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Dreams with Daniel Klag


The land rustles outward…

A village/choir. Just as it was built. Singing full of celtic surf and gales. Whistles catching in the bellows and crags: geologic, monolithic embouchures eroded slightly off their perfect pitches. Stones carved to their climbing octaves, melodies transported up the face of the mountain.

A pressure system pulling currents through the doric gills of the hillside. Breathing a hill hymn full of breath and mist. As one vessel halts, another skiffs, a cycle, a harmonizing ensemble winnowed from the briny air. A cloud-shaped cypher.

The sea replies with sighs…

S shhhhh/shhhh. Shhh sh sh shh shhhh. Shhhhhh shhh sh shhhhh shhh shh shhhh. Shhhhhhh shhhhhh sh shh shhhhhh shh shhhh: shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhh shhhhh shhhhhhh shh shhhh shhhhhh shhhhhh. Shhhhh shhhhh sh shhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhh, shhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhh sh shh shhh sh shh shhhhhhh.

S shhhhhhh shhhhh shhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhh shh shhhh shhhh sh shh shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhh s shhh shhh shhh sh shhhhh shh shhh. Sh shh shhhhh shhhh, shhhhhh shhhhh, s shhhh, s shhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhh shhhhhhh shhh shh shhhh shh. S shhhh-shhhhh shhhhh.


Daniel Klag is a New York-based sound artist. His new tape, Devotional, arrives soon on Patient Sounds.

Dreams is an ongoing project where we ask our favorite artists to create a piece of music inspired by a handmade collage.



Anticipation met anxiety. They danced for thirty minutes and then, finally, were silenced by the twenty five that followed; on this, our 36th episode.

Daniel Klag arrived early to the studio, bearing two samplers, a mixer, an iPad, and some effects pedals. 10PM sharp, we started, while the station’s signal did not. Troubleshoot, reset, retweet… 10:30 sharp, we began again. With the lights out, Daniel, fresh off the release of Reality and Self, produced an exceptional wash of static. And all was gone.

Following the set we spoke on the topic of ‘sound objects’. Daniel turned me onto Aki Onda‘s Diary, and with some encouragement, he’s collected those thoughts in the short piece below.


Daniel Klag: Aki Onda’s Diary, released in 2011, consists of a sixty-minute cassette, coupled with a book containing actual-size photographs of forty-one other cassettes in Onda’s library. Here, cassette tapes are not only finished products, but also artifacts of the creation process.



As Onda describes in the book:

“Over a span of two decades, I have been using the cassette Walkman for making field recordings which I keep as a sound diary. I consider these recordings to be personal memories, and not just sounds.

Around the year 2002, I began doing performances in New York using my cassette collection. Playing back these recorded tapes, re-collecting and re-constructing sound memories, until they lose their meanings and subjectivity and begin to resonate as the memory of sound.”

The tape provided with this release contains two field recordings of calm beach sounds, one taken in Celestun, Mexico and the other in Trouville, France. The listener is transported to another time and place, imagining the scene from the audio clues provided: light footsteps, seabirds passing by, waves crashing, wind crackling as it passes the microphone.

We are left to wonder the contents of the other forty-one tapes, making guesses based on their scribbled labels. “Birds Conversation Eckford Street,” “Morocco ’88,” “Escalator at 53rd Subway”—the titles conjure up images of scenes both familiar and exotic. Though we are several levels removed from the original sound source, the photographs are beautiful in themselves, offering a glimpse at Onda’s view of the world.


Thanks, Daniel. Reality and Self is available on tape via Chill Mega Chill.


Strange how they came upon The Mountains Themselves. First there was Daniel Klag, imagining the mountains themselves in static conversation. Then there was Nathaniel, just back from Alaska having spent much of his time admiring none other than the mountains themselves. Mix and motion, initially cued up by circumstance, now curiously applied to each other. Nathaniel would work Daniel’s 30 minutes of mist into three photos of his own from the trip, forming a piece that’s best left to your own interpretation—which we recommend arriving at with patience and undivided focus. Tracklist below:

00:00 Daniel Klag – Infinite Arc
06:08 Flying Saucer Attack – Since When (FOUR)
08:55 Fennesz – Shift
12:38 Growing – Southern Rites
17:40 Tim Hecker – Whitecaps of White Noise II
23:00 Alan Licht & Aki Onda – Tiptoe