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.

From Louise Rossiter’s Keyboard to Our Ears

When the new gear is a language

Uploaded tracks that contain pictures (or, better yet, video) of new gear get the most applause because they satisfy the fellow-musician audience’s interest in voyeuristic window shopping, and the non-musician’s interest in bright shiny objects, even impenetrably complicated and opaque ones.

When the new gear is, however, not a bright and shiny object but instead an initial go at coding, which in most circumstances is a snazzy word for typing, the innate attraction isn’t as strong.

So, kudos to Louise Rossiter for sharing this early sketch, titled “Rebirth.” According to the brief liner note accompanying the track, we know three things: (1) “Supercollider” (the language); (2) “First bit of coding” (where Rossiter is at); and (3) “Will become a piece eventually” (where “Rebirth” is headed). What starts as hesitant rhythmic pulses in a vacuum slowly gains spaciousness with wind-tunnel atmospherics and synthesized lightning strikes. The hum and crackle increase, lending cover to a smart array of torqued sonics.

That third bit, regarding this being a work in progress, may explain the fairly sudden cut-off a couple seconds shy of five and a half minutes, when the piece — till then a tumble of dense, irritable drones and just the sort of static that makes your laptop keyboard vibrate in a manner that makes you fear for your chipsets — ends cold. On the one hand, this may be pure drama (à la the Sopranos‘ finale, but after five minutes of aural abstraction, not six seasons of criminal escapades). On the other, it may simply be where the code thus far ends. Here’s looking forward to where Rossiter’s typing takes our ears next.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/mad_lou. Louise Rossiter is a recent PhD (at De Montfort University) based in Leicester, U.K. She has two albums out on the Xylem label: Mondes Intérieurs and Traces.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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