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

tag: voice

Patti Kilroy’s Echoes and Premonitions

A track for layered voice

Like a lot of solo musicians working with electronic equipment, Patti Kilroy manages to expand her palette by becoming multitudes. The layers of her voice in “Blahudio” accumulate with consummate subtlty. At times it can sound like just one person, except then instances of her intoning seem to occur with a peculiar sequential nature: you realize that you’re hearing something you expect to hear, the initiation of a riff, after or during that which would normally succeed it. Now, “riff” might be overstating it: these are modulations more than melodies, wisps that shifts up and down a slender scale. There are deep echoes and premonitions in the piece, and a harmonic intensity that produces shivers in the listener.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/pattikilroy. More from Kilroy, who is based in New York, New York, and whose primary instrument is violin, at pattikilroy.com.

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Disquietude Podcast Episode 0002

Music from Naoyuki Sasanami, Geneva Skeen, Jeanann Dara and Jherek Bischoff, R. Beny, Bana Haffar, Scanner, Yann Novak

This is the second episode of the Disquietude podcast of ambient electronic music. (There’s an odd little glitch at the opening, but otherwise it seems to sound good.) All seven tracks of music are featured with the permission of the individual artists or their record labels. It’s currently on SoundCloud, and will shortly be at Mixcloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher. There’s also an RSS feed, should you need it.

Below is the structure of the episode with time codes for the tracks:

00:00 theme and intro

01:42 Naoyuki Sasanami’s “Winter”

05:12 Geneva Skeen’s “Ambivalence”

10:42 Jeanann Dara and Jherek Bischoff’s “Jherek”

17:46 R. Beny’s “Basin”

23:21 Bana Haffar’s “Memoriam”

30:27 Scanner’s “Captiva 7”

35:44 Yann Novak’s “Surroundings (Excerpt)”

44:22 track notes

49:18 essay on room tone

51:50 outro

53:19 end

What follows is a rough transcript of the spoken material in the podcast, as well as links to the artists whose work is included: Read more »

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Brian Eno Gives the BBC a Studio Tour

And talks generative art, sculptures, beat making, note taking, and more

“I’m trying to make a version of me in this software,” Brian Eno tells the BBC’s Spencer Kelly in a half-hour video from the broadcaster’s Click show. The ambient godfather is giving Kelly a tour of his studio, displaying how he constructs his light installations, his sculptures made of small speakers, and his software-based music. We see the dark backroom where he’s transitioned from cathode ray tubes to LEDs, and his ceiling-high bookshelves, 65 percent of which he estimates have science as their subject. Kelly, whose BBC reporting focus is technology, pushes Eno to confirm himself as something of a scientist, which Eno agrees to do.

Broadcasting is an odd thing. Kelly needs to ask a generalist’s questions, even though it’s clear he must know quite a bit more than he’s actually acknowledging knowledge of. They get around to “those cards,” which leads to a bit of a history lesson about how Roxy Music’s limited budget inspired Eno to get some best practices in order, which in turn became the Oblique Strategies deck. He also spends an extended bit making generative drum beats, and gives us a flip through old notebooks. Somewhere people with high-definition monitors are making and trading screenshots, no doubt.

There’s also fodder for an incredibly subtle animated GIF around the 18:23 mark, when Eno, his head emerging from a thick, collared overshirt like that of a tortoise, juts back and forth along to a semi-randomized rhythm he’s just implemented.

Found via synthtopia.com.

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Musique Concrète + Video Games

The making of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

This short documentary video about the making of the video game Resident Evil 7: Biohazard explores the use of musique concrète to achieve the game developers’ pursuit of a horror aesthetic. The 8-minute profile interviews various participants in the game’s production from a variety of sound roles, including audio director, composers, and music production supervisors.

Says one member of the team: “We talked about this whole musique concréte style. So using voices became part of the score, and we gave them instructions like pretend, you know, you’ve got a plastic bag over your head and you’re asphyxiating. Pretend you’re drowing; make a sound like that. By the end it got a little bit weird: you know, you’re a zombie cow and you’re dying.”

It’s interesting to observe their collective decision and their experience of moving away from traditional game music — which is generally electronic but also usually employs recognizably musical instrumentation or reference points — to work drawn entirely from recorded audio.

Video originally posted at Vimeo. More on the video game, which was released back in January, at residentevil7.com. An album of the music was also released in January: sumthing.com.

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“Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet” Live

The 1975 composition performed late last year by Psappha

Following perhaps intentionally on the warm reception received by that recent posting of a three-part video showing Gavin Bryars’ Sinking of the Titanic being performed live at the Big Ears festival, we now have the other half of that very same record album, the first from Brian Eno’s Obscure label back in 1975. This is the ensemble Psappha on October 12, 2016, at the RNCM Theatre in Manchester, U.K., conducted by Clark Rundell. (The group’s general manager and artistic director is Tim Williams.) The work is “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” which takes the melody inherent in a creaky recording of a homeless man singing a hymn in a painfully sweet and wavering rendition and renders it in a gentle, sensitive setting that suggests a heavenly chorus if not outright beatification. Emphasizing the group’s attentiveness is how serenely they sit for the four full minutes before they actually join the nameless singer, whose verse is heard as a recording to which they eventually play along.

Video originally posted at the ensemble’s YouTube channel. More from Psappha, presumbably named for the Xenakis composition, at psappha.com.

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