Sunday, August 23, 2015

Texas Design Now at CAMH

Three Sonic Fabric dresses are currently on display as part of the Texas Design Now exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. I'll be there at 2pm on September 26, 2015 to participate in a panel discussion.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

re:purposed at the ringling

i'll be at The Ringling museum in sarasota, florida this saturday for a variety of re:purposed exhibition festivities, including a panel discussion and a site/time-specific performance in collaboration with fellow re:purposed artist Jill Sigman. it's really a thrill for sonic fabric to be in the same room with works by so many artists i admire, including Nick Cave - Visual Artist and El Anatsui.

the lovely catalog contains a series of interviews with the artists by curator matthew mclendon. interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly...), it turns out there are many commonalities between the backgrounds and approaches of the practitioners included in the show...

while all of us do indeed incorporate repurposed materials into our work, several of us made a point to mention in our interviews that this is not necessarily intended as an ecological statement...rather, the impulse to repurpose is by-product of our ways of thinking and our lifestyles...many of us grew up in families where re-use and care for and appreciation of objects (and their associated histories) was a normal part of everyday life.

cassette tape, for me, has been a powerful and magical substance since the days of my high school punk band when we would record jam sessions endlessly. during the same era, we used strands from the broken ones on small racing sailboats as wind-indicating "tell-tales". it was a part of everyday life for us it continues to be for me today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

jon hassell's MAP2

I recently came upon the legendary Jon Hassell's work for pre-recorded cassette tape square and hand-held magnetic reader device in a 1969 issue of SOURCE: music of the avant garde. More on the project, including a video of me "performing" the work, here:

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Rhythmanalysis: Atmosphere of Taos, NM

Julian Mock and I were invited to Taos, NM to create a sound collage for the inaugural Paseo Festival. Over the courseof several days, Julian and I recorded samples from the local soundscape with some help from ten local school kids aged 8 to 14. On September 26th, the day of the opening, we installed a "listening station" marked by strings of sonic fabric flags beneath an overhang near the Taos Center for the Arts. That evening, hundreds of passers-by stopped to listen and discuss the sonic fabric of Taos.

The 11-minute sound collage is available for listening above (or here).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Salon at Justice Snow's, April 6, 2014

I'll be performing a new piece for tape loops and radionic garment (OM-edition sonic fabric skirt with black velvet silence ruffle) at the Salon at Justice Snow's in Aspen, Colorado on April 6.

Also pleased to be able to offer the OM ruffle skirt by custom order.

Sunday, December 01, 2013


$20 off all neckties in the shop, now until the end of the year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

sonic fabric skirt and jackets by koos van den akker, 2004

Koos Van Den Akker wearing a Sonic Fabric jacket he designed. 2004.
Sonic Fabric in multi-color stripe pattern designed by Koos Van Den Akker. 2004.

Cowl-necked Sonic Fabric jacket designed by Koos Van Den Akker. 2004.
In the collection of Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Introducing OM-edition sonic fabric neckties for Father's Day 2013! This edition of fabric is recorded with a single note: the OM tone (136.1 Hz). This is often the tone that Tibetan Buddhist monks chant the mantra OM to, and also the tone to which the Javanese gamalan is often tuned. These (ethically-produced, hand-made in nyc) ties are available for the sale price of $100 thru June 2013. Please visit the SHOP page for details. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

solo exhibition in nyc jan 10 - feb 16

Philosoprops & Ontological Apparatus from the Center for the Obvious & (Im)Permacultural Research on exhibit at Klemens Gasser and Tanja Grunert Gallery, 542 W19th St, NYC from January 10 until february 16, 2013. 

Tell-Tail Thangas (After Sandy) are a set of 2 sailboat sails (21' x 10' and 17' x 5') made of sonic fabric, a textile woven from cassette tape. The recordings contained in this edition of fabric include sound-samples collected on and under the streets of New York City during the 5 years immediately following 9/11/2001. The "Between Stations" album is available for free download.  Tell-Tail Thangas (After Sandy) were created in December of 2012 especially for the cathedral-like lower gallery at Gasser-Grunert, which was entirely submerged during Hurricane Sandy. The sails, pointing to the heavens, are symbols of resurrection, resilience, reverence, and cooperation with nature.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

slow numbers at show room in nyc

a 24' scroll made of sonic fabric is now on view as part of SLOW NUMBERS at SHOW ROOM, 170 suffolk street on the lower east side of manhattan until july 22.

very nice write-up in the "goings-on about town" section of the new yorker magazine:

"The standout is Alyce Santoro’s ominous-looking black scroll, woven from audiotape; stroke it with the provided device and it emits a white-noise whisper.'

Monday, January 16, 2012

A = 432 Hz and the OM (136.1 Hz, C#) edition of sonic fabric

Sometime during the mid-1990's I read in a book about yoga that the mantra OM is considered in Buddhist and Hindu traditions to be the primordial tone of the universe, a vibration which forms the basis of all things. As a musician and scientist, this sounded like an esoteric analog to the "Grand Unification Theory" being sought by quantum physicists. I decided in that moment that the existence of a fundamentally unifying vibration was something that I could believe in more strongly than most anything else. Shortly thereafter, I had the Sanskrit OM symbol tattooed onto the back of my neck as a permanent reminder.

