Meet Washington, DC SoundCloud Hero: Benjamin Dauer

Meet Washington, DC SoundCloud Hero: Benjamin Dauer

SoundCloud Heroes are inspirational leaders who bring people together around sound by cultivating and engaging unique communities.

If you’ve missed it, we introduced our newest SoundCloud Heroes this past week! We’ve got three remaining brilliant folks to introduce today. Benjamin Dauer is the SoundCloud Hero for Washington, DC. Experimental musician, senior interactive designer at NPR and an active member of the Disquiet Junto group, Benjamin believes the community has the power and creativity to bring awareness to issues that impact all of us via sound.

Quick Facts:
Name: Benjamin Dauer
SoundCloud: Benjamin Dauer
Location: Washington, DC

What do you do? How do you use SoundCloud in your life?
By day, I am a Senior Interaction Designer at NPR where I help shape how audiences experience NPR in the digital realm. Most recently I designed the NPR Music iPad app and latest version of our Chrome App, the NPR infinite player. By night and weekend, I am an experimental musician and composer where I like to explore the boundaries of modern music through experimentation and play. I primarily use SoundCloud to distribute my music and interact with the community – through commenting, discussions, and collaboration. Most recently I’ve been active in a SoundCloud Group called the “Disquiet Junto” – which is described as a collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Essentially, each Thursday a new Junto project is announced and the participants have until the following Monday at 11:59PM to submit their completed track. It’s been incredibly challenging, rewarding, and inspiring.

What is the collaboration idea that you would like to accomplish with the SoundCloud community?
In an effort to further raise awareness about White Nose Syndrome and Colony Collapse Disorder, two diseases that are devastating bat and bee populations, I would like to solicit the SoundCloud community to submit their responses as to why pollinators are important to them.

I can imagine a project where from across the globe contribute your own unique voices through storytelling, interviews, music, poetry, and field recordings. This project could help to educate others about the connections between what the pollinators do and your everyday lives. This collection could stand as a force emphasizing the global impact that these creatures have on our lives. I can imagine taking these collected sounds out into the communities and sharing them with others through live performance and/or preserving them at the Library of Congress. I can imagine including the lovely chattering clicks of bats and the soothing hum of bees as part of this composition.

I can imagine all of this with the help of you guys out there in the SoundCloud community. I look forward to working with you soon!

What is your favorite place in the city and why?
I love the city ,but I also love nature. So for me, one of my favorite parts of DC would have to be the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal rail-to-trail, which is located along the north bank of the Potomac River. It originates in Georgetown, can be accessed easily from the National Mall as well as Rock Creek Park, and runs nearly 185 miles to Cumberland, MD. DC on the whole is the best of both worlds for me -the hustle & bustle of a city, but with quick, easy access to nature. I get lots of really great field recordings from both.

What is your favorite sound and why?
This is a very difficult question for me to answer. I can hear music in most anything – including perceived silence. I love the sound of waves washing ashore. I love the sound of wind rustling leaves. I love the sound of a heartbeat. I love the sound of birds and insects. I love the sound of multiple languages being spoken on my morning bus ride. I love the rhythm of footsteps on concrete. Do you sense a theme here? I love sound.

Where else can we find you on the web?

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