While it’s true that I think the internet excels especially at works in progress, where the audience can witness the given musician’s process, it remains also the case that work considered (merely? purely? solely?) raw material can be an end unto itself. Which is to say that while the best listening to recorded music is often when it isn’t even done, often the very best listening is the stuff that exists before the music-making can be said to have begun. Which is to say, some sample sets are listenable until themselves.
The material in the new sample set from Japan-based act Lullatone, all bowed glockenspiel, is a fine example. Just listen the pristine, soaring, organ-like beauty of the sample. And then, of course, try out the cooked versions, four reworkings of the source audio: ambient, distorted, granularized, and “reverse reverb.”
Set first released at lullatonesamplesets.bandcamp.com.
Yesterday, on a brand new SoundCloud account, the artist Steph Horak posted a track of layered vocals, just tones, just soft vowels, that when played against each other yield a familiar, lovely, gently abrasive beading that sounds less like a choir of one and more like a glass harmonica played by an expert soloist. Her explanation is that it’s part of an art project that accrues and amasses individual tones over time on a regular basis.
Here is Horak’s description:
I am attempting to sing a note a day for a year because I want to know if my body holds a certain tension, or harmony, a resonant bias. Therefore, I record each day’s note in isolation, without hearing any of the previous days, and then I make a mix of the month. This is a somewhat indulgent side-project. This is not about singing in tune. This is about data. Trigger warning: People with absolute pitch may find this jarring to listen to.
The track is labeled “366 JANUARY 2016,” though it’s unclear how much time is accounted for, how many vowels over how many days.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/threehundredandsixtysix. More from Horak at her other SoundCloud account, soundcloud.com/sheisrevolting, and at stephhorak.wordpress.com and noisevagina.tumblr.com, the latter of which includes this intriguing sonified lipstick case:
Horak works as part of the computing department at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she earned an MA in 2013. (Track found via a repost by soundcloud.com/leafcutterjohn.)