A new composition featuring a software orchestra, computer-controlled synthesizers, and processed field recordings. The piece fully embraces traditional scoring techniques, tonality, and meter. Sonically the midi-controlled flutes, English horn, violin etc. are paired with FM synthesis to create the instrumentation. This joins and coordinates the electronic and orchestral sounds (even though they are both manifestations of software). When composing I was thinking about the pace and regularity of the workday. The repetition of the musical themes with only slight variations; the strong half-note cascades; the low grumble of a time-stretched boat motor: all become stand-ins for the physical and temporal aspects of work. In many ways, A Durable Object is a followup to Towards and The Falls, approaching work from a durational aspect.
Towards, is to be listened to while at work – doing tasks that you may not want to do, or monotonous tasks you like. I would suggest gardening, raking leaves, doing dishes, cleaning the house, watching tv or balancing a budget.
Featuring binaural recordings of walking (in the woods, in a park, and on the train) alongside highly processed versions Chopin’s Nocturnes that have been stretched, collapsed and aggressively gated and EQ’d. The recording is just over 2 hours and 16 minutes in length.
To or at a distance, a new composition for headphones featuring churning, rustling, buzzing, humming, crickets, a river, and a bowed string.
This week on the podcast: 70s and 80s computers, memory tricks, and the social history of a self-selecting clan of gamers- an audio collage entitled The Use of Reading and Recording.
Episdoe 43: The Falls – A three hour composition for headphones.
In December 2008 my wife and I took a trip to Niagara Falls. This composition uses some of those recordings as its base. I processed them a lot. The only bit field recording that remains ‘clean’ is a short recording from inside the Niagara Falls Welcome Center. There are three other field recordings in the piece, one a microphone that I dangled down into a jetty on the gulf side of Florida, a short recording from a picnic area just off the beach, also in Florida, and the other sitting near the Horace Mann football field in the Bronx, I was resting after a long bike ride. Besides these brief respites, the piece is tones, grumbles, wa-wa’s, groans, beats and other sounds created through digital signal processing of Niagara Falls. The piece is made at a personal scale, three hours, a duration that is easy to imagine, but hard to hold onto. Ideally, The Falls is to be listened to while at work – doing tasks that you may not want to do or monotonous tasks you like. I would suggest gardening, raking leaves, doing dishes, painting a wall or changing light bulbs.