Sub Ambient Sound Lab

What is Sub Ambient Sound?

We coined the phrase sub ambient sound to express that these sounds are discovered through excavation. Through contact with solid objects in an environment, these excavations reveal sounds from below the surface of the ambient sound experience.

The piezo microphone reveals sub ambient sounds and offers new ways of knowing and mapping a place and the material world. These explorations of the sub ambient sounds became the Mapping Found Sounds workshop described below. The resulting explorations and devices are inspired by the work of John Cage and Nicholas Collins’ Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking.

Mapping Found Sounds Workshop

About the workshop


Track sonic footprints and create an experiential sound map of sub ambient sounds, inspired by John Cage’s experiments with everyday sound.

Workshop Part I
In part one of this two-part workshop, participants make a simple electronic listening device by repurposing the ubiquitous and inexpensive contact microphones (piezos) found in old cellphones, computers, and other devices.

Workshop Part II
In part two, participants discover hidden sounds and contribute to the creation of a unique sound map of Burlington.

“It’s such a different visceral experience…it almost takes you out of your body in a different way than visual does. That sense of awareness is super-powerful.”

Toni-Lee Sangastiano, Artist/Educator

“This is kind of an experiment for me in endeavoring into the unknown, which is always exciting.”

Monica Callan, Artist/Educator


Workshop Press:

Seven Days Newspaper

Burlington Free Press

If you are interested in hosting this workshop at your event or institution, please contact us. It is available for higher educational institutions, festivals and conferences.