My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Industrial Portland Ambience (MP3)

The truth is in the tags. Want to begin to get your brain around the delicate, half-real, half-synthesized sonic gem that Marcus Fischer uploaded recently, then look at how he labeled it: “industrial north portland, iphone built in mic, xylophone.”

Those three tags don’t do justice to the elegance of the track, but categorization is about orientation not interpretation. The soundscape of Portland, the lo-fi quality of the iPhone microphone, and the childlike percussive-melodic mode of the xylophone conspire in Fischer’s digital soundwork to create a gentle stroll of a piece, in which field recording and sound design result in something richly solitary and nostalgic.

The three-minute track, posted with the heading “Building to Building” (MP3), is given a little more information. Writes Fischer in a brief note at unrecnow.com/dust:

“you can hear the rain pooling near the gutters and the the neighbors moving 55 gallon drums in and out of trucks. all the rest of sounds come from my suzuki tone bells.”

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Fischer uploads new things each day to his Dust Breeding site, unrecnow.com/dust — sometimes a snapshot, sometimes a drawing, often as not an experimental bit of audio, such as this one. The Dust Breeding site’s subtitle is “making a thing a day (maybe more) for a year.” Here’s to hoping that daily, even weekly, delights continue in 2010.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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