After all these years and lots more research, the idea of a primordial tone still intrigues me, and in fact inspires much of my work – especially sonic fabric. I have created several editions of sonic fabric woven from cassette tape recorded with densely-layered compositions made of found, collected, and created sounds and tones. That the resulting material emits a garbled, underwater-like drone when a tape head is drawn along its surface helps to illustrate the notion of a single underlying vibration.

Although I've been mainly focused on weaving disparate sounds together into a single fabric, I've often wondered what kind of sound material woven from tape recorded with only a single tone might emit. But which tone to choose?

OM seemed like an obvious choice...but what precise tone, if any, is associated with OM? After some research, we discovered references to the frequency of 136.1 Hz, which lies between C and C# in western tuning (A = 440 Hz). We also noticed C# mentioned as the note to which male Indian vocalists will pitch their tonic note when singing with the tamboura. Some say it is the note that Tibetan Buddhist monks use as the base tone for chanting the OM mantra (although I was not able to confirm this through a very rudimentary study - I measured the pitch of Tibetan monks chanting OM in various YouTube videos using a chromatic tuner, and could detect no particularly dominant tone).

So, if 136.1 Hz is the OM tone, why? Is it based directly on something quantifiable in nature, such as the cosmic background noise, Kepler's Harmony of the Spheres, or the Schumann Resonances (the constant rumble within the Earth's ionosphere created by lightning strikes)? Interestingly, while 136.1 Hz is between a C and C# using  standard concert pitch (A = 440 Hz), it is precisely a C# when A is tuned to 432 Hz.

Some musicians, scientists, and scholars believe that many ancient Egyptian instruments, Stradivarius violins, and the music of Verdi and other western classical composers may have been tuned to A = 432 Hz. Some believe that tuning A to 432 Hz instead of 440 Hz may actually be healthier for the human body, or even society at large. While the number 432 may or may not be somehow inherently in tune with the forces of nature, it cannot be denied that medical doctors use the resonance of tuning forks  in C = 256 or 128 in the A = 432 system to detect bone fractures.

While all of this is utterly fascinating to us and begs further research, we have not yet come to any conclusions about how or why humans first arrived at 432 Hz or 136.1 Hz.

What we can say for certain is that experiments with the OM edition of sonic fabric are providing some surprising results. The sound recorded onto the fabric - a pure 136.1 Hz tone -  was generated digitally so that it would have no overtones. The normal speed that audiotape runs in a cassette player is 1 and 7/8 inches per second. We dragged the reader along the surface of the fabric at varying speeds, striving to approximate a mechanical effect. We used the largest, most sensitive amplifier in the studio in order to pick up the fullest range of tones possible. The tape head in our hacked Walkman "reader" device is wide enough to pick up several (perhaps 5 or 6) of the compressed strands of tape in the fabric at once. We expected to hear an even, steady, single tone. Instead we heard multiple low tones, some in the range of 136.1 Hz. 

Is it possible that when several strands of tape recorded with 136.1 Hz are "read" simultaneously at the same speed, that several tones are generated? Would this be the case using other frequencies? 

Much more experimentation is needed. Your input is welcome! 

Please stay tuned! 

Alyce Santoro & Julian Mock
Center for the Obvious & (Im)permacultural Research

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the sonic fabric of galicia

dear friends, i've recently returned from galicia – northwest coastal spain – where i presented a series of sound art workshops and collaborated with musicians, sound artists, and designers on a special edition of sonic fabric. it was truly an honor to have been invited by julio goméz of sinsalaudio and the cidade da cultura to create this edition recorded with 60 tracks of sound, music, and spoken word from this unique and sublimely beautiful part of the world.

during the 10 years that this project has been evolving, one thing has become amply clear: sonic fabric becomes most alive when it is shared.

in fact, i believe that anytime ideas, inspiration, cultures, technologies meet in a spirit of earnest and mutual respect, generosity, reciprocity, and collaboration, evolution happens. i find improvisational music to be a pure, profound, and immediate expression of precisely this phenomenon. while improvisational music has long been extremely appealing to me, it is a rare and precious treat to find fellow musicians with whom to create it.

i feel extremely grateful that the sonic fabric project has provided opportunities to improvise with those in other parts of the world. the invitation to go to galicia, to experience first hand the galegan language (a close relative of portuguese), to learn about the celtic influence on regional music and culture, to take in the landscape, food, and drink, to share skills and ideas and collaborate with fellow artists, to make new friends, and to quite literally weave these experiences together - this has been a critical and beautiful stage in the evolution of sonic fabric.

so many people contributed to and participated in making this project happen. many thanks to julio goméz and luis campos of sinsalaudio, to the cidade da cultura de galicia in santiago de compostela, to all of the musicians and sound artists who contributed tracks, to fashion design students at the university of vigo adrián rivas, antonio santos, and david del ríothe who transformed the fabric into phenomenal garments inspired by traditional dress, to fellow sound/video artists juan-gil lopez, mauro sanin (aka ariel ninas), horacio dieguez gonzalez, and pablo orza, to usa projects and to every single person who offered enthusiasm and support in any way, shape, or form.

to those who purchased yardage of the soon-to-be-released OM edition (C#, 136.1 Hz) of fabric, i apologize for the delay in getting it to you! fabric will be shipped in mid-january. if you are not on the reserve list and would still like to have a piece of this edition, please don't hesitate to let me know!

there are more images from the sonic fabric adventure in galicia on flickr and facebook, and sounds from the workshops on soundcloud.

