Often, interview questions unduly influence the way in which one considers an interviewee’s response. By framing the responses with silence, a greater interpretive space is left open.
Conducted over Skype, September 2012
Often, interview questions unduly influence the way in which one considers an interviewee’s response. By framing the responses with silence, a greater interpretive space is left open.
Conducted over Skype, September 2012
The Musical Condition of Reasonable Conspiracy is a discussion-performance from the “discussion in a room” series I’ve been developing since 2011. My phone interview with the Australian composer Chris Mann discussing ‘composer’s conspiracy’ is transcribed into a script and reenacted by two performers while a group of Rome-based composers intervene throughout the conversation. Here, “discussion” means something simultaneously organized and performed by re-enactors, speakers, listeners and beholders, all of whom become conspirators in a shared unfolding process.
Re-enactors: Michael Fitzpatrick, Gaby Ford (The English Theatre of Rome)
• Chris Mann, composer and performer. “Language is the mechanism whereby you understand what I’m thinking better than I do (where i is defined by those changes for which i is required)”. He is currently based in New York City.
Meseo Pietro Canonica, Rome, Italy
J. Gordon Faylor
Iteration · December 8–10, 2012 · Philadelphia
Counter-variation · Strict partial order · Samples · Apartment · Two rooms subdivided into four sections, connected by another · Two to four doorways · Peavey bass amp · Water · Vans
Outline/blurb assigned numbered coordinates · Comments referencing room sections, objects occasioned, faulty time coding: https://soundcloud.com/lateral-addition/abd/s-3B10u · Lament metanalysis
Nonrandomized domestic recordings: four linear tracks, seven breaks · Contingent irregularities — exception: three guests arrive · Additive objects and/or surfaces substitute, account for one another’s duration — obfuscatory spatial treatments · Per lack of attention, nonproportional proximity the rooms the podcast · Admeasure · Aural minimalism in lieu of fiction · A man hissed from behind the door · Terminology · Regressive link · Discourse: “just me walking around” inference — preemptive, unsystematized save f trials of these spaces, their interchangeability, section lengths “two arbitrary silences, facilitating sound for rec,” imposing experiences, rites, approaches · Walking to and away from · Inability to construe systematization (e.g. weather) as voiding aesthetic games, I sunk my head only a little out of disappointment · Amount
The guests annex media · Andy Martrich : Iona (BlazeVox, 2012), Once : “The Empty Deck” (N/A, 1981), Trisha Low : Purge (Troll Thread, 2012) · Discretionary approaches of interaction and abandonment — compulsive wandering, browsing, setting down of
Attempts 40 seconds 8:00-13:00 · 50 seconds 22:00-25:00 · Bonus two more eclipsed segments
Ian M. Fraser and Reed Evan Rosenberg
“To understand the trajectories of the stars through a galaxy, Michel Hénon computed the intersections of an orbit with a plane. The resulting patterns depended on the system’s total energy. The points from a stable orbit gradually produced a continuous, connected curve. Other energy levels, however, produced complicated mixtures of stability and chaos, represented by regions of scattered points. […]
The nested detail, lines within lines, can be seen in final form in a series of pictures with progressively greater magnification. But the eerie effect of the strange attractor can be appreciated another way when the shape emerges in time, point by point. It appears like a ghost out of the mist. New points scatter so randomly across the screen that it seems incredible that any structure is there, let alone a structure so intricate and fine. Any two consecutive points are arbitrarily far apart, just like any two points initially nearby in a turbulent flow. Given any number of points, it is impossible to guess where the next will appear—except, of course, that it will be somewhere on the attractor.
The points wander so randomly, the pattern appears so ethereally, that it is hard to remember that the shape is an attractor. It is not just any trajectory of a dynamical system. It is the trajectory toward which all other trajectories converge. That is why the choice of starting conditions does not matter. As long as the starting point lies somewhere near the attractor, the next few points will converge to the attractor with great rapidity.”
