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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Reworking Britten Reworking Purcell

A slomo mix by Tuonela

20130906-purcell

Not all stretching is mere stretching. There is plenty of stretched music out there, key works in the public ear being Justin Bieber exposed as a slomo angel and the Inception theme making a nod to an actress’ prior role, but some stretching takes more effort than simply reducing a pace and, perhaps, maintaining a key. Tuonela’s “The Purcell Theme” adapts an adaptation by Benjamin Britten of music by Purcell, and not just attenuating it for interior exploration. As he writes in the accompanying note: “Not just a simple stretch, this is a twelve-track mix.” But more importantly, he writes, “It’s how the Theme always sounded in my head.” The core message being that while the phenomenon of people slowing down music has gained currency in recent years, and has been abetted by technological progress, the listening inherent in stretching is considerably older, and independent from the digital technique. I recently participated in a discussion (it will appear online soon) about Internet-based music communities, and I clarified that some forms of sound exploration are perhaps more akin to “active listening” than to the making of music, and this seems like a striking example. I’m not stating those as two points at opposite ends of a lengthy continuum so much as different approaches that, certainly, allow for considerable overlap.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/tuonela-1. More from Tuonela at tuonela.bandcamp.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comment: 1 ]

One Comment

  1. Tuonela
    [ Posted September 9, 2013, at 5:30 pm ]

    Thanks Marc, very much appreciated. I hadn’t really thought through the ‘notes’ on this track, but it fits with my teenage habit of playing classical music at half speed (old turntables had a 16 rpm setting) or slower and getting close up and personal with the tinny 5 inch speaker. Discovering the roots of ambient music in the work of Dukas and Debussy was the other benefit. :)

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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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