feliz ano novo a todos,

Monday, December 26, 2011

sonic garments designed by fashion students

from the special galician-edition of sonic fabric, several beautiful garments were made by fashion students from the university of vigo: adrián rivas, antonio santos, and david del río.

sound art workshops in galicia

sound art workshops in galicia (spain)/taller de arte sonora en galicia

these are the 4 sound collages that resulted from sound art workshops that took place in the galician cities of fisterra, a coruna, pontevedra, and santiago de compostela.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

sound-art workshop at planeta namec in fisterra, galicia, spain

Finisterra collage by alyceobvious
this is the collaborative sound collage that resulted from the first of four sound art workshops i will be conducting throughout the stunning (both visually and sonically) galician region of spain.

the 18 students in fisterra were incredibly enthusiastic, and the resources at "planeta namac" extremely high-tech. together the class participated in a sound making/collecting expedition using various devices. we uploaded all of the sounds gathered to a common file, then worked to create a group sound collage. the 6-hour workshop ended with a live performance - musicians in the class improvised with the collaboratively-created collage. 

many thanks to all who participated, to sinsalaudio and the cidade da cultura de galicia, and to all who contributed through my usa projects campaign.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

sonic fabric va a galicia

i am taking off on wednesday for spain, sponsored by sinsalaudio, the cidade da cultura de galicia, and all of the generous people who contributed to the creation of this very special edition of sonic fabric by offering support thru usa projects, or by purchasing yardage. please watch this spot for updates!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OM = C# 136.1 Hz

based on an image from The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness, by Joachim-Ernst Berendt 

the sonic fabric custom editions project ended successfully, having raised enough funds to weave a 125 yard batch of fabric. the cidade da cultura de galicia will be receiving a 30-yard edition containing a blend of music from this unique region of spain.

i will also be weaving 40 yards containing only a single note - C# 136.1Hz. this tone is the base note of the sitar and tamboura, and is the note upon which tibetan monks have been basing the OM chant for thousands of years. it is considered by many in indian and tibetan cultures to be the primordial sound of the universe.

it is not too late to have a hand in the making of this very special custom edition - by purchasing yardage, you are making this project possible. please visit the SHOP page for details.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011



From now until August 30th conceptual and sound artist Alyce Santoro is accepting commissions from musicians, designers, architects, collectors – anyone interested in collaborating to produce a personalized, custom-recorded edition of Sonic Fabric, a versatile, durable, audible (!) textile woven from audiocassette tape.

Alyce’s works made from Sonic Fabric have been featured on the CREATE episode of the Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet, and are exhibited in museums and galleries around the world (including such venues as the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, the Gwangju Design Biennale in Seoul, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum's upcoming Power of Making exhibition).

Alyce is offering to weave 20 yard editions of Sonic Fabric in exchange for tax-deductible (!) contributions through a new non-profit crowdsourcing platform for artists. All funds generated will go towards a site-specific Sonic Fabric piece she has been invited to create for the City of Culture of Galicia in Santiago de Compostella Spain this December.

For more information, please visit Alyce’s USA Project page at

SONIC FABRIC - custom editions! project updates via facebook
@alyceobvious on twitter

Thursday, July 14, 2011

please allow me to weave you a small edition of custom sonic fabric

from now until august 30th, in exchange for your tax-deductible contribution, i will weave 20 yards of sonic fabric especially for you, containing any sounds you wish:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

sonic fabric dress at futurotextile 2011

one of the sonic fabric superhero dresses, along with the factory movie, is currently on display as part of futurotextile 2011 at the museu maritim de barcelona in spain.

Friday, February 04, 2011

cassette tape & crossbones

what with all the recent fuss over wikileaks and anonymous operations coming to their defense, i happened to noticed that the pirate bay - a popular bit torrent filesharing site - uses a very nice illustration of a pirate ship as their logo. upon closer inspection, i saw that on the sail is a super-fantastic image of a cassette tape and cross bones.

cassette tape and crossbones?? how fantastic is THAT?! i did some research and discovered that this was a design used in the 1980's by the British Phonograph Industry to go with their Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign. naturally, it was immediately co-opted by the very "pirates" BPI hoped to target.

the image fits so perfectly with sonic fabric - the idea of sharing, collaboration, the weaving together of seemingly disparate ideas to form a common whole - not to mention that sonic fabric is actually made of tape! i believe strongly in the notion of creative commons - that society functions best when information is freely shared. in order for this system to work effectively, it is imperative that sources of ideas be acknowledged and attributed to the greatest extent possible (reciprocity is critical not only in matters of intellectual property, but in all matters of society and community as well).

i am planning to make a limited-edition batch of flags silkscreened with this logo, to be offered for sale or trade. i will donate part of any funds generated to causes related to freedom of press and speech. please let me know if you'd like to receive one.

Monday, November 15, 2010


the following retailers currently carry sonic fabric goods:


NEW MUSEUM SHOP manhattan, nyc
NUBE GREEN seattle, WA
VENN perth, australia
PLANET CLOTHING perth, australia



new sonic fabric clutch purses now available

new clutch purses now available at supermarket and wedzu!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

soundwave: green sound: change of plan

i apologize to those who had planned to come see me perform live at the "soundwave green sound" festival in san francisco this coming weekend. in the interest of environmental conservation, i have prepared this virtual dispatch instead:

Many months ago when Alan So and the Soundwave committee decided that the summer 2010 festival would be based on “Green Sound”, they made an uncannily appropriate choice.

