Early Attempts To Speak With The Dead

Friday 1 April 2022

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, partly because I finished up a new piece of music. It’s on Bandcamp if you want to take a peek. Normal service will resume shortly.

I had a bunch of unused recordings left over from making my feedback synthesis piece Chain of Ponds. Not wanting to waste them, I fed the recordings into the feedback system used to make them in the first place, creating eight 30-minute stereo files of more complex sounds.

These files were at first mixed together to make a composite piece titled An Entire Bottle of Hospital Brandy in 2021. I eventually decided the piece needed more work. For this new piece, the eight recordings were fed into a matrix mixer that randomly switched outputs so that any of the 16 channels may be modulated by any other. Each of the resulting eight modulated signals were then fed through a gate controlled by a different signal path, so that only certain parts of each output are audible. After a half-dozen or so revisions, the system is now capable of producing a more varied range of sounds and textures over an indefinite period of time, using only minimal additional processes.

Gate sensitivity and volume level are controlled manually, but this performance uses minimal intervention. The eight outputs are panned across the stereo range. Inspiration was drawn from David Tudor’s performance practice and from Henri Pousseur’s Paraboles-Mix.