"I think that soundscaping is first and foremost acoustic witnessing. The field part of the work is to “be there” in the fullest way. The studio part of the work is to make that original “being there” more repeatable, expandable, sharable, open to new kinds of participation. The idea is to turn my ear-witnessing into an invitation for your ear-witnessing...manipulating parameters and trying to feel which subtleties could be brought out a little more, which presences could be more present for uninitiated ears."
Steven Feld was appointed Professor of Anthropology and Music at UNM in Fall 2003 and promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2005. He previously held appointments at Columbia University, New York University, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a regular visiting appointment as Professor of World Music at the Institute of Music, University of Oslo, Norway.
A long time Santa Fe resident, Feld has been active in New Mexico music scenes since the 1970s when he was a founder of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop. More recently he has played to New Mexico audiences as a member of the Tom Guralnick trio, leader of the trombone choir Bonefied, and member of the Out of Context conduction ensemble.
Feld's academic research principally concerns the anthropology of sound and voice. From 1975-2000 he studied the sound world–from environmental sounds to bird calls to language, poetry and music–of the Bosavi rainforest region in Papua New Guinea. He has more recently researched the sound world of Greek Macedonia and Romani ("gypsy") instrumentalists, and produced a multi-CD project on the worldwide culture of bells. His current research is on jazz in the West African city of Accra, Ghana, where he also performs and records with Accra Trane Station, an African band dedicated to the musical legacy of John Coltrane.