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

Sabrina Schroeder’s Industrial Theater

A live performance from late 2014

The sheer scale of Sabrina Schroeder’s “Stircrazer: Hammer + Flutter” brings to mind theater as much as it does music. Despite its extended quiet passages, it is dense with activity. It has the implicit energy and presence of a massive construction site sealed off by a privacy wall. Whirring and rattles, dragged equipment and electric drones, all amid fierce rumbles, collectively bring to mind an industrial set piece out of Heiner Goebbels. The work credits four performers in addition, presumably, to Schroeder herself — Pablo Coello, saxophone; Angélica Vázquez, harp; David Durán, piano; and Ramón Souto, percussion — but it sounds like legion. And as it progresses, it comes into focus, like the massive machinery has been laid bare, and yet its purposes remain mysterious.

In an accompanying note, Schroeder, who posted the track at the start of this month, gives some context: “Work-in-progress workshopped and premiered this past November (2014) by Vertixe Sonora Ensemble in the Correspondencias Sonoras Festival at Galician Center for Contemporary Art, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.”

The piece was posted at soundcloud.com/sabrinaschroeder. More from Schroeder at sabrinaschroeder.com. She is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing her PhD at Harvard in composition, and is director of the Harvard Group for New Music (hgnm.org).

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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