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

At Play in the Depth of Sonic Field

Two slow-motion works by Andrew Weathers

Even without the title Raised High in Badwater Basin, this two-song set by Andrew Weathers would bring to mind a quiet burble akin to the continuous motion of water — well, at least the first track, “Last Light at Sonora Pass,” would. That parallel is thanks to the pixelated nature of the music, which is built from a slow, gently random occurrence of very slight notes, small instances of tone. What pushes “Last Light” beyond pixel-stuff is an underlying shimmer that comes and goes, lending depth of field, as well as the occasional, if muffled, presence of field recordings that had me repeatedly pausing the track to see what was happening outside my window when in fact it was happening right there in the room. That balance between foreground and background is flipped on the second track, “There’s Gold in These Hills,” in which the seeming background material, an intense raga-like treat akin to a fine Terry Riley piece, commands the majority of the piece, and the more Western-melodic material, such as it is, appears as a rarified series of simple chords. Beautiful, rewarding work, throughout. Both tracks are nearly 15 minutes long, allowing for immersive listening.

Originally posted for free download at basicsounds.ca and at andrewweathers.bandcamp.com, though you can pay a little, if you like, at the latter. More from Weathers at andrewweathers.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • 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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