From Chaos: Making A New Science by James Gleick (pgs. 148-150)
The track is a collection of études whose content is entirely derived from sonification of the Hénon Map and a sound file of the Chaos: Making A New Science AAX format audiobook interpreted as raw audio data.
Realized in real time without any human interference, each étude is the diffusion of a single variation of a compact patch coded by Fraser & Rosenberg in Supercollider in which the chaotic sonifications modulate various parameters regulating the playback of the raw data sound file. The études were sequenced in Audacity, each separated by a period of silence. All software utilized in the piece is free and open source.
– RER & IMF
Jordan Topiel Paul
Field recordings, MP3 compression
Recordings often ask you to listen out-of-body by immersing yourself in the stereo image that the medium is reproducing. As if music were a window whose objects you could only perceive by imagining yourself on the other side.
Immersion Loop asks you to stay where you are, to view the surface of the window and feel its effects in your space. The music is immersed, not the listener. Go about your business as though this sound is equal to all others: chatter, wind, traffic, footsteps, radios, appliance noise, etc.
Sound is contingent on material yet it has no material component of its own. In some of your recent work, you focus on the material that shapes acoustic environments (such as the wood in Tonewood Hills and the awning in Eve). By emphasizing the physical reality of sound, the non-ethereal, material aspect of aural perception is accentuated. It is my belief that part of what distinguishes the culture surrounding sound practices from the wider field of visual culture is the tendency to look inward and deal with the formal aspects of sound while neglecting the outward, external elements that also inform sonic experience. I would be interested in you addressing this particular concern within your work.
Sound has no obvious materiality but it does still have materiality.
As with the media of light, one of the unique and fascinating characteristics of sound is that it can be present and absent simultaneously.
I am very interested in the relationship between the various elements that shape a situation, a space, an experience. You might say that light makes it possible to see walls or that walls enable one to experience and catch light. With sound resonating in a room, a room’s tone is created by distances, material, heights of ceilings and the thickness of walls.
A point I find interesting in Steen Eiler Rasmussen’s text Hearing Architecture is that buildings are built to make certain ways of singing or talking possible or impossible and that certain ways of singing are developed for specific buildings. This relationship between sound and architecture, in particular, has been crucial for me.
The relationship is also something I am currently investigating as part of a work/study in South India. In several of the temples here, there are pillars constructed specifically to create a unique room tone. These are referred to as musical pillars. In one particular temple, two pillars were removed by the British at some point in history. I am interested in somehow imagining and re-creating the tones that the two missing pillars may have created.
From a conceptual point of view, the project relates to a series of soundboards made of resonating tonewood that I have made. The soundboards do not produce their own sound. They exist as suggestions for alternative non-standardized resonances (see Three Non-standardized Resonances). The space between what can be heard, what can be audibly remembered and audibly imagined is central to my practice. And here the materiality and form of the objects become objects in their own right but also abstract tools with which to begin the thought process into the remembered and the imagined.
Me: I just listened through again
Me: like what if we move the first question set to after the talking set?
Me: it’s hard to say though if that would make any difference
Me: though the pink noise helps
EL: its a cleanser
Me: totally a palate cleanser
EL: I’ve been working with pink noise
Me: the first three sections
Me: what if we start with sine tone?
Me: or at least give it a try
EL: the one mix thought I had
Me: it’s a super shitty recording
EL: I usually dont mess with the mix too much on LA cause I want it to be as it is
Me: either clean it up or make it messier
EL: ok I might just leave it then
EL: I think this is all about
Me: there’s some mic feedback that happens
EL: not changing things to make them more palatable
Me: no and my sort of thing is lo-fidelity
Me: partially because I don’t have the right equipment
EL: ok I’ll leave it
Me: and partially because all these artifacts are becoming extinct
EL: it’s all just diffusing into the ether
Me: so when I was listening again today
Me: though I did spend some time thinking about how to pose a question in sound
EL: like our idea of “question” was too open ended?
