Artefacts

Some audio artefacts for your perusal. A catalogue of works can be viewed here.

Where notes are provided it’s sometimes better to ignore them. Listen and speculate what it is you might be hearing. The so-called listening imagination can, in many cases, prove more valuable than written explanations.





This work was a prize winner at the 34th Bourges International Competition for Music and Sound Art.
“The free energy surface of a complex system can often characterized by the presence of deep minima separated by large barriers – the valleys and peaks of the energy landscape. Such minima correspond to distinct states of the system, and transitions among these minima reflect important changes such as phase transitions, chemical reactions and conformational modifications. The minima correspond to distinct states of the system. Transitions among these valleys reflect important changes in the system. Such transitions might be the conversion of a reactant into a product – a chemical reaction; the melting of ice – a phase transition; or a change in molecular shape and structure – a conformational modification. But, in real life, understanding energy surfaces is not quite so simple.”
At some point it occurred to me that terminology used in describing processes of bio-molecular transition, reaction, and conformational change, could equally describe a sound based practice that employs sonic transformation as an aesthetic tool. Additionally, it seemed that pre-existing “sonic crystallization” and “sonic landscape” analogies could be neatly expressed using a single term. In this sense, “configurational” refers to the malleability of sound (at both the micro and macro level of the sonic structure), “energy” to sound phenomena, and “landscape” to the aural landscape that is revealed as sonic energy is transfigured in time and space. In essence, configurational energy landscape describes any abstract sound based composition that features sonic transformation as a primary aspect.

This is a stereo preview version of a sound work for 24,16, or 8 channels (loudspeakers). It was first presented publicly at Sonorities 2015 (with 16 channel versions featured at NYCEMF & ICMC). Very simply, the work explores the resonant characteristics of a sheoak stave construction snare drum. The intention was to try and bring the drumshell’s unique sonic footprint to light. As a starting point, it was necessary to ensure that the shell would resonate relatively freely. The heads were removed and the drum was stripped of tensioning lugs and mounting hardware. It was then allowed to hang unhindered. To identify prominent resonant characteristics, a sine-sweep was played through the shell using a transducer. This process was repeated using pink and white noise and all of the excitation methods were recorded ambisonically. The resulting material was then manipulated using various procedures. Stylistically, though an acousmatic work, texture and spectral space is emphasised over sonic gesture; the piece might instead be viewed as an exploration of timbral deep listening.


This “sound text” miniature was included in the annual Miso Music Portugal Sound Garden project.
The materials were derived from bare ambisonic recordings I made of a multi-channel outdoor installation created by Jason Bolte – while we were both attending an Atlantic Centre for the Arts residency in Florida a number of years back. It features voices of the writers who were attending ACA during the same period. The B-Format files were edited and decoded to stereo for normal purposes (transformational processes were applied after decoding). The concerns of this work are with texture, rather than intelligibility, but as the content develops, the words gather meaning.


This is a short work (a noise poem of sorts) that toys with statements (misquotes) taken from Turing’s well known 1951 paper ‘’Computing Machinery and Intelligence.’’ It was included in the Take Tea With Turing anthology. In part, the work parodies the notion of The Imitation Game. In this example the participants consist of: (1) ‘the producer’; (2) the ‘voice artist’; (3) ‘the machine’. The machinic utterances might suggest whom it is that has been assigned the role of ‘the machine’, but can we really be certain? What part does the ‘the producer’ play in all of this? Ultimately, ‘the producer’ could claim that the work results from his/her creative intelligence alone; but is this an accurate assessment? What about the importance of ‘the machine’ in all of this? Can we perhaps imagine an intelligent machine, with a wry sense of humour, that is responsible for such a work? I would like to think so. It could also be suggested that in any such computer mediated creative activity, developers, and their technologies, always remain part of the game irrespective of the producer’s exclusive claim to authorship.


Ghetto Tuning arose as a result of an invitation to participate in the production of a collection of works centered on the theme “Steel Pan in the 21st Century.” The project was curated by Austin based composer Mike Vernusky and released on the imprint Quiet Design. It was a somewhat loosely defined endeavor, in terms of there being no requirement to draw an explicit connection with the usage of the steel pan as a contemporary performance instrument. In actuality, the venture was centered on the production of a collection of traditional fixed media works. All of the submitted pieces drew upon a library of samples that had been recorded at the workshop Barracuda Steel Drums of Darren Dyke, a well-known steel pan maker in the Austin area. Each participant in the project was presented with the same set of recordings and asked to create something unique.


This is a 2012 re-edit (spring clean) of a twenty-eight minute stereo piece that was completed in 2007/2008. It was presented at the 2013 From Tape to TYPEDEF conference in January.”DEW is an energy landscape comprised of repetition, pulsation, signals, data tones, feedback, drones, immersive noise fields, and textural backdrops. In brief, the ideas that influenced the work relate to an underlying relationship that exists between the phonograph, musique concrète, American minimalism, and certain styles of Germanic post-techno. The piece could be interpreted as a form of acousmatic minimalism, insofar as the use of elaborate gesture-laden pseudo-instrumental articulations, found in many contemporary acousmatic concert works, is limited. Instead, the compositional use of blends, fades, cuts, removals, segues and breakdowns suggests the manipulation of vinyl in a DJ mix (albeit with a touch of bruitisme). Pierre Schaeffer’s first experiments with locked grooves (sillon fermé), using shellac records, offers another point of reference. We know Schaeffer worked initially (before tape) with this rather low-fi medium, one that was intrinsically noisy. Yet, it would ultimately form the basis of one of the most significant developments in 20th century music: musique concrète. In the 1960s, three now famous members of the so-called “New York Hypnotic School” presented drones, tape-loops, and repetition in the context of a minimalistic aesthetic. Thirty years later, the locked groove would re-emerge when techno DJs employed it in their pursuit of relentlessly repetitive dance music. Additional points of reference include the peculiar acousmatic proposition presented by a vinyl recording of Cage’s 4′ 33” (a reduced listening experience that might perhaps draw one’s attention to surface noise, rather than the actual recording).”

A miniature produced in response to the 60×60 Piano Forte call.”The specification of the PianoForte Chicago Mix of the 60×60 project is any work created as a musical composition which is captured on recorded media, which does not require live performers for its production in broadcast at concert halls, radio, multi-media, etc. Its creation must include any or all of the Fazioli piano samples available on the 60×60 website, and may also include—but is not limited to—acoustic instruments, voice, environmental sources, and computer (Sampling, MAX MSP, MIDI, C Sound, ProTools, etc.) 60×60 is a project of “signature works” and short works created specifically for the 60×60 project. Excerpts of larger works are strongly discouraged.

 

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