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

The Musical Equivalent of Eavesdropping

Ryan Kunkleman, aka esc, live

This 20-minute live performance video is by Ryan Kunkleman, who goes by the name esc, which is to say the key way over in the upper-left-hand corner of your computer’s keyboard. Like his moniker, the music played here is deliberately lowercase. There is conflict and tension within the sounds, certainly, but they are pitched to a near hush. It’s the musical equivalent of eavesdropping. You know there’s trouble next door, but you need to stoop, push your ear against the wall, and concentrate to get some sense of what’s going on. What’s going on here is, apparently, a single source sound being looped and mangled in real time by a variety of different devices that constitute esc’s synthesizer. You don’t need to know that or, for that matter, think about it to enjoy the subtle shifts, but if you do choose to pay attention, you can appreciate, as well, the divergent variations and their root interconnectedness.

Video originally posted to esc’s YouTube channel. This is the latest video added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of live performances of ambient music.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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