EL: it’s a perspective, right?
Me: and we didn’t get a chance to really talk midstream about what was happening once we started passing sound back and forth
EL: so maybe you felt lazy
Me: but if this is an interview
EL: going with whatever sound you think is appropriate
Me: I definitely think that back and forth interviews over the internet make it difficult to get the true face to face quality
EL: kind of like how everything is photoshopped
Me: is it worth it to share what kinds of questions we felt we were asking with the sounds?
EL: you will process the interview differently than if you experience it as a work
Me: I mean I definitely took each track as a question
EL: more macro
Me: and started from there
EL: I think it has interesting aesthetic implications though
Me: how so?
Me: what are the aesthetics of an interview ?
EL: trying to struggle with how to approach the sounds
Me: my thought was what does it mean to pour different content into established forms
EL: yeah maybe its less about questions and answers
Me: the abstraction of asking a question in sound is probably too broad
EL: I think its pretty clear that
Me: yea.. I think so
Me: is that less interesting
EL: we can just call it Interview
Me: I thought about the questions that these sounds may have raised
EL: yeah I think
Me: that’s an important distinction right.. is this an interview, a discussion, a debate?
EL: its too serial to be any of those
Me: it’s also really linear
EL: we approached it that way
Me: well supposing that it’s difficult to say who was asking the question and who was providing the answer
Me: perhaps that’s on account of my relationship to the sample
Me: which I’ve used in so many different performances now
Me: the other sounds are all open for me
EL: but it doesnt necessarily answer any of the other questions
Me: I love when this guy talks about how he loves lyricism
Me: and cites Eminem as a favorite
EL: I thought it was perfect
Me: he’s just scrolling through this screen
EL: “some really bad questions in here…”
Me: “no offense to those that sent them in” !
EL: I’m really happy
Me: shout out to MongolianGnome
Me: he’s very smooth
EL: whats your middle name
EL: you? Bonnie Bethel
Me: Bonnie Bethel Jones
Me: do you carry a pocket knife?
EL: such a fine start
Me: I’m wondering about the impetus behind my response/question to this…
Me: I think my response was snarky
EL: what is describing food from?
Me: english language lessons
EL: thats what i thought
Me: for Koreans
EL: I was thinking if I could go back and tweak what I did
Me: you could do that if you wanted
Me: the Mexico into that first section is musically awesome
Me: hard not to hear it that way
EL: we are changning it anyway
EL: and I like how it kicks off
EL: I dont want to be doing this from an aesthetic place
EL: originally were kinda aesthetic
Me: yea… I think my first question was aesthetic
EL: its good
Me: my other choices were made as quickly as possible
EL: what are we deciding on describing food
Me: I think I wanted to put it out there that the voice is an instrument
EL: he thinks it’s all tasty
Me: that’s weird
EL: do you know this guy
EL: we should tour with him
Me: oily is for like skin and hair
EL: and oilies
Me: I’m not sure I’ve ever had a conversation that felt completely open
Me: entire areas unresolved
EL: i think thats a definition of a good musical experience
Me: what about the hounds do you think?
EL: I thought it was you at first
EL: thats a live duo?
Me: I guess I have been thinking more about nature and electronics
Me: perhaps this is on account of the cicadas
Me: they were up here in New York and I caught just the tail end of them
EL: aged and ripe
Me: not a piece..an interview
Me: maybe we should do a COD style
Me: we can set something up after you put out the edition
EL: you never know
EL: what are we calling this?
Me: .. was trying to think about that
Me: I sort of love the idea
Me: interviews and trying to tell someone about musical ideas in words
This recording was produced during a sculpture critique with Irina Arnaut and David Barr.
Please read the following instructions before playback:
The audio above is not the work but a means to facilitate the dynamic listening which you must perform.
Throughout playback you must adjust the volume of your playback system in relation to the constantly shifting loudness of the audio track.
