" - "Vier" - "Komma" - "Drei" - "Null" - "Wachstum".

Bio: Heidrun Schramm is a sound artist / composer working in the fields of electro acoustic music, installation, radio art and theatre. Her compositions are often based on samples of classical instruments, field recordings, everyday objects and self-made instruments. Her work has been presented in Hamburg, Berlin, Istanbul, Belgrade, Kalamata (Greece), Rotterdam, Barcelona. She holds a master degree in Sound Studies at the University of the Arts, Berlin.


Name: Martin Lukanov
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Title: piece#45
This is a piece consisting of "summaries" of six different news about the economics in Bulgaria, the upcoming (now past) elections for prime minister and the extreme nationalism shown on them, done in bulgarian morse code.


Name: GX Jupitter-Larsen
Location: A recycling center in Hollywood California.

Title: Shatter
The homeless are having a more difficult time finding recyclables in the residential trash of the middle class. The once affluent professionals, skilled laborers, and middle management types are all now selling glass and cans to local recycling centers themselves. Since these days, every penny counts...

Bio: GX Jupitter-Larsen is based in Hollywood. He's been active in a number of underground art scenes since the late 1970s. Jupitter-Larsen has been involved in punk rock, mail art, cassette culture, the noise music scene, and zine culture. During the 1990s he was the sound designer for the performances of Mark Pauline's Survival Research Laboratories. His best known work's as the founder of the noise act The Haters, who've performed all over the world, and appear on over 300 CD & record releases.


Name: Sean Burn
Location: Tyneside, Northern England

Title: Sack Round the Freezing Tree
A response to the tumultuous events in London this spring at the time of the G20 meeting/protests and very much inspired by Brechts poem spring 1938. While not comparing our times to the coming world war that Brecht wrote about we are nevertheless all losers in the invidious if subtle war currently taking place against our environments, our economies and our freedoms.

Bio: Sean Burn is a writer, performer and outsider artist with a growing international reputation. actively involved nationally in disability arts, he was shortlisted for a Dadafest Disability Arts Award 2009. His thirty poetry films have received many screenings worldwide, as well as at Tate Modern and National Film Theatre Studios, London. His exhibitions / installations / performances have been presented and toured with Arcadea, Cesta, Czech Republic, Dada-south; Interarte, Germany, and the Live Art Development Agency and beyond. He has had three CDs of his work released, most recently 'Speaksong' (with Gareth Mitchell).

Work: 61mb in wav format - 3 mins duration
(a poetry film version is also available on request)

licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence.


Name: Patrick Hough
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Title: The Day Martina Was Born
‘The Day Martina was Born’ is a short experimental radio piece based on the oral history’s and stories passed on by the artists Uncle, who’s family grew up near Fanad head, County Donegal Ireland. Many of the stories passed on recounted the terrible poverty that faced the people of Ireland throughout the country’s history, memory’s of which faded fast in the country’s boom years of the Celtic tiger. Now that we once again face into the abyss of economic crisis these story’s and history’s of a not so distant Ireland remerge. This piece seeks to capture the atmosphere of these oral history’s incorporating all the embellishment and hyperbole that comes with them.


Name: Martin Bizarro
Location: Torquay, England

Title: Torquay is Closed
This is Torquay on the south coast of England. I wandered around a couple of shopping arcades noting what was closed or struggling. The sound quality isn’t very good – I was speaking into the microphone on my camera.


Name: Xesús Valle

Location: Galicia, Spain

Title: Mass layoffs
In this field recording we can hear workers denouncing mass layoffs in a company. Unfortunately this is the norm nowadays everywhere. Taking advantage of the excuse of recession to increase profits by having the lowest cost plan. True recession in most cases, are workers' rights

License: Creative Commons License. Share alike.

Bio: Xesús Valle is a Galician sound artist who develops several audio projects, field recordings manipulations and electroacoustic compositions. He performs solo, in combos and with the Orquestra de Música Espontánea de Galicia (O.M.E.GA), conducted Improvisation Orchestra formed by a group of about twenty musicians, in which creates and manipulates its own sounds on the computer in real time, as well as creates sound spaces for theater, film, radio and internet. He has been selected for the artistic residencies of in Nodar (Portugal) and created the sound space of the drama "Crónica de días enteiros, de noites enteiras". Its whole discography is released at "alg-a netlabel", Galician netlabel (where he has been working as curator) and Notype/Nishi (Canada), Test tube (Portugal), Mandorla (Mexico) or Ruidemos (Spain).


Name: Obsil (Giulio Aldinucci)
Location: Siena (Italy)

Title: Capitalism is an empty factory
This composition can be described as an imaginary (and cerebral) soundscape of the life inside one of the factories that are going to close in Italy (…in Europe, in the World). In other words, as an enormous empty space where just some of the machines are in function; a sort of desert where the human and machine sounds jumble up like gloomy mirages.

Bio: I was born in Siena in 1981 and began learning music when I was a child. In addition to my musical research, that always focuses on different synthesis methods and on the use of field recordings, I also write music for acoustic instruments.


