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

A Drone in Progress

From Massachusetts-based Bell Mechanical

The Bell Mechanical describes the drone in question as a work in progress, which begs the question as to how it might be improved. Drones in general have a holistic if not entirely natural aura to them. The distinction is that they often sound self-contained, almost automated, more field recording than composition, and yet they also generally seem inherently technological — the sound of machines, not of the natural world. “The Bethel Construction Company,” by the Bell Mechanical, is such a drone: the hum of a low level industrial activity, albeit with choice textural elements. Given that it is, apparently, unfinished, one wonders what alterations might be implemented: more or less variety of momentary glitches, a change in key or root tone, more of a sense of development? In any case, it is quite enjoyable as it currently stands. Or perhaps when the musician says it’s a drone from a series he’s been working on, as he does in the brief accompanying note, it is the series he’s working on, not the drone itself. Perhaps this one is done, and a new one is in the works.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/thebellmechanical. More from the Bell Mechanical (aka Salem, Massachusetts”“based M.J. LeBlanc) at thebellmechanical.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. the bell mechanical
    [ Posted December 14, 2013, at 10:23 am ]

    Hey Marc, glad you (and others) enjoyed the piece!

    Just to clarify, this particular track is indeed essentially ‘finished’: It’s part of a planned-out series of five tracks that I’ve been working on as time has permitted.

    It’s under a Creative Commons [BY-NC-SA] license, BTW, so anyone who cares to try their hand at a CC remix (or repurposing) is of course welcome to (w/ attribution).

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted December 14, 2013, at 10:39 am ]

      Excellent. Thanks for the clarification.

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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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