The object of continual volume adjustment is to maintain as constant a resulting perceived volume as possible, despite continual changes of volume built into the track. Performance requires constant attention to the track’s loudness and simultaneous compensation in relation to its changes:
– if the track gets louder, you must turn down playback volume;
By such constant compensation, perceived volume should remain as static as possible.
There are two suggested base playback levels and options for performance:
1) Throughout performance, audio should be kept at the threshold of audibility. This means that the volume level to maintain throughout should never exceed or be less than that volume level below which you could no longer apprehend an audio signal. This means that throughout performance, what you hear should be perpetually on the edge of “nothing”: as soon as you hear “something”, tend to turn it down; as soon as you can no longer hear “anything,” tend to turn it up.
2) Throughout performance, audio should be kept at the threshold of comprehensibility. The material of the audio track is spoken English text. This means that the volume level to maintain throughout should be the minimum level necessary to “follow” the semantic context of the text. This means that throughout performance, what you hear should be perpetually on the edge of clearly making out the content of the text, but no more: as soon as you clearly understand it, tend to turn it down; as soon as you can’t understand it, tend to turn it up.
In both cases, loudness changes in the track swiftly, slowly, and at every speed between; so too must your compensatory adjustments be.
– Audio begins only after 15 seconds.
The text of the audio track, a condensed version of Bill Dietz’s “Holiday Vignettes” (2013), was read by Tami Birch, Chris Dietz, and the author on January 10th, 2014 in Bisbee, Arizona.
A live study for “Nuvole Detail” was presented on December 21st, 2013 at Exploded View Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.
A “Nuvole Detail” Tutorial Diversions Profiling Software, with which any audio source material can serve as the basis for listening performance, will be released later in 2014.
1 – An aphorism interrupted by some anecdotal wood
Uneven Developments is conceived as two independent monophonic compositions of synthetic sounds to be played simultaneously.
Diverse sonic events with varying duration and volume appear and behave independently on each channel. While the palette of sounds may be quite similar on both channels due to the uniform method of sound generation that is based on and inspired by analog modules, the aim of this piece is to reconsider the dominant consensus regarding the notion of stereo sound. Therefore, a central and fixed position for listening is not required and “uneven” or “unusual” speaker arrangements are strongly encouraged.
The piece is born out of two sound collages made with digitally generated sounds from Supercollider and includes processed recordings realized at the BEA5 analog studio of The Institute of Sonology in The Hague, 2013.
Compiled by Catherine Lamb and Bryan Eubanks
Contributions from (in the order in which they occur):
Please click here to listen with Dan Letson’s visuals.
Music for The Memphis Group was written in late 2013, inspired by the Milan design collective of the same name. The work produced by the association of international artists – active between the years 1981 and 1987 – playfully engaged in hypothetical and pragmatic applications (furniture, apparel, sculpture, kitchenware) for emerging global resources, both synthetic and organic, rare and commonplace.
The loud colors, plastic laminate, and asymmetrical patterning was intended in part as a rejection of dominant Modernist aesthetic ideals of the time – ideals that still hold over today in contemporary attitudes concerning clean, “essentialist” design. The Memphis Group’s willful, incongruous eclecticism filtered into a catalog of gleeful chimera, where the space-aged ornamentation of American Googie architecture fused with minimalist post-industrial Japanese practices, and where quick-witted Italian commercial design ran rampant alongside crude approximations of tribal iconography.
Despite their polymorphous approach, I could not find clear-cut examples of musical pieces sanctioned by Memphis. Scattered bits of influence seemed to be apparent – the contemporaneous work of Hosono Haroumi, Mark Mothersbaugh’s Muzik for Insomniaks, and Shimizu Yasuaki’s Music for Commercials served as principal inspiration for how to translate these aesthetic ideas.
