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.

Lindsay Duncanson’s Looped Vocalese

Down by the river, iPad in hand

Much of Lindsay Duncanson’s work up on Soundcloud employs voice as its primary sound source. There are gurgles and drones, thick densities of tone and sudden, glottal explosions among the myriad examples Duncanson has posted. At one moment the voice is a calming presence, and at another it is a fierce, antagonist. In both such situations the lack of actual verbal language serves different purposes, either prelapsarian in its bliss, or suggesting a mental rupture that has short-circuited rational thought.

One standout track of Duncanson’s combines looped bits of mouth noise with that of a brook — accomplished, judging by the accompanying photo and tags, on the popular Loopy app. This is the rare track amid this SoundCloud collection that has no harshness to it, no veering from calm to tension or splutter. Titled “StreamSound,” it combines a sweet melody, the sort of thing one might find oneself having been humming unconsciously, with the delicate, percussive noise of the waterway. The vocal tones build slowly, a held note, like a warm sine wave, underneath childlike snippets. The closest it gets to the harshness of many of the other tracks is when brook’s burbles, toward the end, are emphasized for their thump-like qualities, and then when the voice impersonates a flying insect, darting this way and that.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/productofboy. More from Duncanson, who is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, at noizechoir.net (a partnership with Marek Gabrysch) and at productofboy.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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