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.

Score to a Drone Battle

If I could draw, this is what I would draw.

The track is “-” — just a hyphen — by the Teapot. The initial crunch has the foreboding intensity of a robot army slowly making its way through thick snow. It’s a rough, scratchy white noise that comes in deep, mechanical clusters. If I could draw, I would draw a story that “-” suggests. There would be no robots pictured for the first 1:45 of the track’s 6:40 running time. Then, after a brief silence that falsely suggests relief, we’d spy the army from up high, its steady march viewed at a greater distance, but no less anxious-making. At 2:30, we’d switch to robot-eye-view, as members of the army slow to a halt and send a scout ahead. At 3:00 we see what the scout sees, a base for another robot army, this one consisting of hovering drones. We’d then go deep in the drone base, where amid the waves of drone activity we’d overhear the opposing forces making their own plans. These flying drones aren’t as resilient as they seem. Something is amiss in flying-drone central. The drone leader, wounded, is slowly fading. Amid unintelligible but dire communication, a new plan is hatched. At 5:30, the flying drones send a massive, near-silent robot high above the approaching army. It surveys the landscape, and witnesses just how outnumbered the flying drones are. This lone flying drone, aloft, makes a fateful decision, and just keeps flying, further and further away.

But I can’t draw.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/theteapot.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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