Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Live Audio Essays

Live Audio Essays presents transcripts from performances and films by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist known for his political and cultural reflections on sound and listening.

Abu Hamdan’s intricately crafted and heavily researched monologues are at times intimate, humorous, and entertaining, yet politically disquieting in their revelations. Using personal narratives, anecdotes, popular media, and transcripts rooted in historical and contemporary moments, the artist leads the reader through his investigations into crimes that are heard but not seen. These live audio essays turn our focus to acoustic memories, voices leaking through walls and borders, the drone of warfare, cinematic sound effects, atmospheric noise, the resonant frequencies of buildings, the echoes of reincarnated lives, and the sound of hunger.

Live Audio Essays collects seven iconic works, which were originally presented as performances, films, or video installations from 2014 through 2022. Featured pieces include Contra Diction (Speech Against Itself)Walled UnwalledAfter SFXNatqA Thousand White Plastic ChairsAir Pressure, and the newly-completed The 45th Parallel.

All the texts were transcribed and edited with the artist and are available here in a single volume for the first time.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a Private Ear, listening to, with and on behalf of people affected by corporate, state, and environmental violence. Taking the form of forensic reports, lectures and live performances, films, and publications, his work reflects on the political and cultural context of sound and listening.

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