Outside In: A Communal Listening Series

Every Thursday evening starting in December, we’re going to live stream spatialized audio straight to the headphones of people listening together, all around the world. Every attendee will be mailed an eye mask and listening instructions for how to tune into a program made by radio producers, musicians, and sound artists. After each show, we’ll have a live discussion with the people who made the audio.

All shows are live at 6 PM Pacific/9 PM Eastern. We will also mail you an eye mask and program guide via USPS as soon as you make an order. Get tickets for individual shows below, or get a highly discounted season pass for all nine events. You can still buy a season pass after the series begins. Just send us and we will make the past shows available for you. For those who live abroad or have bad internet and cannot livestream the show, we can provide alternative listening options.

Here’s a taste of the experience. Close your eyes and listen with headphones!

The Events

December 3, 2020 — Outside In
The show that started this whole listening series idea: it’s a surround sound escape from the pandemic. We’ll travel from the banality inside our homes, back to a time before the coronavirus, to as far away from earth as possible. Featuring walruses, pulsars, funnels, chimes, hair dryers, and a deconstructed organ, along with Chris’s wayward belt buckle. Get tickets

December 10, 2020 — Transposition*
Just a fancy way of saying that we’re going places. We’ll visit Cairo in the 20s, Berlin in the 30s, New York City in the 50s, Vietnam in the 70s, an iceberg in Antarctica, Elizabethan England, and forest elephants in the Dzanga Bai. Q&A with Hildegard Westerkamp. Get tickets

December 17, 2020 — Time*
What is time these days anyway? György Ligeti and John Cage skip rope with Tony Schwartz’s niece, and it turns out the big bang lasted only a little longer than the first two sentences of a radio broadcast FDR made in 1941, but it contains over a hundred meals eaten by Eliot Smoke in a year. This evening celebrates it all, along with the slowest song played as fast as possible, abstracted music boxes, and more metronomes than you can shake a stick at. Kommt Zeit kommt Rat: Only time will tell. Q&A with Chris Watson. Get tickets

January 1, 2021 — Bill Fontana
An evening with an American pioneer in sound-sculptured sensoria. We’ll listen through the expanse of Bill’s career, from the sonic landscape of Australia during a solar eclipse, to the foghorns of San Francisco Bay and the Acqua Vergine aqueducts underneath Rome. Through Bill’s career we get an experiential education in sound recording, projection, and listening. Q&A with Bill Fontana. Get tickets

January 7, 2021 — Radical Radio Documentary
The most ambitious NPR documentary ever made has a lot to say about cult leaders, but also about journalism and objectivity. The subject of this evening is a first-person account of Jonestown delivered by a person who wasn’t there at all. Afterwards, stalwart public radio journalists Chris and Sam will talk with an NPR producer from the network’s early days about the state of American journalism, and why public radio has forgotten that format––and not just content––matters if you want to make something meaningful. Q&A with Deb Amos. Get tickets

January 14, 2021 — Bodies*
There are a lot of ways to make a body produce noise. Jacob Kirkegaard knows a thing or two about that. The sound artist meticulously recorded an autopsy and a body decomposing. This evening’s not all about death though. We’re celebrating the whole range of the live human body: there’s a single voice, a full choir, a musical tooter, popping knees, throbbing brain arteries; but also planetary bodies, bodies of water, and of course a man who claimed his larynx was actually that of a bird’s. Q&A with Jacob Kirkegaard. Get tickets

January 21, 2021 — Matmos
The only pure music show in the series, brought to us by two electronic musicians who make melodies from hospital apparatus and washing machines and bovine uteri. An original work made for The World According to Sound. Q&A with Martin and Drew. Get tickets

January 28, 2021 — Solitude*
Alienation, loneliness, solitude––different sides of a common coin. We’ll hear how lonely a goalkeeper can be, and listen to a man in a car in a field of cows in a 1940s radio play. There will be a contrapuntal train trip up into Canada’s frozen north, along with a journey deep inside the fjords and glaciers of the Scandanavian Arctic Circle. Q&A TBD. Get tickets

February 4, 2021 — Kronos Quartet
From a single chord of Beethoven came the Kronos Quartet, a group that’s spanned almost 50 years, performed with hundreds of musicians, and commissioned more than a thousand new pieces. Kronos has recorded music for films like Requiem for a Dream, La Grande Bellezza and Dracula, collaborated with artists from all over the globe, and most recently celebrated the work of Pete Seeger. This is a night with Kronos—the music, sonic experiments, and sounds that inspire its work, beginning with the chord that started it all. Q&A with David Harrington. Get tickets

Or...Join Us Every Thursday With a Season Pass
These 9 shows are a journey through sound, and we would love to have you along for the whole ride. With a season pass you can come listen with us every Thursday from December until the beginning of February! You can still buy a season pass after the series begins. Just send us and we will make the past shows available for you. Get a Season Pass.

Everyone who orders a ticket will be mailed an eye mask and listening instructions. You will receive an email the week of the show with a link. If you have not received one by the day of the show, email us. Finally, if you're a student or going through financial hard times right now, email us at <a class='email_link' href="mailto:[email protected] target="_top">[email protected]</a> and we'll figure out a way for you to make it to the shows! Everyone who wants to listen gets to, there's no question here.

* These are shows not by a specific person or on one particular work, but a collection of diverse audio pieces orbiting one central theme.

The cost of an individual show is $25. That covers the production and mailing of the eye mask and listening instructions. The remaining funds are distributed among all the contributors in the show.

Local partners: Meyer Sound, SFMoma, Gray Area, Minnesota Street Project, The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, SFJazz, KALW, KQED.

Join the mailing list to receive event updates.

See the full list of works for each show