Soundwave NEXT: Translocality

Soundwave NEXT is a partnership between Gray Area and Soundwave, two veteran San Francisco arts organizations to explore the future of sound. The program invites curators, artists, producers, or collectives to present new performance-based works or productions based in sound.

The unfolding global pandemic has triggered an existential reckoning over our conceptions of place and human encounter. The escalating political, economic, environmental, and public health crisis has revealed a tenuous, yet insistent desire for connectivity across space and time.

Translocality seeks to unite human and nonhuman communities in the Bay Area socially, physically, and sonically as a living network of sentient beings. This open call invites applicants to propose soundscapes to activate sound art in Bay Area locations to:

● Recalibrate our sensitivity to living realities existing beyond the individual self
● Connect us to the complex weaving of stories, histories, and ecologies of place
Investigate vestiges of memory materialized through objects, land, and architecture
● Imagine future possibilities for collective transformation in the SF Bay Area

3 selected works will be awarded $1,000 each to create an immersive site-specific soundscape and walking map-score for a location in the SF Bay Area. Awardees will also have access to Gray Area’s space for recording and an optional video projection display in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Applications are due by May 7, 2021 11:59 PM PST.

Soundwave NEXT Schedule

● Submission period opens:
April 15, 2021

● Submission period closes:
May 7th, 2021


● Artists notification:
June 2021

● Event dates:
September through November 2021


● Proposals must be place-specific to the San Francisco Bay Area, focused on soundscapes.
● Production must be considered a new presentation that has NOT had a public premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area. Work-in-progress productions that have had Bay Area workshops or academic presentations can be considered.
● All projects must feature or be produced in collaboration with at least one San Francisco Bay Area-based artist or community member.


● Works may be interdisciplinary but should have a strong foundation in sound.
● Proposals should be for up to ~60 minutes of site-specific programming (multiple performances and collaborations may be included to complete this requirement and be collective or multidisciplinary).
● Projects will take place at different sites in the San Francisco Bay Area using geo-locations. Production can be at Gray Area and should take into account the specific parameters of that location.


Proposals will be evaluated for the extent to which they meet the eligibility requirements, the feasibility of the production, as well as the degree to which they demonstrate innovation and advance the medium of sound. They will also be evaluated by the project’s exemplification of site and place, specifically to San Francisco’s diverse community.
Three productions will be selected to be premiered as soundwalks and available to the general public via geo-location. Gray Area will work with the Project Lead to schedule dates as appropriate for their work.

Budget & Award

Selected proposals will receive $1,000 to produce their sound-walk and accompanying video. The Project Lead is solely responsible for any expenses and distributing fees to artists and other production staff.



Soundwave is a Bay Area non-profit organization promoting innovative voices in sound with the most captivating sound art and performance experiences. Founded in 1998, Soundwave is a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization showcasing emerging and established local artists, as well as national and international artists, to bring groundbreaking ideas and perspectives to Bay Area audiences.

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