Early San Francisco Foghorn Studies

Early foghorn studies led to the discovery of the fantastic map of fog signals and their patterns, pictured below and right.

The way to read these codes is as follows. In the example right, the diaphone #1 Golden Gate Bridge, Midspan has the following code: 2 bl ev 40s; 1s bl-2s si-1s 36s si. This translates to 2 blasts every 40 seconds; 1-second blast, 2 seconds silence, 1-second blast, 36 seconds silence. To break this out a little more, the 1st phrase says that there are 2 blasts that occur every 40 seconds. The 2nd phrase breaks it down, revealing that the foghorn “loop” goes like this (1-second blast)(2 seconds silence)(1-second blast)(36 seconds silence).

I’ve used these patterns as rhythmic phrases within sound installations, with phrases triggered by sensors and to create spontaneous compositions.

 

Foghorn Pattern Mix

The sound file included here is an early sketch that worked with these patterns and incorporated both appealing and unappealing sounds including gunfire, ocean waves and Wilhelm scream

Foghorn Field Recordings, Out Richmond San Francisco

None of my classmates really understood why I wanted to live in the cold and foggy Outer Richmond while I was living in SF. Why not live somewhere more hip like North Beach or the Mission? Well, I loved being near Ocean Beach and it seemed like one of the best places to listen to the Foghorns.

August 8, 2007
August 29, 2007
September 27, 2007