When a Musical Composition Achieves the Undirected Manner of a Field Recording

For example “Things That Stubbornly and Resiliently Subsist Without Leave" by Kate Carr

So often the audio that emanates from Kate Carr’s SoundCloud account is field recordings, the experience can be jarring when something more traditionally recognizable as “music”appears in the feed’s sequence. “Things That Stubbornly and Resiliently Subsist Without Leave,”uploaded about a month ago, is no song in the traditional sense. It opens with solo electric guitar, plucked in a quiet, patient manner, before fading suddenly into a chillingly metallic echo chamber. Then comes a more sinuous synthesized sequence that bobs slowly this way and that — it’s as if a melody had been laid on the ocean’s surface and left to ebb and flow accordingly. And then comes silence, not digital silence but the silence of a room in which not very much seems to be happening, the sort of silence that can be consuming: drawing the listeners in and then imagined building walls around them. Lending the otherwise disparate sequence a sense of compositional structure, the piece shifts back for brief codas of the guitar and the chill. Leave it to Carr to produce a musical track that retains all the linear yet undirected semi-randomness of a field recording. She credits the title to Marie Thompson and Ian Biddle’s Sound, Music, Affect: Theorising the Sonic.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/katecarr. More from Carr at katecarr.bandcamp.com, gleamingsilverribbon.com, and twitter.com/flamingpines.

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