The Quiet American | Hanoi

24 x CD Players, Headphones and 24 x 5 Minute Audio Loops/MP3 | F.0037.0000

Location: 21° 01' N, 105° 53' E
Time Zone: G | - | UTC/GMT +7 Hours
Airports: 1
Inhabitants: 1,372,800 (Hanoi), 2,503,000 (Including Agglomeration)

A spin through Hanoi in 1998: the sounds of traffic from the back of a cyclo; of hand-cranked machines in a storefront workshop; of musicians at the Temple of Literature; of a back-alley courtyard with ducks and video games…

This is an impressionist portrait of Hanoi, rather than a literal one. It was painted through the application of a few specific studio processes, most involving the manipulation of time. Time is stretched, reversed, stuttered through: and events are juxtaposed and woven, now approaching, now receding.

The goal: to render Hanoi not as it is, not as it was, but as I remember it now.

Aaron Ximm has been composing with field recordings since 1998. For his Quiet American project, he uses recordings collected during travel. He seeks to cultivate appreciation for the serendipitous soundscapes the world offers, through (1) dissemination of unmanipulated recordings and (2) evolving compositional strategies that reveal and reinforce the profound complexity, beauty and poignancy of the audible world.

Ximm curates and hosts the 'Field Effects' concert series in San Francisco. His recordings and compositions are available via his website (

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