200 S Ave 66, Los Angeles, CA 90042
John Atkinson, Sound Artist
Slow Walk Through Whiplash
Climate science predicts a near-future L.A. with year-to-year “whiplash” between even hotter, drier summers and more intense rainstorms delivered by atmospheric rivers. How will this change our perception of the city? The work explores this question via the construction of an ambient soundscape of cli-fi phenomenology, imagining the climate whiplash of the 2020s and beyond via digital manipulations of two field recordings from the same day in early June: One, walking through L.A. during the early days of the George Floyd protests, the other, a summer thunderstorm recorded in New York City.
John Atkinson performed in Brooklyn, NY-based experimental rock group Aa (“Big A little a”) for over a decade, releasing three critically acclaimed albums along the way. Hailed by Pitchfork for creating a “spectacular, expertly sculpted 3-D sound world,” the band’s unique brand of DIY maximalism united interlocking, multi-drummer polyrhythms with dense layers of noise and psychedelia.
As a solo sound artist, John creates electronic soundscapes from field recordings of natural, urban, and industrial settings. This source material is sculpted into abstract music that is unmistakably digital yet infused with a distinctly organic sensibility, embodying the complex ecologies of the 21st century anthropocene. He has released several solo and collaborative albums on Gertrude Tapes, Florabelle Records, and Fluid Audio, and scored films including Two Plains and a Fancy, a Western praised as “imaginative and visionary” by The New Yorker.