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.

Helena Gough’s Un-Real-World MP3s

A British musician and sound artist living and working in Berlin, Helena Gough likes to say she makes something from nothing. She takes field recordings of our real world and creates new audioscapes from them, thanks to microsonic manipulation and an empasis on a narrative-like song structure; there may be loops involved, but each effort feels through-composed, even improvised.

Perhaps that means that the twinkling sonics that flitter toward the end of an excerpt of “Liq” (MP3), housed at her website (, are birdsong, and that the subsequent echoes are water drops enlarged to water falls through digital transformation. Perhaps the toot toot that appears toward the opening of “Was Kein Engel Weiss” (MP3) is a passing train and the scratchy crackle that follows is that more rudimentary invention, fire. Whatever the process, the pieces never really suggest themselves as guessing games; they’re more like scores to movies of the mind.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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