Christopher DeLaurenti (b. 1967)

Four Protest Symphonies

  1. N30: Live at the WTO Protest, November 30, 1999

    On the morning of November 30 1999, armed with a portable DAT (digital audio tape) deck and two microphones, I ventured into the streets of Seattle to record the heady and harrowing protest against the World Trade Organization. Spattered by pepper spray, enshrouded in tear gas and pelted with rubber bullets, I was engulfed in maelstrom of drums, slogans, chants, screaming and violence. Immersing the listener in the polyphony of the protest, N30 is an aggressively edited orthophonic "you are there" recording. Propelled by the audible drama of the unfolding protest, N30 has no narration, objective reportage or interviews. Recorded on the front lines, the vibrant and violent pageant of sound speaks and sings for itself.

    -from and "Field Recording in the Line of Fire at the WTO" at

  2. N30: Who guards the Guardians?

    N30: Who guards the Guardians? fuses official and unofficial recordings of police transmissions made on November 30, 1999 into a simmering polyglot of radio traffic, polyphonic speech, splashes and sprays of tape hiss, enigmatic numbers glossolalia, and other broadcast anomalies. An oral history made in the moment, this 57 minute radiophonic work depicts how law enforcement acted and reacted on that unforgettable day in Seattle history when thousands gathered in Seattle to protest the World Trade Organization.

    Both activists and law enforcement strategists refer to November 30, 1999, as "N30" while "Who guards the Guardians?" was inspired by lines from Plato and Juvenal. In that classic of Greek philosophy, The Republic, Plato called for elite guardians to rule his ideal state: "We mean our guardians to be true saviors not the destroyers of the State...." (Book IV, 1896 Jowett translation). Addressing the decadence, erosion of individual rights, and decline of morality in the early Roman Empire, the satirist Juvenal asked pointedly in his Sixth Satire "Who guards the guardians?"


  3. Two Secret Wars

    An audio dossier, Two Secret Wars presents audio recorded at an Anti-War Rally in Seattle on December 8, 2002 and a [now de-]classified recording of an American air attack on a suspected "enemy" camp in what is probably Afghanistan. But does the time and place matter? These wars (secret government military action, and political activism) have been fought continually for decades now...

    -from Two Secret Wars limited cd-r 7 of 25

  4. Live in New York at the Republican National Convention Protest, September 2 - August 28, 2004

    Inspired by Glenn Gould's Solitude Trilogy, Live in New York... welds combative field recordings of the various protests and art actions with police transmissions, NOAA weather alerts, radio broadcast anomalies (splashes and sprays of tape hiss, enigmatic numbers glossolalia, crude phase encoding), and wild card audio snatched from the airwaves into a vivid soundscape of dissent.