For some time, many have sensed that the excessive and wasteful ways of Western Civilization have been rapidly catching up with us - every single artist in this festival is deeply touched by these issues. When I received the application for the 2010 Soundwave season, I couldn’t imagine not being a part of Green Sound. To me, “Green Sound” conjures up theories in quantum physics that suggest that, at the most basic level, everything in nature may be composed of little more than vibration. We – along with everything else in the universe – are a cosmic symphony, a sonic fabric. If we all really understood this – if we were aware that we could hear it, direct it, and improvise with it - how might this change our reality?

This is precisely what my work has long been about. 23 years ago as a musician and an undergraduate marine biology major, I worked on a research project which involved recording the sounds of dolphins using underwater microphones. Part of my job was to feed sonic data into an ocilloscope, then examine a visual printout of each individual dolphin echolocation “click”. Though the clicks were only a second or two long, the visual graph allowed for the detection of intricacies down to 1/100th of a second. It quickly became clear that dolphins have a listening-sense that is very different from our own. 

During the same era I encountered Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags for the first time. I learned that these colorful strings of cotton squares are imprinted with mantras, or sacred sounds, that are designed to be hung in auspicious outdoor locations where the “good vibes” with which they are imbued can be “activated”, released out into the world on the wind. This reminded me of experiences I’d had as a child aboard my family’s racing sailboat. On small boats, short strands of cassette tape are often used as “tell-tails”, or wind indicators, tied onto the rigging to keep the crew aware of the direction and strength of the wind. Cassette tape is an ideal material for this purpose, since it is light and very sensitive to the wind, it dries quickly, and is very durable. Sometimes while sailing as a kid, in a state of reverie I would stare up at a cassette tape tell-tail fluttering in the breeze and imagine that I could hear Beethoven or the Beatles wafting out into the air. The moment I realized the similarity between the tell-tails and the prayer flags, I decided that someday I would like to weave a fabric containing sounds that, to me, were sacred.

Slowly but steadily, I set about collecting tapes with this idea in mind. I carried a hand-held cassette recorder everywhere I went, and like a scientist, I meticulously collected samples. Crickets, ocean surf, ambient street noise, the jam sessions of musician friends, people talking. I recorded a “Wind Quintet” – the wind blowing in four different directions in four different locations, which I mixed down onto a single track. I thought of myself as an archivist keeping a record of the sounds of life on Earth. In the back of my mind, I was preparing for some future day when these sounds might no longer exist.

Once I had compiled a collection of 100 individual tapes, I started to knit with them, but the resulting fabric was very loose and flimsy. A friend offered to help by weaving the tape on a loom with a cotton warp. The resulting fabric astounded us both - it was as solid as canvas with a mysterious sheen. It could be cut and worked like other fabric, and best of all, when we tried running a tape head over it, it emitted a strange garbled sound. Oddly enough, when a tape head picks up 5 or 6 strands of tape at a time, the resulting sound is eerily underwater-like.

Several years have elapsed since then, and in the interim I have used Sonic Fabric to make sets of sailboat sails, shaman-superhero costumes, and good-vibe imbued/emitting strings of flags and wearable accessories. The tape I am currently using in the weave is overdubbed with a series of sound collages called “Between Stations” made from sounds collected on and under the streets of New York City and Brooklyn over the course of several years after 9/11/2001.

My life and work was becoming more and more about savoring, salvaging, and striving towards some semblance of a sustainable existence. In 2005 I visited the high desert of far west Texas near the Big Bend National Park – and unexpectedly felt right at home. The local light-, land-, and soundscape reminded me strangely of the ocean. I picked up fossilized shells and sea creatures off the floor of an ancient seabed. I felt as if I was walking on the bottom of the ocean, only I could breathe. Ultimately, it was the quality of the sound of this place that drew me to move here from Brooklyn in 2006. As a sound artist, when people ask why I moved to such a remote place, it’s easy to say that I craved the silence, that in my studio right next to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway I couldn’t hear myself think. But the truth of the matter is that there is more to it than that. It’s not the silence, exactly – it’s being able to hear the subtle sounds that things emit. Rocks and trees and mountains are not silent – they are composed of infinitely tiny particles whizzing around even tinier particles – these are sounds that we can hear, maybe not with our ears, but with some other as yet unnamed sensory organ. This is the kind of hearing that I seek to hone.

Now I live several miles up a dirt road in the middle of what is, for most intents and purposes, the middle of nowhere, with my partner, a composer and guitarist. We live in a tiny house with no running water – all of the water we use for drinking, cooking, washing, and gardening is harvested from the rain. We are aware of literally every drop we use and reuse. We grow a good portion of the food we eat, and cook as often as possible (almost every day) in a solar oven. We made a highly efficient refrigerator out of a chest freezer found next to a dumpster – it burns one tenth of the electricity of our small old unit. We are slowly reducing our reliance on power from the grid – our electric bill last month was $14.00. My studio runs entirely off a solar set-up that cost less than $500. If you like, you can find out more about our experiments into homesteadery on our blog, The Obvious Observer.

