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Four Film Cues by Kent Sparling (MP3s)

The sound designer and musician Kent Sparling may make some of the best music about which I have the opportunity to read the least often. Albums like Route Canal Diary and Under New Manna, their punny titles aside, are some of the richest contemporary explorations of electro-environmental ambience, close in spirit to Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, yet with their own inner coherence and language.

Sparling composes film music, as well, and there are up on his kentsparling.com website, among the many tracks, four cues from the 2007 film The Princess of Nebraska (from director Wayne Wang), including “Mother of X,” a Morricone-esque combination of plain-winds and whistling (MP3); “Prostitute and Princess,” a super slomo melody caught inside a drone like a bug in amber (MP3); “Still Letting Go,” which brings the melody slightly more into the foreground, looping in a fugue-like manner amid a thick cloud of lushness (MP3); and, the real outlier, “Saint Stupid,” the sole piece among them with a prominent vocal element, first heard amid ringing come-to-prayer/dinner bells and gamelan-like percussion as a distant chorus, but holding out at the end as a single dramatic element (MP3).

Combined, the cues total just under 12 minutes of music:

[audio:http://www.kentsparling.com/ks.v1/Music_files/Sparling-Mother_of_X.mp3,http://www.kentsparling.com/ks.v1/Music_files/Sparling-Prostitute_and_Princess.mp3,http://www.kentsparling.com/ks.v1/Music_files/Sparling-Still_Letting_Go.mp3,http://www.kentsparling.com/ks.v1/Music_files/Sparling-Saint_Stupid.mp3|titles=”Mother of X”,”Prostitute and Princess”,”Still Letting Go”,”Saint Stupid”|artists=Kent Sparling,Kent Sparling,Kent Sparling,Kent Sparling]

More on Sparling at kentsparling.com and jicamasalad.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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