Gary Ferrington


Sound art for a walk in the park

Third Angle premieres series of soundwalk recordings

Mt. Tabor setting for Branic Howard’s Overlay soundwalk. Photo by Julia Carey.
Mt. Tabor setting for Branic Howard’s Overlay soundwalk. Photo by Julia Carey.

Portland’s innovative Third Angle New Music ensemble is engaging local artists in the composing and recording of soundwalks that can be downloaded for free and enjoyed by listeners wanting to escape their pandemic isolation with a guided stroll in one of the city’s many parks.

The first listening experience, Overlay, is now available from 3A’s Soundwalk Series website. New walks will be released on the 15th of each month through August. A cadre of outstanding artists has been lined up to compose an exciting collection of soundscape adventures for walkers including: Darrell Grant, Branic Howard, Crystal Quartez, Julie Hammond, Yuan-Chen Li, Amenta Abioto, Loren Chasse, Sarah Tiedemann, and Andy Akiho.


Channeling Oregon Sounds and Sights

Experiencing the natural acoustic and visual worlds of Don Latarski

Photos and Videos by DON LATARSKI

Don Latarski is fascinated by how easily people can distract themselves from today’s human-created cacophony by adding layers of sound — from a TV, radio, or ear buds. The Eugene-based composer/guitarist suspects most people have become quite uncomfortable with silence. Even he, like most musicians, has listened to hours of recorded music as background. “Is this why the TV is on in many homes 24-7?” he wonders. 

Don Latarski

A more rewarding respite for Latarski comes not from adding more human sounds, but instead from the soundtrack of life that nature once provided. And he’s found a fruitful way to bring those sounds to the ears even of people disconnected from nature — by combining them with original music. Latarski’s new album,Wind Water Wing: Nature Voices of Oregon, blends the sounds of Oregon’s birds, frogs, flowing streams, and other environmental sources with the musical drone of his unique wind and water guitars. The result, he suggests, will remind listeners of a hike through the wetlands, up a forested mountain trail, or along a lake or flowing stream — a soundscape experience that he believes will be “good for the brain and soul.”

Latarski’s embrace of nature transcends its sounds. Recently, he has also found in photography another way to explore its wonder and mystery.