We never really set out to be environmental or social activists per se. We just wanted to live in a way that we felt was responsible and enabled us to spend more time making our work, and less time doing jobs just to get money. The worse things have gotten in the world, however – the longer the wars continue and the less we see positive change being implemented by national leadership – the more strongly we feel that simply consuming less is a radical act. If the hemorrhage of oil currently gushing out into the Gulf of Mexico has taught us one thing, it is that our government and our entire society is controlled by a substance that it has come to believe it cannot survive without. We can also say with a great degree of certainty that change cannot and will not come from the top down – clearly, those doing the legislating are the very same ones who stand to gain the most by the status quo. We don’t have time to wait for some magic bullet “green” technology, or perfect legislation. When enough of us realize we have nothing to gain by continuing to support a faulty system, and we express our willingness to simply cease to buy into it to the greatest extent possible, then and only then can change occur.

To this end, I have founded a community on Facebook called USE HALF NOW. USE HALF NOW is a grassroots movement/idea-sharing resource for those ready to make necessary shifts towards reducing consumption of non-renewable resources. I have also written several articles published on, including “Spacehship Earth: Navigators Wanted” and “Makers: DIY Agents of Social Change”.

As grateful as we were to be accepted, the decision to attend Soundwave was a difficult one to make. We were surprised to learn upon doing some research that driving from west Texas to California would expend fewer resources than flying. Even at that, the drive would require 100 gallons of gasoline – two-thirds of our entire average yearly consumption.

Once the torrent of oil into the Gulf of Mexico began, with each passing minute we found it more difficult to rationalize the journey to San Francisco to perform for an hour or two. I could not envision standing on stage at “Green Sound”, explaining the history of my work and the inherently nature-honoring inspiration behind it while overlooking the resources required to get there. I am extremely grateful to Alan and to everyone at Soundwave who have done everything in their power to make it possible for me to be part of the festival, and who have expressed generosity beyond my wildest expectations by understanding and respecting my strong sense that my work would be most effectively presented virtually instead of physically. YouTube, Skype, Facebook, Twitter – all of these media and others yet to emerge are making it increasingly practical for us to share our work with audiences around the world, while expending only a fraction of the resources. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come to you this way now, as part of Green Sound.

With Heartfelt Thanks,
Alyce Santoro

Saturday, April 24, 2010

sonic ties in the new york times

the ties were mentioned today in an article in the "consumed" section of the ny times magazine called "hitting the rewind on cassette tapes".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

tune in, turn off, unplug.

we have all the technology we need to cut emissions, reliance on fossil fuel, and energy bills in half NOW - simply by using less. there are so many simple ways each of us could begin to reduce waste, without sacrificing a bit of comfort. please come share your thoughts at the USE HALF NOW campaign on facebook.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


dear friends and fans old and new, to thank you for your interest in sonic fabric, BETWEEN STATIONS, the album of sound collages contained on all current batches of fabric, is now available for digital download thru cd baby only for just $5.

Monday, January 04, 2010

thrift, swap, sew

as a "green designer" (really i think of myself as more of a conceptual artist who works with scavenged materials...) i was kindly asked by ecouterre to comment on my wishes for the future of fashion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snazziest gadget?!

the sonic fabric fedoras are up for "snazziest wearable gadget of 2009" on ecouterre! there are some other snazzy things, but i'd sure be grateful for your vote...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

sonic ties in ROLLING STONE gift guide!

the ties are #75 in a list of hot gift items for music lovers in ROLLING STONE magazine!please order here at before dec 16th for holiday delivery.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

new sonic fabric fedoras

the gorgeous new sonic fabric fedoras are made to order, and available thru supermarket.

i only wish joseph beuys were still around...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

holiday shopping sample sale at supermarket

for sonic fabric goods, philosoprops, and one-of-a-kind work-of-art fashion accessories, please visit my shop at supermarket.

Monday, November 09, 2009


these are tracks from the album of sound collages that is recorded onto sonic fabric prior to weaving. available on the "goods" page, or with more detailed information at cdbaby.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

TODAY show

the sonic fabric neckties will be featured on the TODAY show at 9am eastern this thursday november 12th. to purchase one of these or another sonic fabric item, please visit our "goods" page, or visit supermarket. several of the sonic "shaman-superhero" dresses are also available. please contact us for details.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

voidness dress in brooklyn

the voidness dress will be at space 414 in red hook brooklyn until december 22, 2009.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

sonic fabric in filter magazine

The catalog for the CODED CLOTH exhibition at the Samstag Museum in Adelaide, Australia has appeared in an-on line version of FILTER MAGAZINE.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the sound archive

the sonic fabric sound archive has, at long last, been established. these are the first of hundreds of samples in my collection of short sonic snippets of the human experience.

since the technology has finally arrived, i am now able to solicit samples as well. do you have a sound sample you'd be willing to donate to the archive? i will collect the samples, and some of them will be incorporated into the next series of compositions that will be recorded onto the tape prior to weaving.

