SF-91L is an abandoned Nike Missile station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. In April 2011, Nick Sowers and Bryan Finoki visited the island and recorded the sounds of tourists, boats, rocks trickling down vent pipes in the bunker, and footsteps in the concrete ruins. Gravelation or Gravelator is the process of simultaneously building up and eroding away the island. We displaced the island’s own material to construct a second island, an imaginary island, which is encapsulated in the sound.

The soundscape is created by DEMILIT, the landscape collective founded by Nick Sowers, Bryan Finoki, and Javier Arbona. Originally it aired on Deutchlandradio Kultur ‘s Newcomer Werkstatt, June 24, 2011. Commissioned by Marcus Gammel of Deutchlandradio.

A map of Angel Island positioned in San Francisco Bay. The sound emulates the process by which the military severed the island’s crown in order to install the radar system for the missiles. The missiles were made obsolete not long after it was finished and was decommissioned. Decades later, the Gravelator is a means of awakening the sequestered spaces of the silo.