Name: Seth Cluett
Location: New York, USA

Title: zero balance (drawing zeros)
'zero balance (drawing zeros)' is a direct recording of the drawing of zeros on paper. The repeated task is an attempt to center myself as I feel the gravitation pull of the thousands of bank balances approaching zero with each passing hour of the present economic recession.

Bio: Seth Cluett (b. 1976, Troy, NY) is an artist, performer, and composer whose work ranges from photography, and drawing to video, sound installation, concert music, and critical writing. Engaging the boundary between the auditory and other senses, his work is marked by a detailed attention to perception and to sound's role in the creation of a sense of place and the experience of time. The apparent tranquility of Cluett's work - at once gentle and un-nerving - is concerned with the rapidly shifting sensory landscape of technological development and urbanization. Cluett's work has been shown and/or performed internationally at numerous institutions and festivals.


Name: Norman W. Long
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Title: Outside my widow, 4th of July, South Side of Chicago (edit) 5:00min mp3
The question of what is the sound of recession haunted me for a couple of days before I decided to do this piece. Especially since I am one of many African Americans who have been affected by this recession and lives on the south side of Chicago, which is predominately African American. The recording of my neighbors setting off firecrackers, roman candles, etc. in the rain is a response to the economic silencing a recession does to a community. I see/hear the fireworks as a celebration of existence more than a celebration of freedom, liberty and or patriotism.

Full version: 73:00min:

Bio: Norman W. Long is a sound artist, designer and composer, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He studied art and sound composition at the San Francisco Art Institute and then earned a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University. Combining his interests in sound, music and designed environments, he has made numerous performances and installations at galleries and public spaces in the Bay Area, Ithaca and Chicago.


Name: Margarita Angel
Location: Cali, Colombia

Title: Blue screen of Death
An error of the system? A bug inside? when did it start? it's the actual government or it comes from the past? It is a matter of memory, blank memory, it seems that we don't really want see or hear. A little echo just pass almost imperceptible and still reminds the country has more than 50 years of war, a fight of sides where the people seems not to care, people that hold an economy of war, hopping some day more investments for study, social security, and health. They believe that the new upcoming politician will accomplished his promises. Now our neighbour has freeze all diplomatics relations, no commerce between the two countries. Capitalism, socialism or communism? Whatever they are, their real interests are themselves, not the people.

Bio: Born 10 october 1985 in Cali, Colombia. Since I began working with video, I’ve been interest in the idea of being present in “a reality” and how it could be distorted. In this aim, sound has been an essential part in my work; I could lead into image without a “real” image. Currently i’m working on my thesis for my Bachelor degree in Visual Arts and Aesthetics at the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia).


Name: Song-Ming Ang
Location: London, UK

Title: For Ebb (Falling)
When there is a recession people are poor. Some resort to stealing. This is a poor man’s version of James Tenney’s “For Ann (Rising)”.

Bio: Song-Ming Ang is an artist, musician, and writer. Write him a letter telling him something personal about yourself and he will send you a personalised mixCDR in response. Full details at:


Location: Internet / Austria

Title: The Sound of eBay
Using eBay user data, The Sound of eBay generates unique songs (Soundcoding: Stefan Nussbaumer, Visualcoding: LIA). By simply entering any eBay username and clicking “generate”, the robots sprawl out into the net to collect data, bringing it back to the SC3 Supercollider sound-generation engine. The complex software-machine starts generating a score-file which is then transformed into a unique song.

“The Sound of eBay” transforms a role-model of individual commodities market in an “ARTitude” of robotic configurations and strings, swapping personalized and compositional business dreams with sound designs from secure client accounting. Using the concept of creative destruction, this entertainment-aggregation is tuning in a mind-blowing cutup, pushing the contemporary lifestyles over the edge and combines it with transformable delays of post-realistic business-analysis.

Bio: UBERMORGEN.COM is an artist duo created in Vienna, Austria, by lizvlx and Hans Bernhard. Their open circuit of conceptual art, drawing, software art, pixel painting, computer installations,, sculpture and digital activism (media hacking) transforms their brand into a hybrid Gesamtkunstwerk. The computer and the network are (ab)used to create art and combine its multiple forms. The permanent amalgamation of fact and fiction points toward an extremely expanded concept of one’s working materials that for UBERMORGEN.COM, also include (international) rights, democracy and global communication (input-feedback loops). “Ubermorgen” is the German word both for “the day after tomorrow” and “super-tomorrow”.


Name: Jonathon Keats
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Title: "Field Recording of One Dollar Deflating for One Minute at a -1.4% Inflation Rate"
A one dollar bill was placed in a safe for one minute on July 24, 2009, when the inflation rate on the United States dollar was -1.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is an unedited archival recording of the dollar bill deflating.

Bio: Acclaimed as "a poet of ideas" by the New Yorker, Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher and artist notorious for his pornographic movies for plants and his attempts to genetically engineer God. His exhibitions at venues including the Berkeley Art Museum and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts have been documented by the BBC and PBS. He has been a visiting artist at the University of California and Montana State University, and has been awarded fellowships by Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.