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ART and DEMOCRACY Art and Democracy

August, 2004
Angels Gate Cultural Center
San Pedro, Ca

Recording Flagpoles
Original sound art by: Shannon Michael Terry

This composition explores the sounds of the street. Sounds we hear on any given day while driving to work, shopping, walking to school or playing at the park. Sounds that, for the most part go unnoticed.

Sounds recorded/played by: Shannon Michael Terry

Shopping cart: Megan Coulter

Recorded sounds:
Flagpole vending machine (LA Times)
pay phone (Verizon) street caution cone
manhole cover gas station air hose
gas pump street light buzz
shopping cart mailbox
voltage regulator coins in a coke machine
trash dumpster’s air duct (Verizon building)
water under street

One night while recording a trashcan in an ally a car pulled up with its lights blaring and a voice shouted, “What are you doing?  Do you live here?”  I answered back “I’m recording trashcans.”  “Come out from behind the car with your hands on your head!”  I was hand cuffed, detained and questioned for 30 minutes. My car was searched while I was forced to face a wall.  One of the police officers (there were eight) asked, “You’re kind of like a free spirit aren’t you?” That was after I told them I didn’t remember my driver’s license number.  I said, “You could say that.”  When I asked, “why am I being treated like this?” They answered “Because you’re out here at 3:00 in the morning, it ain’t right.”   Another asked, “Why are you recording trashcans in the middle of the night?”  I answered, because that’s when there’s the least amount of cars on the road. He replied, except ours.

Recording Flagpoles is dedicated to the creative spirit inherent in all human beings and to those who dare to cross the line between conformity and possibility.

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