Sluicer (2023-curr.)

SFFX (2022-curr.)
Quarries (2016-22)
Sifting (2018-21)
Outwash (2019)
Rhythm Studies (2017-18)
Substitutions (2015)
Missents (2015)
Multipass (2015)
Emerald Tablets (2014)
10K Descents (2014)
Impellent (2012-14)
Locks (2013-14)
Adder (2012-13)
Sieves (2011-12)

Selected discography


Shawn Greenlee is a composer, sound artist, and Professor at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he leads the Studio for Research in Sound & Technology (SRST).  His recent work explores spatial audio, high density loudspeaker arrays, and erratic sound synthesis techniques.

Greenlee has been active as a solo electronic / electroacoustic improvisor since 1997 and has toured extensively across the US and Europe. Conference and festival performances include New Interfaces for Musical Expression (2018 Blacksburg, 2015 Baton Rouge, 2014 London, 2013 Daejeon), International Computer Music Conference (2021 Santiago, 2018 Daegu, 2011 Huddersfield, 2005 Barcelona), BEAST FEaST (2017 Birmingham), PdCon16 (2016 New York), Cube Fest (2019, 2016 Blacksburg), Re-new (2013 Copenhagen), IN TRANSIT (2008 Berlin), and Elevate (2007 Graz), among others.

Greenlee’s solo and group discography spans over fifty releases. He is a founding member of Landed, active since 1997 and known for its deconstructed rock, rhythmic noise, and intense live performances. From 1999-2001, he performed with Six Finger Satellite.

Greenlee holds a Ph.D. in Computer Music and New Media from Brown University

Sifting (2018-21)

In 2018, I was awarded a Polar Lab Residency supported by the Anchorage Museum. My project was titled Edges in the Alaskan Soundscape. Over the course of three weeks in April / May 2018, I concentrated on spatial audio field recording in areas of the Kenai Peninsula and Denali National Park. During this timeframe, alongside field work, I met with National Park Service scientists to learn about acoustic monitoring and soundscape ecology from their perspective as researchers. The aim of my project was to conduct ambisonic field recording in areas with low human population density in order to observe and document “edges” while creating source material for new compositions and sound installations. Sifting is an outcome of this work. It debuted as a 4-channel sound installation for the Listen Up exhibition at the Anchorage Museum (April - October 2021).  It was composed in third order ambisonics and may be presented on larger speaker arrays.  A stereo mix is provided on this page.

In my field work, edges recurred thematically as:
  • A spatial relationship, areas between the built environment and natural land
  • A seasonal timeframe, the period between winter (ice break-up) and spring
  • A practical situation, what was manageable for solo expeditions in difficult weather and terrain
  • Ecotone, a region of transition between biological communities
  • Geographical identity, the Alaskan areas of Kenai and Denali as at the edge of the Arctic
  • Portend of climate change and with it a transforming phenology (alteration of life cycle events)

Through the residency, I was able to:
  • Explore spatial audio field recording techniques by focusing on the use of ambisonic microphones.
  • Develop and test strategies for distributed spatial audio recording using several GPS-tracked, time-synchronized recorders.
  • Create an extensive library of sound recordings for use in new compositions, performances, and installations for multichannel sound systems and high-density loudspeaker arrays; the total amount of audio captured on this trip was approximately 120 hours.

Kenai and Denali proved to be excellent sites because:
  • As places new to me, they required a high level of attention.
  • I could experience an expanded acoustic horizon; without competition from human-caused noise, one can hear further, and recordings have a related expansive quality.
  • It is easy to find quietness; different figure / ground relationships become noticeable, and new minimum technical requirements for equipment are evident.
  • There is a great diversity in the built environment, land-use, and natural land areas accessible from Alaskan highways.
  • There is extended daylight, which provides more time for exploration / experimentation.