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

jez riley french - ‘instamatic: snowdonia’
a document of listening, simply
6 tracks focusing on fence wire recordings & listening to the wind
available as a limited edition, full size taiyo yuden cd mounted on an art card + additional postcard
Review by Daniel Crokaert from 'The Field Reporter' website:
In his Instamatic series, Jez riley French invites us to share his moments of fortunate listening like they are, without make-up nor intellectualizations, retouches or alterations of the source, except a careful selection and probably a bit of equalization…
A hike within some magnificent natural region of North Wales, namely Snowdonia, led Jez to look particularly into the wind, that wind which speaks to us, while sweeping at the same timeendlessly across ever changing landscapes…
that air which circulates, lifts, makes particles, objects and surfaces vibrate, suggesting their outlines and concrete features…
But, far more than a report about a physical truth, the work quickly switches over to the extra-ordinary, underlining a very personal way of experiencing, of giving another dimension to things, and our environment…
Vast palette of amplified metallic resonances of fences planted in the isolation of a still preserved nature…agitation, vibrations, ferruginous supplications…a whole universe stands out, and submits to the laws of another one…a unhurried play of echoes and reflections coming out of the insignificant, and which reminds us constantly that our perceptions are fluctuating, eminently subjective, and tributary of their “captation tools”, but that they can also be the starting point of unexpected emotions…
“There’s an aesthete within us all “ seems to be, roughly speaking, what Jez whispers to us.
Through his care, his methodical record, his sense of listening, the creation of his own range of microphones, Jez acts like a revealer, a non-standard intermediary…
“Snowdonia” succeeds in closing our eyes slipping us into a long travelling through shaggy herbs, dishevelled by an insistent breeze – a Malickian scene…
Just next to us, trembling & bending wires, streaking the rust tones of a jaded vegetation…pebbles shrouded in history shape long grey veins studding the country as far as the eye can see…in the faraway, the shadow of hills asleep, peaceful guardians of a permanent sight…
In our ears, clicks, muffled murmurs of cold metal, aeolian moan, all the tense sensoriality of the world…
“Snowdonia” ends up ringing like the name of a mythical place where one has rendezvous with the other-worldliness…that other-worldliness, disguised under common appearances, here finely caught, and alongside which we often pass by in total indifference…

Tuesday, 22 July 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, 12 July 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, 17 June 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, 11 June 2014

nspired 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:

Friday, 23 May 2014

call for works
a quiet position | festival
summer 2014

I’ve been asked by 2 festivals to install work in their arts areas. Alongside several key pieces of my own i’m opening up this opportunity to other recordists / artists.
Work from earlier ‘a quiet position’ projects, ‘. point engraved’ releases and some specially commissioned pieces are already in place, however I am now looking for more pieces to be considered for the programme.
End Of The Road festival (august) was voted best festival in 2013 and has a very good arts areas, set in the woods near the garden stage. This years main festival line up includes Juana Molina, Radiophonic Workshop, Yo La Tengo, Marissa Nadler, Temples etc etc.
Beacons festival (august) is set in the yorkshire countryside just outside Skipton. This years line up inc. Daughter, The Fall, The Pains Of Being Young At Heart, Pins etc etc.
The ‘a quiet position’ installation will involve multiple speakers, however we are at present looking for stereo works - in wav format (16 / 44) - with field recording as a key element.
Please email with your ideas to:
tracks will need to be sent, via wetransfer or similar online service, by the beginning of August 2014.

Saturday, 17 May 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'

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

new album of hydrophone based recordings

available now as a limited edition cd and digital download

Sunday, 23 March 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, 14 March 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, 20 February 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, 14 February 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.

Saturday, 1 February 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

Sunday, 12 January 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

Thursday, 19 December 2013

a specially edited 20 minute section of my piece for Tate Modern - 'audible silence - the tate, sleeping & waking' will be the soundtrack in the special family gallery installation - from 21st Dec - 19th Jan....very pleased that younger folks are getting to hear it even more.

A section is also part of the 'Juke Box meets Tate Britain' installation / activity - at the learning gallery, Tate Britain until Feb 2014.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

two archive releases:

Monday, 9 December 2013

please note: this blog is no longer regularly updated - time is a precious thing indeed and whilst I do what I can to further the various positive aspects of field recording its become increasingly difficult to find time to post information on the rapidly expanding field recording world.

however, I do curate and admin a very active group on facebook 'a quiet position' - do connect there if you've enjoyed this blog

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

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 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

a nice blog post from Steve about the Wildeye trip to Iceland earlier this year, with examples of his recordings & photos....thanks Steve !

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

insect recordings, gathered from sweden, italy and across the uk....

new release - a dawn chorus recording, with conventional microphones & geophones, recorded at foxley wood, Norfolk....

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

for those unable to get to Tate Modern to hear my headphone piece, it's now available online also:

highly recommended website featuring field recording focused video of the Finnish coast:

Monday, 12 August 2013

digital reissue of out of print releases, inc. from the 8cm cd reviewed in The Wire:

review from 'The Wire' (December 2008 issue):

'two pieces comprising untreated field recordings of Yorkshire waterways, recorded with the composer's self built hydrophones. He insists that it's not the technical perfection of a location recording that he's after, but a sense of emotional interaction with the landscape. That's not to say that he's slapdash with his methods - both tracks have a fabulously evocative tactile quality that clearly demonstrates the composer's attention to, and delight in the most minute details of sound. The result of such open-hearted diligence is a brief, captivating mini-cd, beautifully packaged (Richard Skelton's work comes to mind), and which reminds us that listening is the most important part of composition' - Keith Keith Moliné

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

recently the artists Sebastiane Hegarty and Dr. Simon Park attempted to dissolve one of my hydrophones in sulphuric acid - an experiment that not only resulted in some interesting sounds but also in the surprising fact that the hydrophone survived !

here's the post from his website, where you can also listen to a sound sample:

I recently visited the chemical abode of Dr. Simon Park with the nefarious intention of immersing a hydrophone in Sulphuric acid and listening as it recorded the sound of its own dissolve into silence. I provided the hydrophone and Simon provided the acid (also known as oil of vitriol), along with the appropriate protection of gloves and goggles. We decided to conduct the experiment outside on a garden table, its surface protected from harm with a copy of the Sunday Times supplement, featuring Princess and sprout.
Unfortunately, this vitriolic and potentially expensive experiment failed, the Jez Riley Frenchhydrophone quietly surviving all attempts at chemical destruction. However, we were able to conduct other experiments into the sonification of chemistry. Simon has recently been encasing deceasedbumblebees in the blue sarcophagi of copper sulphate crystals. Knowing the anhydrous properties of the compound, Simon suggested we listen to the compound (also known as blue vitriol) quenching its thirst for water. As he dropped the white powder into a plastic container of water, we could hear the exothermic reaction, as energy was released in a short, but deep blue fug of sound. Using a pipette we dripped precisely measured droplets of water onto a hydrophone covered in the compound, producing sonic eruptions of blue like tiny burns in the surface of audition.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

a short extract from the on-going teleferica project & forthcoming release

Friday, 2 August 2013

120+ minutes of audio + 60 page pdf book of photographs

5 tracks - 91+ minutes of audio + 61 page pdf book of photographs


Sunday, 28 July 2013

2 track download album


2 x 8cm cdr on A6 art cards + download + 3 additional cards with download links to exclusive tracks by JrF, Sawako & Hiroki Sasajima

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

for 6 musicians & locale (topolo, italy - july 2013)

photos by Maria Silvano