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

Brigid Feral’s Sonic Transformations

Half-synthesized voices, bodily fluids, and dismembered classical instruments

20151123-feralb

There is little to no annotation associated with the audio that Brigid Feral posts at soundcloud.com/fferal. The closest she generally comes is a hashtag, such as the “#augmented lute” that appears on the page for her “Violet.” The source audio for her thoroughly transformed sounds can provide the distinguishing factoid, as in “Sound of Friend Peeing,” which, in case the title isn’t clear, has “#pee.” Much of the work she’s posted to SoundCloud starts with some specific sonic basis, and then goes somewhere else entirely. Recent live recordings by Feral, such as one from September 11, and another “Residuum,” posted in the past couple of weeks, use a female voice — presumably her own — as their point of origin.

In the first of these syllables give way to a stuttery beat. In the second there is a delightfully flowery, fluttering affect that is half human, half synthesized.

As for “Violet,” it has a dampened-industrial quality. What is being done to the lute is unclear, but the result is a battery of soft poundings: sawtooth waveforms with their edges rubbed off, beats like a mallet hitting a bag of wet feathers. The rhythm is insistent, but it’s enacted with purposefully unstable resources.

Now, there’s no lute pictured in Feral’s Instagram feed (instagram.com/fferal), but there is some excellent footage of her destroying a piano from the inside:

A video posted by bridget feral (@fferal) on

“Violet” originally posted at soundcloud.com/fferal. (Update November 28, 2015: The one recorded on September 11, “Body Chaos,” has been renamed simply “Body Chaos,” and as a result the track link changed. It’s been fixed here.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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