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

tag: field-recording

Cecilia Tyrrell on Radius

For the series' 93rd episode

The long-running Radius broadcast/podcast series has reached episode 93. This current entry, which was released today, features a piece by Cecilia Tyrrell.

It overlays field recordings of the coastline with jittery spoken word, the latter like a public address system sent through the shredder. A brief description lends context:

“Sonic topography inspired and partly arranged from recordings made at a sound mirror on the South East coast of England (UK). The mirror itself stands dormant as it waits, facing out away from land. Sound markers and siren warnings, still it listens, quietly detecting.”

The sound mirror is pictured up top, a presence obscured by fog. Bells that bop around like buoys on a wave mix with appropriate burbling as the piece comes to a close, but up until then it’s a much more complex undertaking. The water sloshes like it’s underfoot, the sound taking on the semblance of a journey, either in search of or in avoidance of what remains unclear. The garbled voiceover sounds like a warning, but for whom? It’s an abstract audio drama, a thriller that replaces plot with pure sensation, as ambiguous as it is deliberate.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/theradius. More on the piece at theradius.us/episode93. More from Tyrrell at ceciliatyrrell.com.

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Musique Concrète Monday

The latest from Jimmy Kipple's patzr radio

The excellent patzr radio art-sound podcast persists with reworked field recordings, episodes 202a and 202b each consisting of 140 seconds of birdsong and rain, squelched conversation and sirens, wind and unidentifiable noises, the source audio all reduced to snippets that are then moved constantly between speakers, flipped this way and that. It’s musique concrète in its truest form: small chamber works hewn from nothing but the everyday noise, easily ignored sounds turned into something inherently memorable. The series is the long-running work of Jimmy Kipple.

Tracks originally posted at soundcloud.com/patzr-radio.

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Current Listens: Jóhannsson Tribute, Cole’s Synths

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Paul Hillier in this three-minute video talks about the work he and his fellow musicians in Theatre of Voices did with the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, notably on the film Arrival:

When Lloyd Cole refers to his “day job” in the liner notes to his latest album, what he means by it is writing songs. Better known for the well-crafted British rock and pop filed in record stores under Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, he’s also a deeply engaged employer of synthesizers. For this album, recorded in June, he focused his efforts on a single module, the Dunst from Ieaskul F. Mobenthey, which emits chaotic yet nuanced noise (other modules were utilized as well, of course).

The company ModBap has released a new synthesizer module, Per4mer, intended to appeal to hip-hop musicians. Among the demos is this psychedelic beat from Ali the Architect. (Found via Synthtopia.)

Three field recordings from Dublin, Ireland-based composer Linda Buckley, including birdsong after the rain, and a prayer echoing in public (presumably in Astoria, Queens, based on the track’s title).

Also, covered with a bit more depth: harp player Mary Lattimore’s classical/ambient Silver Ladders, produced by Neal Halstead of Slowdive, and the dense drones of Havdis, aka O.A. Jensen

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Mexican Audio Damage

Courtesy of Alejandro Morse

You’ll need to check your speakers. Edgar Medina, who goes by Alejandro Morse, so damages the sounds that constitute the base level of the track “(Splendid View to) an Artificial Lake,” off the forthcoming album Aftermath, that you’ll wonder if something has gone haywire with your audio system. Even after being told, still you’ll find need to check your speakers, to make sure wires haven’t frayed, to make sure a cat hasn’t gotten in the house and scratched at your cones, to make sure water hasn’t taken its toll. None of those things have happened — well, not to your speakers. As for the audio on “(Splendid View to) an Artificial Lake,” it has been scraped like barnacles off the hull of a boat, like paint from an old bench, like unwanted truths from a Wikipedia page. In posting the track to SoundCloud, the releasing record label, Dragon’s Eye, attributed the tag #ambient to it, but that seems more like provocation than categorization. The mix of happenstance field recordings and genteel tonal elements is bonded under shared scrubbing, the disparate elements united as the objects of Morse’s destructive, exploratory intent.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/dragonseyerecordings. More from Medina/Morse, who is based in Leon, Mexico, at alejandromorse.bandcamp.com. Aftermath is due out this Friday, October 2.

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Transistor Ga Ga

An augmented field recording by Robert Cole Rizzi

Often, the most beautiful sounds are all around us. We just have to learn to pay attention to them. Sometimes, however, to access these sounds, we must listen in ways our ears alone can’t accomplish. Case in point, this recording of a transformer station from Robert Cole Rizzi. Rizzi’s three-minute track is an atmospheric tour de force. It combines the inherent buzzing of the transformer with the sound of the structure itself vibrating, plus sonic evidence of the presence of electromagnetic radiation. Writes Rizzi, “You can hear a low rumble I believe is the current running through the wires and fog condensing into drops hitting the thinner zigzag beams of the mast as they fall.”

To access this depth of sonic experience, Rizzi employs the Geofon, or what I described as “the landlubber’s hydrophone in a post earlier this year. The electromagnetic information comes courtesy of another device, called the Priezor. Both are from the company LOM.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/rizzi. More from Robert Cole Rizzi, who is based in Kolding, Denmark, at twitter.com/RobertColeRizzi.

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