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Where Beat and Background Merge (MP3)

An archival noise performance by Tore Honoré Bøe

Tore Honoré Bøe has posted four and a half minutes of a performance recorded live at Det Akademiske Kvarter in Bergen, Norway, back in 2001. It is an industrial drone that is interrupted regularly by a pounding, percussive element. This is self-evident in the waveform visualization of the track, what with all those ragged, saw-blade juts. The pounding at first is in stark contrast to the background sound, but as time passes what becomes clear is that the pounding is not so self-contained, that the sound of the percussive has a resonance that extends beyond its initial imposition of a beat. And as these attenuations come to the fore, the distinction between the background and foreground gets confused. It is often said that repetition is a form of change, but generally what that means is that repetition fuels the ear’s attention to previously unapparent variety; by contrast, in Bøe’s piece, as time passed it is similarities, rather than distinctions, that make themselves heard.

Track originally posted at Bøe’s “acoustic laptops” were mentioned here back in May. More from him at and He is based in Gran Canaria, Spain.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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