Jordan Hall
  Photographer: Mengjie Maggie Qi

Photographer: Mengjie Maggie Qi

How to Listen to Machines

Exploring the music of machine sounds

How to Listen to Machines is an interactive composition project that makes music out of machine sounds recorded and submitted by listeners around the globe. Designed to help us hear 'noise pollution' with new ears, this project reconstructs our everyday electric soundscape melodically, illuminating the richness of sounds we tune out.

The project began as my search to capture the strange and beautiful noise of machines. (Stream the Sampler EP to hear the results.) The current phase of this project is what interests me most: turning to other listeners for inspiration. Explore the Featured Collaborators section below to learn more.

All songs will always be made available free of charge on this site. If you find that you enjoy the music and the project, please share it with others. And if you work with machines, I invite you to contact me if you are interested in collaborating on the project.


A vibrant, imaginative composition... rapturous
— Textura
Hall receives the mechanical noises as gifts, and returns the gifts with his bow.
— A Closer Listen

Meet the Composer



The People Behind the Sounds

Meet my collaborators: individuals around the world who work with machines. Their recorded machine sounds will be set to original music I am composing. Check back often for new stories, sounds, and songs.


Abdulkader Hayani
Boston, Massachusetts

A tailor from Syria, Abdulkader escaped the war that destroyed his home and fled to the United States with his family. I am indebted to translator Stephanie Juma and The Boston Globe's Jenna Russell for facilitating this collaboration.

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Cameron Heath
Birmingham, Alabama

Knowing how a coffee will react in a roaster is a skill that is hard to replicate without getting your hands dirty for awhile. It’s almost jedi-like in nature

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Zhuo Dan Ting
Shanghai, China

When people ask ‘do your tattoos hurt?’ I show them my tattoo answering their question.

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John Kelly
Springfield, Pennsylvania

I build scientific research equipment... It’s interesting and challenging work because scientists often want to do something that no one has done before.

Upcoming Featured Collaborators