London-Based MP3s

Scanner, aka Robin Rimbaud, regularly transforms field recordings into subtly rhythmic, often ethereal music. He’s uses everything from voices caught on surveillance equipment (hence his moniker) to tapes of Andy Warhol interviews (see his recent album, Warhol’s Surfaces). Five MP3 files that comprise a Scanner work titled Surface Noise are available for free download on his website (here); to access them, visit the site and click on the “MP3” tab on the site’s top bar. Scanner’s most common source material is the human voice, but for Surface Noise the sounds are field recordings from around London. Here’s how Rimbaud described the project: “Making a route determined by overlaying the sheet music from ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ onto a map of London, I recorded the sounds and images at points where the notes fell on the cityscape. These co-ordinates provided the score for the piece and by using software that translated images into sound and original source recordings, I was able to mix the work live on each journey through a speaker system we installed throughout the bus, as it followed the original walk shuttling between Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral.” At the moment, the MP3 page on Scanner’s site also links to, where four complete works he produced for BBC radio are archived (here).

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