Rainstorm Reveries

Rainstorm Reveries

Rainstorm Reveries is a radio art narrative that explores liminal listening associated with rainstorms. Liminal signifies a threshold, astride which one can experience two worlds. In this case liminality is provided by sound(s), and one can hear two worlds, the external, physical world of the rainstorm, and the inner, more subjective world of sub-conscious reveries in response to the soundscape(s) heard.


Object: Audio file
Format: MPEG audio
Bit Rate: 320 kbs
Sample Rate: 44,100 kHz
Duration: 57:00
Created: 2018
Creator: John F. Barber
Original/Edited Files Available: Yes
Rights and Status: All rights reserved. Available for broadcast, installation, exhibition, and/or publication with permission.
Image: Lingering Frost, detail from image acquired by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows layered deposits comprised of thick stacks of icy layers at Mars' north polar region. Lingering seasonal frost accentuates those layers. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona. Source: NASA Mars Exploration Image Gallery. Status: Public Domain.


Framework framework:afield #658
Juried broadcast, international
Framework Radio
Põlgaste, Estonia
21-27 October 2018
Curated by international sound, performance, and radio artist Patrick McGinley (aka murmer).

Framework Radio focuses on field recording of sonic sources and their use in compositions. Featuring juried work by international sound artists, Framework Radio's goal is to present not only the extremely diverse sound environments of our world, but also the extremely diverse work that is being produced by the artists who choose to use these environments as their sonic sources. The research and creative question behind Framework Radio programming asks, "Is field recording a style or genre, or rather an uncontrollable and undefinable tool as any, that may be interpreted, manipulated, and appropriated by anyone with a microphone and idea?" Works produced in response to this question are the answer, the definition, not vice versa. Based in Põlgaste, Estonia, Framework Radio began broadcasting in June 2002 on Resonance 104.4 FM in London. Episodes are now broadcast on radio stations around the world.


I have created several episodes for Framework Radio, an international showcase of field recording, phonography, and sound hunting, curated by international sound, performance, and radio artist Patrick McGinley (aka murmer).
#808 Dawn Birds, Light Traffic, Melodic Machines, 3-9 July 2022
#738 COVID Dreamscapes, 13-19 December 2020
#711 Coho Crossing, 26 April - 2 May 2020
#658 Rainstorm Reveries, 21-27 October 2018
#623 In Progress, 17 December 2017 - 13 January 2018
#583 Transect: London, 29 January 2016 - 4 February 2017
#542 Water, Waves, Dreams, 31 January - 6 February 2016
#433 Between Sleep and Dreams, 9-15 September 2013
#405 Ambient Pulsations, 6 February - 6 March 2013
#389 Tell Me A Story about Meditation, 23-30 September 2012
#386 Meditation, 2-8 September 2012
#381 Contact, 12-14 July 2012

Artist Statement

We are serious about many things here in the Pacific Northwest. The spectacular coastline. Old growth forests. Mountains. Regional wines. Craft beer. Coffee. And rain.

Rain is a part of life here, for about nine months. It is usually light, gentle, arriving in bands as the storms move ashore from the North Pacific. Anyone using an umbrella is probably a tourist. Locals wear hoodies or flannel, and nod to each other as we pass in the rain.

But, when someone says, "Sun break!", we know exactly what she means and drop everything.

And during those times when the weather is clear and the volcanoes are visible right there in front of us, snow-covered and gleaming white, popping out from behind buildings or holding down the far horizon, our hearts fill with the beauty and diversity of living in the Pacific Northwest.

If the rain gets a wee heavy we visit coffee shops, or brew pubs. We order coffee or beer in multiple varieties, and taste the difference between each. We appreciate local food fusions. We relish Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon in their seasons.

Sitting inside, out of the rain, we consider the gentle rhythms of rain outside, the water flowing through downspouts, creeks, and rivers to the ocean.

These sounds are soothing, and quickly become liminal thresholds for meditation or introspection. Liminal signifies a position where one can experience two worlds. In my case, the liminal threshold is listening to both the sounds of rainstorms, and the sub-conscious associated thoughts and memories, the reveries, they promote.

The idea of rain sounds prompting inner thoughts and reflections is the conceptual framework for this extended soundscape. The idea of liminality, of being in one place while listening in two worlds, is the theme.

In creating Rainstorm Reveries I used my field recordings of rainstorms as liminal portals to explore other thoughts and/or memories of experiences not directly associated, but inspired, by rain.

The result is a sound-based narrative that explores liminal listening experience across two worlds. One is the external, physical, soundscape world of the rainstorm. The other is the inner, more subjective world of sub-conscious reveries in response to the soundscape(s) heard.

To best enjoy this work, imagine sitting in a Pacific Northwest coffee shop or brew pub, watching and listening to the rain. Unleash your focus and enjoy your own rainstorm reveries.