Send me your track

Thursday, August 06, 2009


FUTUROTEXTILE 09, SURPRISING TEXTILES IN DESIGN AND ART opened on august 2nd in bangkok thailand at the jim thompson art center. one of my solid black sonic fabric "voidness dresses" will be on display there until october 16th. then the show will move to casablanca.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

sonic fabric at cannes


DD: How did the idea for the suit come about?
Pierre André Senizergues: "With my role as executive producer, I knew I couldn’t walk down the red carpet at the premiere of The 11th Hour at the Cannes Film Festival in a tuxedo that wasn’t environmentally friendly. When I found this amazing material that had audiotape weaved into the fabric to give it a glossy finish, I thought it would make the perfect tuxedo for this occasion. It was an existing fabric that no one was using. I found a tailor in Koreatown in Los Angeles who made tuxedos for Brad Pitt and we lined the inside of the tuxedo with recycled Etnies t-shirts."

no one was using it? merci, mais au contraire...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

jon fishman's "musical suit"

jon fishman, phish percussionist, always wears a black mu-mu style dress with an orange donut pattern on it when he plays on stage. once many years ago (late 1990's?) i got to talking with jon about a project i was about to start working on in which i would use cassette tape to weave a kind of fabric. jon was immediately interested, and offered to donate his personal collection of tapes to the cause. i suggested making something for him out of this material literally woven from his favorite music. a version of his traditional ritual garment imbued with sound seemed logical, especially
since i'd long been intrigued by orange donuts and had been using them in my work for years to represent the notion of "sound made visible". it wasn't until after jon had given me his box of 300 tapes - a wide range of rare gems, including original jimi hendrix jam sessions, prince recorded live during an impromptu concert in a small club in london, john coltrane, sun ra, led zeppelin, bob marley - that i decided to make a sound collage from samples of every single tape in the box rather than use the originals to weave with. i spent a week listening to the tapes, using my old-style analog 4-track recorder to create a layered collage of samples. i then recorded this composition - crammed full of jon's inspirations - onto large spools of tape salvaged from the audiobook industry. the tape was then woven into fabric, then silkscreened with orange donuts, then sewn into a dress.

a prop maker/sound engineer friend made tape head gloves that jon could use on stage to "play" the dress - by rubbing a tape head over its surface, it would emit a garbled, swooshing sound, not unlike a DJ scratching on a record.

in 2004 jon fishman performed on stage during a phish show in las vegas using the dress as a musical instrument. jon fishmans's "musical suit" is now on display as part of the "return to function" exhibition at the madison museum of contemporary art.

Monday, April 27, 2009

sonic fabric neckties

these hip skinny sonic fabric neckties, made from recorded audiocassette tape recorded with the "between stations" sound collages, emit good vibes into the vicinity of the wearer. look equally good with t-shirt or dress shirt.

introductory half-off sale now at supermarket.

Monday, April 20, 2009

voidness dress

the "voidness dress" - sonic fabric dress, one-piece apron with patch of velvet. inspired by the heart sutra in buddhism. photo by erik gould, courtesy of rhode island school of design museum of art.

sonic fabric sails

Monday, February 02, 2009

in the interest of consolidation, from now on i will only rarely post here - instead, all updates will be posted regularly at and on my photostream at flickr. also, many items made of sonic fabric and from my collection of philosoprops are available through supermarket.

Friday, January 23, 2009

electronic shamanism

i'm very pleased to have a couple of pieces in this show opening tonight at interaccess arts in toronto.

Monday, January 12, 2009

some assembly required

between stations, sound collages for sonic fabric, is the first feature of 2009 on the some assembly required blog! there's also a track from the album on this week's some assembly required podcast.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

the sound of sonic fabric

the between stations cd contains the recordings of the sound collages that are recorded onto sonic fabric before it is woven. the cd comes in a limited-edition sleeve made of sonic fabric.
Buy Now

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

samstag museum

You are invited to join the Samstag Museum of Art and the Australian Network for Art
and Technology to launch CODED CLOTH, an exhibition of 'interactive' textiles.Curated by Dr Melinda Rackham, Executive Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology.

The exhibition will open on Wednesday 29 October 2008 6-8 pm, and runs from 30 October - 19 December 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

imaginative qualities of actual things

the imaginative qualities of actual things opens at the price tower, frank lloyd wright's only skyscraper (inspired by a tree) tomorrow evening near tulsa, oklahoma. the silence dress will be part of the exhibition.

Monday, July 21, 2008

the green

today the sundance channel posted an update on its green blog as to what i've been up to since the "create" episode of "big ideas for a small planet" aired.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

sonic fabric necktie

the gorgeous, long-awaited, limited-edition sonic fabric neckties made in collaboration with designer julio cesar are now available at the new museum shop in new york city and via supermarket.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

musical score show, barcelona

i have a sonic fabric piece in this fantastic show called "possibility of action: the life of the score" at the museum of contemporary art in barcelona. also included are some of my favorite experimental composers such as john cage, yoko ono, pauline oliveros, and morton feldman.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mixtape show

dear folks, i am working on putting together a mixtape show for eventual broadcast on marfa public radio. if you have any wild old tapes, especially of the 1980's mix variety, that you'd be willing to part with, please send them to: center for improbable & (im)permacultural research, po box 176, fort davis, tx 79734. thanks!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008


if you are in dublin, please visit see the phenomenal technothreads exhibit at science gallery at trinity college.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


when i was 11 or 12, i visited the exploratorium, a science museum in san francisco, for the first time. the experience had a profound influence on me, and no doubt contributed to my ongoing love for the elegant, mysterious science which lurks in everyday things.

now, all these years later, i'm honored to be part of their "2nd skin" exhibition. i'll be modeling a sonic fabric apron and dress at the opening on the night of april 25th. hope you can join me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

please help tibet

the tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. it is finally their moment to speak out -- please help them be heard by signing this petition immediately

international campaign for tibet
aavaz international

Thursday, February 21, 2008


i've got a couple of pieces in the "evolution/revolution" show at the RISD museum in providence, including "the silence dress": infused with sound, but with a patch of ultimate voidness.

