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.

Learning to Love the Static (MP3)

The track at its opening tells the ear to pay attention

From light hum with a sonar blip, across a brief plateau of fuzzy-circuit texture, into a brief swell of bug-zapper droning, and on through a series of pitched undulations, sound-element fade-ins, and tonal fragments. That is one unhelpfully parsimonious description of a recently uploaded track by C. Cu titled “As a child it dreamt in fear of coventrate, as an adult she learnt to love to bomb.” It’s brief, the track, arguably more brief than its title. It’s a study in small sounds that accrue meaning through narrative and contrast. Contrast provides incremental narrative, how one thing resonates in the ear and the imagination versus the things that precede, follow, or overlap it. Narrative allows for associations not just in a linear process, but how later sounds reflect earlier ones, and how earlier ones prepare the ear for later ones. The first heavy swell of C. Cu’s track would be relatively quiet, were it not foretold by something barely discernible from a room tone. The track at its opening tells the ear to pay attention, and then it proceeds to reward that attention with carefully posited instances.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/ccu. More on C. Cu, based in Belfast, Ireland, at springtimeinnepal.tumblr.com and twitter.com/limnul.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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