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Water Music MP3

Chris Herbert, who’s based in Birmingham, England, was invited by Resonance FM to create an original sound collage stitched together from field recordings near the city’s waterways. The realworld noise was taped in what’s been described as a series of “sound walks” around his place of employment. Kranky Records, the label that released Herbert’s fine new album of timbrally vague texture-music, Mezzotint, is providing the full Resonance piece as the third and latest entry in its podcast series.

The file, modestly titled “resonance fm submission,” is an hour of blissful moments, some raw, some transformed through digital manipulation. What’s especially of interest is the transitions between them, because those moments differ more than enough from each other to make for noticeable junctures, industrial hum yielding to bird song, shifting to watery passages, soon enveloped by midday quietude (MP3).

In a brief explanation that accompanied the piece when it was posted as part of the Kranky-cast, Herbert wrote: “This proved to be an almost overwhelming resource — as a city that flourished during the industrial revolution, Birmingham is criss-crossed by waterways and by becoming a lunchtime flaneur I attempted to capture a snapshot of the tragic beauty of these rusting arteries. Just yards from my office I found weird, alien lacunas of nature set against light industrial units, the robust good humour of panel beaters against a backdrop of local radio, the gentle throb of narrow boats, leaking locks and septic lakes.” More info on at kranky.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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