Since the Memphis Group’s productivity emerged alongside of General MIDI and Fairlight technology, I collected large sound libraries of correlated materials and peppered them with 1950s exotica records. I made this choice to highlight the shared, reckless sense of global appropriation. Compositionally, I used contrasting time and key signatures as well as abrupt tonal shifts to mirror Memphis’s commitment to the asymmetrical. Above all, my priority was to preserve the humor and accessible heterogeneity of the original work.
Dan Letson is responsible for the visual element. His involvement was something that I had hoped for, even before the piece was finished, as his insight into the Memphis Group’s practice was absolutely integral to finishing the work. In this presentation, each track is coupled with an algorithmically-generated pattern constrained by a set of parameters that reflect certain compositional elements. Each viewing generates a unique arrangement.
I’d also like to thank Andrew Shamash for repeated listening and Eric Laska for corralling this effort and sharing it. I hope you enjoy it.
While I still buy records and tapes, increasingly for me, the time I spend Listening To Music has become a part of the more general act of Media Consumption, which is largely grouped under the heading Time Spent on the Computer. There is a permissiveness to mixing content in the new culture of sitting on your couch with your laptop, making your own entertainment. The flatness of more access means we listen to more disjointed content all the time, and has created a feeling of normalcy around collage. “Everyone is a DJ.”
A rising tide lifts all boats, and the flattening effect we feel around instant digital access has raised the volume of consumption while simultaneously making each audio delivery channel less special and each act of listening more interstitial. I’m trying to embrace music as just another type of audio, flowing seamlessly with audio from the Internet, Radio, TV, Social Media, and every other formerly autonomous media that has been folded into a computer and now comes out of laptop speakers. I’m trying to use my mixes and radio shows to reflect on this change in my listening and exploration habits in the world of audio.
This centralization of listening has made me much more keenly aware of where and how I listen to music or audio. If digital provides All Access to Everything All the Time With No Forgetting, and if all genres are equal in the Long Tail, then to me, the new challenge is to curate or corral content from different listening scenarios. The patter and crowd noise of live sports broadcasts that come out of my TV. The band pass filter of AM talk radio in the car. The slowly evolving house music on long drives. The podcast for doing dishes vs. the other podcast for woodworking. The freedom of the tinny bluetooth speaker vs. the tether of the high quality stereo ⅛” plug. Physical formats continue to intrigue to me, too. Each unit entombs it’s own content, era, sound, and culture as it recedes into obsolescence, and it’s need for specific playback technology dictates a setting, a set of constraints for listening. I have another project where I record live radio on the fly, trying to capture some of the magic of a seemingly now outdated, non-personalized, live media delivery format.
Doing freeform radio shows have allowed me the flexibility of trying to capture and express a curated version of the Universal Listening, the sound of Media Consumption Today. While I appreciate and gather content from genre-specific and format-specific DJs, I’m too interested in the avant garde, and the excitement of grasping at the contemporary to fully commit to nostalgia in my own DJing. I want to make work that treats the sound of an episode of True Blood with the same reverence as all those Parliament albums I’m supposed to know. And with this mix for Lateral Addition I feel I took a step in that direction. I’m trying to let go of some of the “complete-ism” that drives both dedicated vinyl collectors and Spotify evangelists, because to save everything is not to know everything. It’s natural for content to recede past the horizon of our memory and to be renewed again through rediscovery.
I moved to Santa Cruz about a year ago. As a newbie, I have spent a good deal of time alone, as I have only a small social circle, and not a lot of work that gets me out of the house. I have turned to radio, podcasts, and other media as a way to fill the air with voices, to feel less alone.
