cv . works . contact . news . tumblr .
    sculpture . photography . installations . paintings . music . video . other . exhibitions
    Kelso Dunes . Eureka Dunes . Warren Dunes . Sand Mountain .
Porth Oer . Indiana Dunes . Barking Sands . Mingsha Shan . Singing Beach .
Gebel Naqous . Namib Desert . Singing Dunes Qatar . ...



Kelso Dunes
Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 Parts
Kelso, California, USA

"Made the first recordings today at Kelso Dunes after a few attempts I was able to get some good recordings beneath the dunes surface by burying the microphones in glass jars...."

"The wind was blowing approximately 40 to 50 miles an hour on the dunes today, it was absolutely brutal and felt like my face is going to be sand blasted off my skull when I popped my head over the dune. The patterns the sand were making on the dunes surface were incredible, but I wasn’t able to make in audio recordings due to the wind storm…”

3/28/2014 | 4:00pm | 72°
"As soon as I stepped on the dunes face it released and began to slide and the entire dune began to sing. It produced a constant oscillating tone as the surface of the sand slide down the steep side until coming to a stop."

click to see complete image

About the work:
Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts

Our lives are driven by logic; every choice, decision, movement and thoughts use logic, great or small, as a pivot point. When logic is challenged or seemingly defied we are forced to pause to assess, question and investigate the source of what, by human understanding, seems impossible or at least improbable.

Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts does precisely that. A long-term study of the worlds singing sands phenomenon and the environments that surround them. From the Kelso Dunes in Southern California to the Gobi Desert in China where Marco Polo experienced the singing sands in the 13th Century.

This project is inspired by three historic figures whom combined artistic practice with the collection of information to further mans understanding of the natural world; Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo Da Vinci & Charles Darwin.

Napoleon lead an expedition into Egypt where he brought some of France's elite scientists and artists to collect, document and map the brutal uncharted deserts and their flora and fauna which came to be known as the field of study called Egyptology. The savants created maps of the seemingly chaotic narrow alleys and doorways of Cairo, rendered countless illustrations of the creatures that lived in this hostile environment and transverse the barren desert collecting specimens. The most important discovery during this expedition was that of the Rosetta Stone, which unlocked the ancient hieroglyphs that had previously been thought to be writings of magical origin.

One of the rarest of genius’ the world has known was Leonardo Da Vinci, a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, inventor, geologist, botanist, writer and more.  From his illustrations and investigations of the natural world, to his inventions realized only as sketches waiting for the world to catch up, often times hundreds of years later, to the simple phrase “The Sun does not move” which predates Copernicus which Da Vinci likely didn’t elaborate on considering the outcome would be considered heresy and would have resulted in death or imprisonment.

The Voyage of the HMS Beagle has always fascinated me, the fact that when Darwin stepped foot on the HMS Beagle the world was one thing yet when we stepped back on English soil after 3 years the world was entirely different and would never be the same again, even though it took Darwin a decade to come to terms with what he had discovered before turning all theory upside down with the theory of evolution. One of the things Darwin encountered on this expedition that he could never explain was the sound made by the dunes of the Chilean desert.

Booming Dunes will consist of audio recordings, photographs, drawings, simple maps and collecting sand from each location. The studies will be approached from an artist’s perspective rather than that of a scientist with final results being presented in an exhibition featuring sculpture, sound installations, essays, drawings, bronze sculptures, photographs and glass made from the sand collected.

I will present exhibitions per part as I complete different phases of the study, the selling of artwork at these exhibitions will aid my progress to the next chapter of the body of work, similar to the manner of which Christo sells his studies, drawings and photographs to move projects forward.

Booming Dunes: A Study in 35 parts when completed will contain a concentrated body of work that is inspired by the unknown, supported by objects and artifacts and bound together both visually and aurally. The study will likely inspire visitors to further investigate and possibly visit some of the locations and dunes to experience the phenomenon first hand.

j.frede - 2012


j.frede : Kelso Dunes - March 28 2014 from j.frede on Vimeo.

Title: j.frede : Kelso Dunes
Format: C10 Cassette
Running Time: 10 minutes
Label: Banned Production
Year: 2013

Limited to 50 Copies

j.frede : Kelso Dunes: C10 Cassette : Banned Production

The first release in the Booming Dunes body of work, this cassette features recordings made at Kelso Dunes in California’s Mojave Desert.

I was approached by legendary noise label Banned Production about being part of their Limited Cassette series on C10, C20 & C30 tapes. I decided it would be a great opportunity to make my release recordings from Kelso Dunes. The “expired” format of cassette was appealing to me for several reasons one of which is that I like that tapes are now more of objects that a feasible media for casual listening meaning that for most people effort would have to be taken to enjoy the audio. For me this makes the Kelso Dunes tape as much an art object/edition as it is a classic cassette release.

Side A; Sub consists of binaural recordings made beneath the dunes surface. Binaural microphones were buried in glass jars just below the dunes surface and I moved the sand above and around the microphones. The singing of the dunes can be heard moving from one side to the other, the deep sounds of the dunes resonance is the mysterious singing sound which a higher sounds of the sand moving across the glass surface of the jars containing the mic’s can also be heard.

Side B; Surface features binaural recordings just above the dunes surface. The combination of the low booming dune and the sands movement is more harmonious in this traditional style of field recording.

Thanks to Banned Production/AMK for releasing this cassette.


j.frede : Kelso Dunes: C10 Cassette = $5.00


(click to see complete images)
click to see complete image
click to see complete image
click to see complete image
click to see complete image
click to see complete image
click to see complete image