17 Species of North American Mammals

Grizzly Bear :0 - :17
Harbor Seal :17 - :33
Dall's Sheep :33 - :44
Timber Wolf :44 - :51
Moose :51 - 1:22
Cougar/Mountain Lion 1:22 - 1:26
Sea Lion 1:26 - 1:51
Porcupine 1:51 - 1:58
Bison 1:58 - 3:26
Ringtail/Rodent 3:26 - 3:41
Musk Ox 3:41 - 4:11
Columbia Black Tail Deer 4:11 - 4:37
Caribou 4:37 - 5:06
Coyote 5:06 - 5:25
Mountain Goat 5:25 - 5:48
Peccary 5:48 - 6:26
Mule Deer 6:26 - 6:58

From Sonic Scenery, an exhibit I worked on at the natural history museum in Los Angeles a couple years ago. Composers were invited to record music specifically to be heard in wings of the museum. The visitor wears a headset, which plays the compositions when triggered by remote signals in the galleries. Experimental duo Matmos took it all the way by making audio environments for each of the seventeen dioramas in the North American Mammals hall. The timechart (above) was intended to cue the visitor to move from one window to the next, but you can read along for a similar effect.

artist statement:
In general, our work starts by taking an object, making sounds with that object, and working outward from those sounds in a free-associative manner, without a preconceived result or specifically targeted genre in mind.
In this case, we have had to reverse this process and have tried to think about the precise specifics of the North American Mammals hall and work to gather sounds that will evoke both the natural locale and the specific behaviors of the animals in the room. We decided to anchor our piece around the sounds of animals eating, breathing, and sniffing their environment, and to locate these noises of animal life against a backdrop of plateaulike drones generated with musical instruments associated with "Americana": pedal steel, acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp. Feeding peanut butter to a friend's dog, we built up a basic library of mammalian lip-smacking, huffing, barking, whining, sniffling, and breathing noises, and combined this with a percussive battery of antler noises made by smacking deer antlers against each other and some softer rustling textures harvested by stroking and rubbing the pelt of a wolf.
The work is divided into miniature 'cells,' which stand in for the seventeen distinct dioramas/environments and animal species represented in the room, and this is split down the middle by a central section that corresponds to the large bison display at the far end of the room. Our work is intended to be a sound map of a walk through this room and is paced to coincide with a five-to-seven-minute counterclockwise walk through its contents
- Matmos

More about the exhibit here.

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