This mix reflects that through a myriad of voices. It includes talking cowboys, surfers, computers, hippies, stoney prank caller types, TV teens, and awkward real life teens in their bedrooms. There’s an eight year old pretending to be Bill Clinton, DMX revealing that he sounds exactly the same in real life as on his records, mixtape DJs yelling, Miami drive-time radio DJs yelling, and one particular Miami drive time and mixtape DJ yelling about McDonalds. Back in the 70s and 80s Jerry and Cronos chatted with the crowd at their live shows, a Village Voice writer cut a record while riding real high on the fumes of the 80s downtown crossover scene in New York, while Travolta the townie scumbag kid danced in Bay Ridge. We’ve got more kids singing in Spanish, plus their Peruvian hype man, autotune, comedians who voice cartoons, video game troll dudes, and a Chicago commuter who hears jazz in the parking garage. About ten years ago for Halloween I wore a long shroud that I made out of cassettes and fishing line over a sort of b-boy jumpsuit. I bought those tapes off Craigslist, and digitized two of the home recorded gems for this mix.
Artist – Title (Album, where applicable)
Stardrive – Stardrive (Intergalactic Trot)
Audio Excerpts, Movements 1.5, 2
The notion that underlies this piece is levitation, both literally and metaphorically. When composing I imagined the possibility of the sonic elements existing in a parallel dimension, the aural aspect holding matter suspended as if it were an apparition in an interstitial space. In the presentation of the work, a literal manifestation or demonstration of low-end frequency levitation takes place using hand-crafted subwoofers with materials hovering in the windows of the boxes. The piece evolved out of studies accompanied by drawings and texts as investigations of threshold states. It is comprised of three movements which, forming a tapestry structure, allude to the triadic process of Hermetic sublimation.
OPUS17ASLIMEVARIATION#4 is the fourth variation and first issuing of Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp’s re-interpretations of Hanne Darboven’s Opus 17a. The realisation remains true to the original composition save the occasional algorithmic hiccup on the DR-660.
Please click here for commemorative PDF.
Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon
This audio comprises binaural and stereo recordings. As a result of the mix, it is best experienced when listened to on headphones.
The binaural audio is related to the research I conducted during my residency at EMPAC in Troy, New York in 2014. During two weeks in May 2014, I created different architectural configurations employing 16 moveable walls made out of materials with various acoustic properties. I placed many speakers around them to compose sounds that focused attention in different ways, an approach that reinforces sonic hierarchies.
In November 2014, I focused on one particular wall/speaker configuration and invited choreographer Jocelyn Tobias to wear binaural microphones and record while moving in the space. In February 2015, Eric Laska and I asked Jocelyn to listen to the binaural recordings while simultaneously verbalizing her experience of listening to them. Her verbalizations were recorded in stereo and added to the binaural mixes. Below are the 3 takes in order with notes on what was playing though the sound system during the binaural recordings.
take 1: noise (white noise played through all the speakers with equal power)
This project is an attempt to process a sound experience through another language, in this case dance and words. In the EMPAC installation the walls and sound system are moveable, the audio interchangeable, our understanding of the space is in flux. The most stable thing in the room is now the performers/participants own body.
I am interested in how an individual, trained in movement, listens and to what extent I can guide their movement with sound. How attention moves between one thing and another. I believe it is in this in-between space where we are most vulnerable and open. How do we respond between our bodies and the sound, what feedback do we allow?
Please click here to watch Jocelyn Tobias recording at EMPAC.
The work of Dove Bradshaw bridges the delicate line between object and environmental dynamics. Much of her material exploration is grounded in John Cage’s use of chance as compositional methodology, emblematic in works that employ elements such as live doves or ammonium chloride, the stochastic properties over which she has no control. Time is an active agent in Bradshaw’s oeuvre, lending her an exit route away from artistic bias or intention.
In 1990 and 2014, Bradshaw curated two group shows at Sandra Gering Gallery in New York with works from the personal art collection of John Cage. The first of these shows had the title Imitating Nature in Her Manner of Operation and the latter Strategies of Non-Intention. The artists, consistent for both shows, were William Anastasi, Dove Bradshaw, John Cage, Tom Marioni, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mark Tobey.
In this informal interview, Bradshaw discusses the underlying conceptual thread running through both shows and her own artistic practice.
Recorded October 2014