385 venues. 86 cities. 26 states. 10 years.

The LISTEN project is a visual catalogue of American Rock n’ Roll history. It began in 2006 with a desire to image CBGB’s, the iconic temple of Punk on Manhattan’s Bowery before it closed its doors for good. That click of the shutter, days before Patti Smith played the last concert, spun into so many more. That moment stretched itself into a decade, composing a comprehensive visual account of American music’s inner architecture. It took me across the United States in search of the recording studios, clubs, concert halls, arenas, ballrooms, churches, living rooms, prisons and fields where our most vital music was created, played, witnessed and engraved.

Experiencing music, listening, is an act both collective and personal. For this reason I stood in the spaces alone. Room is cleared for memory, which in turn accepts time. And time is the heart of music, as the pulse and rhythm of call and response.
LISTEN is my response.

Rhona Bitner
May 2016

"Our lives can be encoded in music. Songs trigger memories. Memories trigger sensations. Sensations remind us that life is experienced through the body. I know where I was when I first heard Nirvana, for example. Maybe you do too, wherever you were. Rhona Bitner makes photographs – loud and large – that go through the eyes to fill the ears." Rob Colvin, Hyperallergic