image above courtesy of museum of art, rhode island school of design. photography by eric gould.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

bjork dress

i was invited by people magazine to create a sonic fabric dress that bjork could, hypothetically, wear to the grammy awards. this photo of my new "radio tower dress" was published in the 2/6/08 "hollywood daily" issue of people.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

between stations CD

limited-edition copies of the between stations cd (the 14 music/sound collages recorded onto cassette tape before it is woven into sonic fabric) in one-of-a-kind sonic fabric sleeves are now available for $22 including shipping. please email us for details. info (at)

or, order or download through cdbaby.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

sonic fishdress 2004

this video was given to me years ago by an anonymous phish fan. i made the dress for jon out of tape recorded with samples of his favorite music, culled from his enormous tape collection.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

julio cesar

my very dear friend julio cesar has been making the most spectacular things out of sonic fabric. his neckties, in particular, are absolutely stunning. to order, please feel free to contact julio directly.

Friday, November 16, 2007

sonic fabric sails

to make a set of sailboat sails out of sonic fabric has been my mission for several years. the piece that's currently on view at the san diego museum of contemporary art is my first effort...sails as the ultimate form of prayer flag.

there's a lovely little article at about it.

now i'd like to do a set for a real sailboat...maybe an old lightning, J24, or 12-meter?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

upcoming shows

all of the following contain pieces made from sonic fabric:

in los angeles:
"do it now: live green"
ben maltz gallery, otis college of art and design
aug 25 through oct 20

in the uk:
"dott07: our cyborg futures: me or machines?"
discovery museum, newcastle upon tyne
aug 10 through oct 28

in san diego:
san diego museum of contemporary art
sept 23 through may 4, 2008

Thursday, July 26, 2007

how to make a sonic fabric reader

in case you'd like to know how to make your own reader for sonic fabric, or are wondering about the inspiration behind it, please check out the two new videos posted on youtube.


there's a nice little interview 'bout sonic fabric on treehugger radio. i'm especially happy with it because it features "between stations", the soundtrack julian mock and i were commissioned by designtex to create for recording onto future batches of sonic fabric. please email me if you'd like to obtain a copy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

big ideas for a small planet

last week, the "create" episode of "big ideas for a small planet" aired on the sundance channel. my studio and the sonic fabric project was featured. if you like, you can watch the trailers for free, without a tv or cable.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

designtex & icff

i am pleased to announce that, from now on, sonic fabric will be distributed by designtex. samples are available through their website at sonic fabric will be making its debut as part of designtex's "guggenheim line" of fabrics at the icff in new york city during the weekend of may 19th and 20th. we'll be at booth 2134 if you'd like to come by and say hello.

Friday, December 22, 2006

open studio

all are invited to an open studio at 400 north state st, fort davis, texas on saturday jan 6th from 3 to 5pm. the sundance channel will be here filming for a series called "big ideas for a small planet" about artists who use recycled materials in their work. hope you can come.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

upcoming shows: east, west, middle

zero one san jose: a global festival of art on the edge
seven days of art and interconnectivity
aug 7 through aug 13
san jose, california
sonic fabric on display at the san jose
museum of quilts and textiles

sartorial flux
A&D gallery, columbia college
chicago, illinois
sept 7 through oct 21, 2006
opening reception: sept 7, 5-8pm

lang college, new school university
installation and lecture
new york, ny
week of sept 19th
(exact date to be announced)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

risd biennial

the risd biennial (curated by robert storr of the venice biennale) opens this thursday night, from 6 to 9 pm, at exit art. exit art is located on 10th avenue near 36th st in manhattan. included in the show will be a sonic dress with shamanic pancho (constructed by my mom, jeannette santoro), a sonic parasol, and a freshly-made string of flags with orange doughnut appliques. i daresay, it's my best shaman-superhero ensemble yet...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

make & vela creations

my good friends josie moores and abe connally wrote an article about sonic fabric, which was published in the latest issue of MAKE magazine (vol. 5) on page 23. what i'm even more excited about, however, is the article that abe and josie wrote about their own project, which appears on page 90. these two are a couple of my heroes...they build windmills from recycled materials, and teach others how to do the same. then they bring their work into communities in northern mexico and set folks up with extremely inexpensive off-the-grid power.

funny how the sonic fabric stuff relies on wind and "puro yonke" (pure junk) too...i can only hope that what i'm doin' brings even a fraction of the good into the world that abe and josie's stuff does.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

boston & san fran

the following three shows, two in the east and one in the west, include sonic shaman-superhero suits and accompanying ecoutrements:

one-night-only techno-fashion show at the boston museum of science
with designs in sonic fabric by boring inc. and jeannette santoro (my mom!)
seamless: computational couture
boston, mass. wednesday, feb 1, 2006
get advance tickets here.

thread counts, gallery artists studio projects
brookline, mass. jan 27 thru march 11

installation/innovation, san francisco museum of craft and design
san francisco, california. feb 16 thru may 29

