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Andrew Roth Recording
Andrew Roth recording on Mount Sutro in San Francisco. The microphone ‘always gets me stopped at the airports,’ he jokes. Drew Kelly for the Wall Street Journal.

Sound Designer Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a sound designer, working mainly in video games, television and film. But his side projects have included two CDs of exquisitely recorded sounds of the natural environment, one of Costa Rica and the other of Japan. His pristine sounding presentations are recombinations of the sounds he recorded on-site, re-composed to showcase all the sounds one might encounter in an environment, but in a compressed amount of time.

At the Nature of Music 4, Andrew presented a program and retrospective of his work, in particular his most recent CD, Natural Sounds of Japan. His creative mediums span the gamut from audio CDs to creating sound environments for amusement parks, radio, television, film and video games. His work not only evokes a sense of place but also of time, notably recreations of sound worlds that no longer exist, e.g., the 1850s SF Barbary Coast and SF’s Playland at the Beach (1913-72).

Much of his work can be viewed through the lens of musical composition. Unlike most classical or popular music, the sound pieces don’t follow standard structures. As compositions in sound they could be considered through-composed or rhapsodic: the dictates of the musical forms are based on intuition, personal aesthetics, and the internal logic and external parameters of the sound world being created. Mr. Roth’s work is exquisitely crafted, similar to the way that a conductor balances the sections of an orchestra. Particularly in his historical recreations, aural anachronistic sounds not allowed to intrude.

On his CD, Natural Sounds of Japan, Mr. Roth combines natural and ambient sounds recorded on site in Japan to convey what it sounds like to be in this environment. It might take many hours of recording to get all the potential sounds of interest recorded, but one needs to convey that to the listener in much less time. Mr. Roth composes a condensed and distilled version of recordings, sculpting an idealized version of that sound environment.

A native San Franciscan, Mr. Roth is a graduate of Oberlin College in history and ethnomusicology, formerly a sound designer for Earwax Productions, and then the founder of his own company, Roth Audio Design.

To  learn more about Andrew Roth and his work, follow this link to his web site.

This concert took place on April 13, 2017 at the Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California.

Event Program

The program consisted of a conversation between Andrew Roth and Charles Amirkhanian, with audio clips of some of Andrew’s work from his Natural Sounds of Japan CD.

Andrew Roth Program Cover

Click here to download a PDF copy of the program for The Nature of Music 4 – Andrew Roth.

Event Media: Video

Andrew Roth
In Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian

Sound designer Andrew Roth in conversation with Other Minds Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian during his appearance in The Nature of Music, a series of talks/performances with musicians whose work incorporates elements of the natural environment or environmentalism. The Nature of Music is produced by Other Minds in conjunction with the David Brower Center, and performances take place at the Brower Center’s Goldman Theater in Berkeley.

Artist Media

Shishi Odoshi (Spring Pas De Deux)
Andrew Roth

A track from Andrew Roth’s CD Natural Sounds of Japan.

Nagano (Alpine Summer)
Andrew Roth

A track from Andrew Roth’s CD Natural Sounds of Japan.

Cloud Forest
Andrew Roth

A track from Andrew Roth’s CD Natural Sounds of Costa Rica.

Frog Symphony
Andrew Roth

A track from Andrew Roth’s CD Natural Sounds of Costa Rica.

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