Sounds Across Social Distances

by Various Artists (curated & quilted by Field Guides)



“𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘯𝘰 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘢,
𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘢.”
—𝘚𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘰 𝘚𝘺𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳

The “exquisite corpse” (𝘤𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘷𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘴) is a game first devised by some hip French surrealists in the early 20th century. André Breton claimed his crew invented it around 1925, but Pierre Reverdy argued it dated back to at least as early as 1918.

We don’t want to get between André and Pierre, so suffice it to say some Montparnasse artistes likely developed it in some opium-hazed parlor as a collaborative technique for harnessing the “mystique of accident”... Someone writes or draws something on a piece of paper, folds the paper to conceal all but a small part of the writing or drawing, and then passes it to the next participant, and so on. Henry Miller, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray were all frequent players. I’m not aware of it being attempted as a method for musical collaboration… That is, until now!

As a global pandemic has halted cultural gatherings and led to cancellations of concerts, tours, and recording sessions, we’ve all been trying to adapt creatively, finding ways to collaborate across social distances. The collagist dialogue of the exquisite corpse seemed like a fitting approach for roping in a bunch of friends to make something together, apart.

It started as just an exercise to weather this odd isolation with 30 of our friends, but as I began weaving together folks’ contributions I was gleefully surprised as the sounds took shape, forming an engrossing sound quilt. We hope you enjoy listening to our experiment as much as we enjoyed making it. We recommend listening with a window open, letting the ambient noise of your environment contribute to the “mystique of accident.”


All proceeds will be donated to COVID Bail Out NYC ( and the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund (


released May 1, 2020


Participants, in order of appearance:

Benedict Kupstas (henceforth BK) (
Alena Spanger (
Quarterly (Kristen Drymala & Christopher DiPietro) (
Nick Jenkins (
Dan Papa (
BK w/ Thea Brown
Ethan Woods (
Tristan Kasten-Krause (
Aaron Rourk (

Benedict Kupstas
Aaron Hodges (
CF Watkins (
Benjamin Ostendorf
Matt Evans (
Rose Blanshei (
Max Horwich (
Steve Teare (
Ben Seretan (

Shannon Fields (
Alex Lewis (
Eamon Fogarty (
Dan Knishkowy (
Nico Hedley (
Kosta Stratigos
Jamie Reeder (
Giovanni Saldarriaga (

Very Good (Sean Cronin) (
Clebs (Emilie Weibel & Jason Nazary) (
Jamie Reeder (
Alex Greiner (
Brooks Frederickson (
Hamilton Belk (
BK (w/ Rose Blanshei & field recordings by Ava Benezra)


Art & design by Benedict Kupstas

Stitched, woven, & mixed by Benedict Kupstas
Lovingly mastered by Alex Greiner


* Part 1 contains a recording of Thea Brown reading her poem "Solo III" (
* Part 4 contains a fragment of “Goodnight, Sweetheart” by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell, and Reg Connelly, as sung by Rose Blanshei



all rights reserved


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