Starting in January 2007, Neighborhood Public Radio worked with various collaborators to present broadcast soundtracks for various walks through the Mission District. These tours known as Alternate Soundtrak City Tours (ASCT) were presented approximately monthly, and would feature a different "artist-led" tour at each tour's release. The tour would then be broadcast each weekend for individuals to experience independently for the rest of the month. The colored areas in the image below represent the full perimeter of the signal for the majority of the time that we were at Southern Exposure, based on listening with the small handheld radios we provided participants. Different radios would get different reception, and the broadcast range if you were listening from a car or using an FM antenna equipped home reciever was significant larger.
ASCT01 - "Out of Bounds", produced by Lee Montgomery
Our first Alternate Soundtrack City Tour premiered on January 6th at noon at Southern Exposure Gallery at 25th and Mission streets in SanFrancisco. It was titled "Out of Bounds" and covered the boundry of the transmitter signal ranging from 25th and Mission to Mission and Valencia then on to 25th and Guerrero. The tour consisted of collected sounds and interviews acquired as a result of daily walks along the route. This tour stands as a meditation on the ephemeral experience of place as it is defined by the strength of an FM transmitter's signal. At times along the route the signal would fade, resulting in moments of confusion for the tour participants. Maps were provided so that participants could always find their way back to the signal that tethered them to Southern Exposure gallery.
ASCT02 - "From Hamburg", produced by Lee Montgomery with Kora Junger
Alternate Soundtrack City Tour 02 premiered on February 3rd. For this tour Lee Montgomery interviewed his friend Kora Junger using Skype. Kora had lived in San Francisco for several years in the late 90's and had since moved back to Hamburg, Germany where she now lives. Lee asked her to remember as much as she could about her experience of the Mission district. In response Kora produced a book, which Lee then sculpted into a soundscape that accentuated the stories in the book that documented Kora's sense of alienation and isolation as a native German speaker, more confident with her ability to speak Spanish than English, in her first days in the United States.
ASCT03 - "Woodwards Gardens", produced by Katherin McInnis with technical support from NPR and Charles Kremynak
On March 3rd, the third tour began on Mission St, near the old entrance to Woodward's Gardens, a zoo/amusement park/museum/botanical garden, located on 2 city blocks between Mission, Valencia, 13th/Duboce and 15th streets, from 1885 - 1891. As participants walked around the perimeter and through the (now imaginary) pedestrian tunnel on 14th St., they could hear the sounds of the Gardens, from horse-drawn streetcars on wooden Mission St., to exotic zoo animals, boats on a fake lake, rides, and special attractions. Woodward's Gardens was home to one of the first Edison phonographs, and Woodward apparently brought in traveling acrobats, and even an "Indian tribe" to live in a recreated village. The range of our home transmitter was suplemented by a more immediate rooftop near the site of the old gardens. And much to our surprise the armory building now at the site was sold to porn entrepenuers kink.com at about the same time as the tour opened. The excesses of the entertainment industry in all of it's forms.
download (MP3 - 13MB)
ASCT04 - "The Live Boombox Audio Tour", produced by Lee Montgomery
download (MP3 - 23MB)
ASCT05-"Transient Frequencies" produced by Gilbert Guerrero and Kathleen Quillian
Rather than try to sum up the nature of this 4 dimensional portrait of the mission in the short space afforded here, Let's just link to their fantastic and comprehensive site documenting their tour and so much more.
To share your ideas or comment on the existing tour... contact Neighborhood Public Radio - soundtrack [at] neighborhoodpublicradio.org