Thursday, January 19, 2006

radical act of counter-consumerism

my friend wendy started a large-scale clothing swap called swap-o-rama-rama. i gave a talk about sonic fabric at the first-ever swap-o-rama-rama last fall. it was an ASTOUNDING event, one of the most effective radical subversive acts i've ever witnessed, never mind been a part of. 500 people brought clothes to exchange, revamp, and donate, and 500 people went home content, with new threads and new friends, having barely spent a dime. it was a peaceful, cheerful act of radical anti-consumerism. come to the next one on feb 12 and see for yourself. meanwhile, there's a nice article about the last one here in plenty magazine.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


it's astounding, really. what the internet can do. cybertendrils reaching out and connecting people all over the planet, instantaneously. it's my belief that technology (telephone, television, telecommunication...) is a metaphor for the expression of an inner human (universal?) urge to link up, overarching tendency toward if the universe's goal is to become one giant glowing, humming organism. and the internet helps us get a sense of that feeling.

but ultimately, i think these crazymysterious convoluted organs in our heads could do it (and better...) without the external hardware. we just haven't quite figured out how yet. there are still some pieces of the puzzle missing.

been gathering clues for quite some time now. atlantis, ayhuasca, the beatles, beethoven, cusco peru, the desert, the incas, the mayan calendar, the ocean, orange doughnuts, the pyramids, quantum physics, tibet, the year 2012. to name a few.

as a result of all the press the sonic fabric's been getting, i've had the opportunity to connect with people from argentina, england, india, brazil. yesterday i met jean poole, in australia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

science times

tuesday has always been my favorite day for the ny times, 'cause it's got the science section in it. guess when i was a kid i woulda thought maybe someday i'd be in there for making some discovery about whales or something...
"when art and science collide, a dorkbot meeting begins"

Sunday, January 15, 2006

apron by cozbi

my new friend cozbi made this amazing apron from sonic fabric. she even incorporated one of my upsidedown LIFE prints on muslin into the design (more on the upsidedown LIFE story here).

science & the city

there's a lovely interview here at the webzine of the ny academy of sciences about sonic fabric and my other work.

there's also a podcast of the lecture i gave last week for dorkbot.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


melissa over at technomodia interviewed me about sonic fabric for her new tech/fashion blog.

Friday, January 06, 2006


flavorpill arrived the other day, and way down at the bottom, mention of the WOEBOT top 100 albums of all time list caught my eye. i beamed over, and sure enough...a kindred spirit. the list is a work of art. so i dropped master woebot a line to express my appreciation for his meticulously-crafted labor of love, and in return, he called me plucky. i couldn't be more flattered.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

dorkbot jan 4 @ location one

i'll be giving a sonic fabric talk/demo for the dorkbot folks next wednesday night, january 4th, at 7pm in soho at location one.

location one
26 greene street between canal and grand
subway: A-C-E-N-R-6 to canal street

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

article in venus

there's a very nice little article about sonic fabric in the winter issue of venus magazine. i don't know if it's quite true that i'm an "accidental artist" or that "i don't know what to call myself", but that's okay. it's a real sweet piece anyhow.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

italian magazine article

this morning i received the translation of a magazine article on sonic fabric that was recently published in an italian magazine. the translation itself is just so good, i couldn't resist posting it here (click below for a pdf of the original article in it's native tongue):

Sonic Attitude
" Wearing music is the forbidden dream of who, of music, lives. It is just from this desire (conscious and unconscious) that we are push when we buy the merchandising of our preferred musician. T-shirt, buttons, bags are only the tip of the iceberg of the imaginary from which they are born and they represent a immediate and clear message for who observe us. There is someone then, equipped of talent and creative abilities, nozzles in do-it-yourself and decorates Ts-shirt with love, writing some lyricsof the preferred song, when not the complete text. It is or it is not a way to dress itself of music? Sure, the ideal would be to be able to dress in music, but how we can do it? Alyce Santoro has made it. Grown in the New Jersey, Alyce often went in boat on the Greenwood lake and its father used the magnetic tape of the musicassette in order to understand from which part the wind pulled .Little Alyce, while, was wondering on the possibility that the wind, hitting in the right way the tape, could make sound in the air the recorded songs. Growing, Alyce discovered that in Tibet the prayers are written on the flags (calls, for this, prayer flags), because the wind, hitting them , would make the prayer flying in the world. Just from the union of these two experiences is born "Sonic Fabric": a tissue in which the tape of the cassette - in which is recorded the music that has influenced mainly the life of Alyce - the tissueit is woven with the cotton, in order to realize dressed, bags and flags. The idea is brilliant, above all is it possible to hear the recording with an old one walkman , making to slide the head on the woven one, to hear"Sound of (1/2) life". Draft of one collection of chosen songs from Alyce Santoro: her adolescence punk band , sciamanic music from the Peruvian forest, the waves of the ocean, The Beatles, some classic music... This creative young person, beyond to a bachelor in marine Biology, has one specialization in scientific illustration and a remarkable number of exposures and performance. In her website there are several the models , always available in more colors, buyable also from Italy! The Monk/Messenger bag (in the photo, the model in pink) is inspired by the bags of the buddhist monks, but also to those of the messengers of New York. Realized with Sonic Fabric, it has various inner pockets to put iPod, keys of house, etc. Good part of the woven thai is necessary in order to realize this bags is hand-made from one cooperative of women in Nepal. John Fishman, the eclectic drummer of the Phish, has asked to the vulcanicAlyce a "Sonic Rythm Dress". In Las Vegas, the musician "has played" just the dress in front of more than 20.000 persons, thanks to a pair of gloves equiped by wireless heades. On the tape used for realize this dress had been recorded with pieces choosen by Phil. The result has been really cool!"

ARPA - Mensile di informazione culturale