The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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The World According to Sound


Friday, August 26, 2016
7:30pm – 10:30pm
$15 General / $12 Members / $20 Door
We are SOLD OUT for tonight's show. We ask that attendees arrive and be seated by 7:50pm, after which we will release seats to the waitlist. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016
7:30pm – 10:30pm
$15 General / $12 Members / $20 Door
Login or register to reserve seats

There’s a lot of talking on the radio. People love to yammer. The World According to Sound is a 90-second radio show with as little talking as possible. Every episode brings you one sound that tells a story. At The Lab we’re bringing all those sounds together to give you an immersive aural experience. 

The event is going to last an hour, with the lights off, and the room awash in sound. The show will be neither music nor narrative, but will float somewhere between the two. The World According to Sound wants to reawaken our relationship to life as perceived with our ears. Those dominant sensory organs of ours—the eyes—have no place at this event. Instead, we’ll venture forth Oedipus-like into the world, taking it in through that most immediate and ephemeral of human senses—hearing. 

(No one will be blinded in the course of this performance, and we will provide free drinks to ease the transition into the realm of sound.)

At the Lab we’ve set up a surround-sound system courtesy of Meyer Sound so we can move audio around the entire space. We’re going to bring you the sound of auctioneers, high school debaters, washing machine music, mudpots and bridges and ants, silence, voices inside your head, dead languages, Wikipedia’s data, and all sorts of other audio treats from our first fifty episodes. After the show we’re going to hang out and have drinks at a little after party, so feel free to stick around!

Chris Hoff is a public radio sound engineer and Sam Harnett is a reporter and producer. Both of us live and work in San Francisco. Together we are The World According to Sound. We started this ninety-second show with the idea of making a radio program that didn’t tell you a story or what to think. We wanted the show to be about sound instead of language and narrative—a show where the point isn’t to hook you with a story, or to package up some quirky character you can admire, but to get deep into a sound and play a long, unnarrated stretch so you can really lose yourself. Maybe as you listen, your mind will start to wander; you might even experience a little boredom—that mortal sin of modern-day media. Don’t tell any of our radio friends, but we actually kind of like getting bored. Sometimes we get together and do it on weekends, that is, when we aren’t working on the show. To hear a little more about the show, check out this interview with HowSound’s Rob Rosenthal.

Later Event: September 25
Bruce Baillie