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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Sound-Diary MP3s

There’s a blog by musician Justin Hardison at thelandof.org, which on the face of it is ordinary enough. Lots of musicians augment their individual websites with online diary entries, including the semi-regular postings of Radiohead (radiohead.com/deadairspace) and David Byrne (journal.davidbyrne.com), and the monthly home-page posts by Scanner (scannerdot.com). What distinguishes Hardison’s blog, which he does under the name My Fun, is that the entries take the form of a diary-in-sound.

Some are raw field recordings, such as two from Hampstead Heath, London, posted in March (MP3, MP3), both quiet strolls that bring to mind the perambulatory tape-art of Luc Ferrari. Others are so specific as to be universal, like a quick sliver of frying posted on February 28 (MP3). But much of the sound is processed, like a glitchy conglomeration of elements from the first of March (MP3) and, perhaps best of all, a tasteful expanse of textured undulations from March 9, titled “Improv Loops” (MP3). Just yesterday Hardison posted a rapidly spliced cutup of individual words culled from radio and elsewhere (MP3), as if William S. Burroughs had manned his own Conet Project station.

Each entry is accompanied by an photo, some self-evident, like the pan full of potatoes that illustrated the “Fried” MP3, and others less so, like a vertiginous peek up (or down) a shaft that was posted along with the loops. Again, this is where Hardison’s blog is on to something. Lots of online MP3 sources post images along with their sounds, but those are usually the web-browser equivalent of an album cover. Hardison has constructed something more singular and balanced; it’s worth trying to recognize his photos as having equal weight with his sounds: photography complementing the phonography.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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