Posts Tagged ‘field recording’

Liveblogging! “Music For Swimmers” 4/22/12

April 22, 2012

It’s just one day until my birthday, which is turning out to be a combination of “I forgot,” and “I’m broke.” If you listened to “Music For Swimmers” today, at least take the time to tell a friend about the show– 5-6pm CST, every Sunday evening on WDBX-FM. Thanks!

Here’s your fine playlist:

KK Null, Scumearth — Time-Quake (from “K.K. Null + Scumearth,”on Phage Tapes)
American Band — Out Nurture (from “Low Fiction,” on Hot Releases)
Guillaume Coutu Dumont — Arianne Secret (from “Cache 2001” on CEC)
Matt Weston — This October, All Octobers (from “Seasick Blackout,” on 7272 Music)
Stefan Udell — Ollie Noseblunt To Backside Tailslide (from “Cache 2001,” on CEC)
Violet — In Capacitated By The Sun (on “Sonic Circuits: District of Noise vol. 4,”)
Tom Hamilton — Crimson Sterling Mvt I (from “Pieces for Kohn/Formal & Informal Music,” on Kvist)
Yannick Dauby — Raud 07.06.03 Saaropera (from “Lind, Raud, Aastaajad,” on Invisible Birds)
Ophibre – Untitled #2 (from “Puzzle Pieces,” on Oph Sound Recordings)
Ironing — Your Oxen Have Drowned (from GayBomb/Ironing split LP on Hymns)
If, Bwana; Trio Scordatura — Cicada 4AA (from “E (and sometimes why),” on Pogus)
Noah Creshevsky — La Sonnambula (from “Rounded With A Sleep,” on Pogus)

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“It’s Too Damn Early,” 3/3/12

March 3, 2012

Tom Hamilton, id M Theft Able & if, Bwana — Megawho (from “MegaWHAT? Live at The Stone” on Ilse)
Tom Hamilton, id M Theft Able & if, Bwana — Megawhen
Warm Climate — Lost Teeth/Organ Donor (from “Edible Homes” cassette on Stunned)
Warm Climate — Cave In
Warm Climate — Edible Homes & Gardens/Synth Pads For Homeless
RP Collier, Eloine — Tonic Spanner (from “Anchor Studies,” on Triple Bath)
RP Collier, Eloine — Smog Index
Violet — Incapacitated By The Sun (this, and next five, from “Sonic Circuits, District of Noise vol.4“)
TL0741, Anthony Pirog — Busy Bees
Nine Strings Trio — Sacred Crow Scared Cow
Stylus — Combine.Monogram
Insect Factory — Slow Bloom
Janel Leppin — Music for a Film, The Recipe
Blue Sausage Infant — Negative Space (from “Negative Space,” on Zeromoon)
Blue Sausage Infant — Subferal
Abortus Fever — Untitled (from “Recycled” cassette on RRRecords)
Yannick Dauby, John Grzinich — Kevad (from “Lind, Raud, Aastaajad,” on Invisible Birds)
Yannick Dauby, Murmer — Suvi

Robert Dow – “Precipitation within sight” & “White Water (airflow)”

August 20, 2008

Often, I receive promotional copies of an artist’s work that are not intended for general distribution: live sets dubbed as a single track on CDR, pre-mastered works in-progess, or compilations of selected works that could be broadcast but are not necessarily to be considered a proper album.

A while back, I was sent such a compilation by Robert Dow, director of the Soundings... festival of electroacoustic music and a researcher in the area of electroacoustic composition and performance with the University of Edinburgh. Although Dow’s knowledge of electroacoustic works far exceeds my own, I still thought it would be nice to write about one of the pieces for you– consider it half introduction, and half review.

“Precipitation within sight” is an interesting composition; generally, due to Dow’s willingness to allow natural sounds to remain unobscured by processing; and personally, as it ties closely with Miya Masaoka’s “For Birds, Planes, & Cello” which I have been enjoying recently.

Like Masaoka, Dow chooses natural sounds as both a focal point and a springboard for studio performance, constructing complimentary percussive sounds which often conjure the spacial properties of this work’s center– Smoo Cave in Durness, Scotland. Generous field recordings taken at Smoo Cave feature throughout, with indoor and outside events in evidence. Of particular beauty are Dow’s recordings of splashing water and children, appearing just prior to a bursting noise of some sort, rather like stones thrown upon a metal surface. I’m not sure what to make of the electronic whinnying that proceeds thereafter, underscored by a low rushing sound, and gradually taking aural focus… perhaps Dow is suggesting the feel of coming to the surface of water?

In his program notes, Dow states that he is interested in the “strong associative pull of such real world sounds and their tendency to create specific contexts,” which seems to be thought of as a problem among many electroacoustic artists in their rush to manipulate and obscure every source recording. Taken in this light, a reading of “Precipitation within sight” might include themes of motion as both physical movement and de/constructive energy, many of the associated emotions conjured by a journey through water, and possibly even our lingering human connection to formative natural spaces such as caves. There’s a lot to consider, so I won’t attempt to offer a conclusive summation here. Rather, I intend to whet your appetite– Dow has a release pending on the fine Russian label, Electroshock, so this might be a good time to become more acquainted with the composer.

Miya Masaoka, Joan Jeanrenaud — “For Birds, Planes & Cello”

July 31, 2008

A subtle release for Miya Masaoka’s new label, Solitary B, “For Birds, Planes & Cello” is something of a ‘grower.’ Upon my inital listening session, I could confirm little more than my own piqued interest and the ongoing quality work of Marcos Fernandes, who assisted with the field recording of a San Diego canyon central to this piece.

Throughout the untreated field recording, saturated as it is with the sounds of aircraft and peppered with migratory bird calls, Masaoka calls upon cellist Joan Jeanrenaud to emphasize select frequencies utilizing her extended technique. Curiously, Jeanrenaud is often found mimicking the atmospheric rumblings of jet engines passing overhead, though I would have appreciated a similar instrumental link forged with the birds as well. Whether Masaoka’s choice to identify the cello with the artificial elements of the field recording is a careful and telling commentary, or a simple reflection of the limitations of the instrument, it is difficult to discern.

Nevertheless, choices have been made, and Masaoka wants us to be aware of this… hence Jeanrenaud. Her cello breaks the fourth wall to remind us of the composer’s hand– music is, after all, where we choose to bestow our artistic focus. Within “For Birds, Planes & Cello,” it is the same as picking out shapes in the clouds: “This one looks like a lizard, do you see it as well?”

Impeccable production both in-studio and out feature throughout this disc, though it is the sort best enjoyed at a long and uninterrupted sitting. Listeners expecting some sort of free improv on top of field recordings will do best to avoid; as I’ve explained, that really isn’t the game of this album. Recommended.