BJ Engelbrecht

I am an artist and academic whose main creative and theoretical interest is in sound and its relationship to time and space, particularly within the complex urban environment of Johannesburg.

Idioms Under House Arrest

Idioms Under House Arrest (2020), is based on a series of visual scores that are then translated on an additive sine wave synthesiser. The elements of each collage were drawn from a library visit I was initially interested in the old typography books and quotation in music. 

Deejay Snayman

Anointed with this name because I’ll hit you with dope cuts >>

Gandhi’s Ears

A shadow from the surrounding buildings cast itself over most of the square. I walked past the ticket office on my right towards the seating around the base of the statue of Gandhi. I greeted an old man sat alone. He wore a blue golf shirt and chinos and kept the rest of his belongings […]

A Day

Practice:  To be honest, nothing particularly interesting has happened yet. Perhaps an orchestra of fans – or maybe a duet. My recordings tend to be contingent on nobody interrupting their making. This is probably why I don’t have that many. I suddenly had a the thought that writing in this way will ruin my writing. […]

A Post with the Sound of its Own Making

This is such a straightforward idea, that I’m fairly sure that, other than the obvious reference, I’m not the first to think of it. Nevertheless the thought woke me up in the early hours of the morning. The end.

All of the Most Current Metaphors of Human Existence, All at Once #2

It might be better to be a mysticist than an armchair naturalist. Is there life after death? It just seems that the former is needed much more right now. Thus aliens exist. Question: What are the chances that there is life on other planets? Answer: Ten to the power of six. I prefer the armchair, would […]


This is just another long term relationship that I was lucky enough to capture. I couldn’t help but get a bit esoteric about the whole situation and ponder…how long have these souls been in contact with each other, for what reason and these samosas are the best.

The Wool Stuff

There’s a wool shop in town. If you knit, then you know the place. Its been there for many years, definitely since before I was born. I go there with my mom. She’s one of the dying breed of people that are actually from Joburg so she’ll tell you about the wool shop. I’m more […]

The Protagonist

There is not all that much to say here. Between me and the tree. I think it’s a field maple. Either way its been a consistent companion. Take notice.


I have thought of many ways in which I can best describe the feeling of staying at home. On many occasions, I simply rejected the idea of reflecting on self-isolation but it was inevitable. It has certainly been such a stark and sudden change to social life and I couldn’t help but notice how people […]

Little, Exact Circles

Little, Exact Circles (2020) is part of an ongoing project that aims to present a sonic pathway into some of the sounds that characterise a particular place – in this case it is Johannesburg. It’s all kind of meditative. Whether you are listening or I am recording. In fact, I spend much of my time […]

Four Clockwise Tones

Four Clockwise Tones (2020), is a short animation loop that illustrates some of my recent explorations in alternative modes of notation for sound work. It can be read in many different ways: one module to the next, one row at a time or from four central points that spiral outward. The aim is that the […]

The Record Shop

Most of my installation work, works on paper and paintings too are never really meant to be kept as precious objects. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’m drawn to sound. Sounds come and go. Who cares? Nevertheless, I do write about my work and have long been an advocate for documenting these “experiences” […]

Sound Installations

Some years ago, I went through an intense phase of creative production where I made either sound installations or installations that always had an element of sound. I recently came across some of the writing I was doing that culminated in my masters dissertation. I can’t help but notice how revealing some of my preliminary […]

First Thought on the Medium: Air

I don’t recall how or when my mother began feeding the doves but it has reached a point where they have certainly come to expect that they will be. Every morning. I’ve been recording them for some time now, mostly on Saturdays because the traffic is substantially lighter although not absent altogether. Anyone that has […]

Rain Study #3 (Random Number Generator)

Rain Study #3 is based on a series of recordings that I made over the course of the rainy season in Johannesburg. It is probably rare that I work from a score, as you will hear in my other work where I usually aim to document a series of environmental instances in a very realistic […]

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