The Invisible Suburb: World Listening Day 2019

World Listening Day Austin 2019

On World Listening Day, Thursday, July 18, from 7–9 p.m., Phonography Austin will present The Invisible Suburb, an outdoor sonic art installation, in the Onion Creek Greenbelt at 7306 Onion Creek Drive, Austin, Texas 78731.

The Invisible Suburb will feature recordings made in and around the homes of Austin artists, evoking the traces of domestic life that once permeated the Onion Creek neighborhood, where evidence of former habitations is steadily becoming overtaken by nature. Through speakers nestled among tall grass and other plant life, participants will hear an audible reference to the neighborhood’s residential past while seeing and feeling the verdure of its future. It will be a respectful and gentle rememberance, using domestic sounds, to acknowledge the daily lives of the people who lived there and made it home.

The installation includes recordings made by Henna Chou, Anne Fichtner, Vanessa Gelvin, Travis Putnam Hill, Neal B. Johnson, Alex Keller, Douglas Laustsen, Lacey Lewis, Christopher McConnell, Daniy Oberle, Sean O’Neill, Travis Pope, Josh Ronsen, Christy Tappe and Jackson Warren.

World Listening Day is an annual global event held on July 18 to celebrate the listening practices of the world and the ecology of its acoustic environments, and raise awareness about the creative exploration of acoustic ecology through educational initiatives that explore these concepts and practices. Phonography Austin was founded to host Austin’s first World Listening Day event in 2016.

Recordings by Students with Visual Impairment // Compilation and Listening Event

Artwork by Ethan W., student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Artwork by Ethan W., student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

On Saturday, May 11, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, with the support of Phonography Austin, will present a selection of student-made field recordings in the Fine Arts Building at the school’s campus on West 45th Street in Austin.

The listening exhibit, which is open to the public and part of TSBVI’s West Austin Studio Tour showcase, coincides with the online release of a compilation of the students’ recordings, co-curated and co-produced by Phonography Austin and TSBVI staff.

Audio recording plays a significant role in the lives of individuals with visual impairment, often serving as their analogue to photography, where snapshots of sound can serve as aural memories. Visual impairment manifests across a spectrum, and students at TSBVI have varying levels of vision loss, including a range of deaf-blindness. In addition to recording audio to capture memories or for pure enjoyment, TSBVI students interpret sound to situate themselves in physical space or to recognize familiar voices. For students on the deaf-blind spectrum, sound takes on a more tactile nature, where exploring sounds is about feeling its vibrations with the body.

More than a dozen TSBVI students contributed to the compilation, which collects together a diversity of audio elements and events that represent the students’ everyday lives. The project not only conveys the day-to-day sonic culture in which the students are immersed but also demonstrates self-determination, revealing part of their decision-making process for participation in and engagement with their surroundings through their choices of sounds. From recordings of Preston P.’s tactile exploration of the vibrations of an accordion and foot massager to the scratching of Lukas M.’s cane during music lessons, this project seeks to expand our notions of who listens and how we listen.



Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Location: Fine Arts Building 602 on TSBVI campus. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756



Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019

Download link:

Introduction to Field Recording

Introduction to field recording workshop presented by Phonography Austin

Join Phonography Austin members for an introductory workshop on the art of field recording on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 11:30AM to 4:30PM. No prior experience is necessary, but participants are encouraged to bring a recording device (a cassette tape recorder, a smartphone, or a digital audio recorder) for hands on practice. This free event is open to the public and will be held at Austin Public Library’s Carver Library Branch, 1161 Angelina Street, Austin, TX, 78702.


Schedule (times subject to change):
11:30 – 1:30 Lecture
1:30 – 3:30 Field Recording Scavenger Hunt / Lunch*
3:30 – 4:30 Listening Session

*Lunch is not provided. Feel free to bring your own lunch or eat out somewhere nearby.


What to Bring

Recording Device – a smartphone, cassette tape recorder, miniDisc recorder or other digital audio recorder.  If your device does not have a built-in microphone, you will need to provide your own microphone and necessary cables.

Pen and Paper – for note-taking.

Comfortable Shoes and Clothing – We will be walking around and recording, so please plan accordingly.

Optional: Lunch, a Snack, or Water Bottle

Optional: headphones, extra batteries for your recorder, a microphone and mic cables for your recorder (if not using built-in microphones), a microphone windscreen and/or a portable mic stand.


Where: Carver Branch, Austin Public Library
1161 Angelina St,m Austin, TX 78702

When: 11:30 AM
Saturday, April 6, 2019

Ages: Adults, teenagers

Cost: Free