release date: 07 december2021
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Like anyone who’s worked with analogue and digital sound over a long period of time, I’ve built up a huge library of recordings across a range of categories from field recordings to unique self-built instruments, samples made by sounding found and everyday objects, digital manipulations of these samples and of course various forms of sound synthesis, lately with modular synthesisers and some of the many innovative electronic devices people are inventing, small-scale making and putting out into the world.

When working on my drawing, writing or instrument-building projects I like to load up the imac with a fairly randomly selected collection of recordings opened in the quicktime player, setting them all to loop and letting the collection of files play together for long periods of time.

Of course, the files are all of wildly varying sonic textures and durations, so the loops cross over each other with assured indeterminacy. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to it but I do very much enjoy the wild interplay of sounds, the cinematic suggestiveness and surprising correspondences that arise and dissipate through this simple strategy. The strategy might be considered a generator of only a careless flow of dissonance but, for me and perhaps for you too, I definitely experience a particular captivation bringing a previously unknown sonic ecology to life.

For this weeks episode, I recorded three of these chance driven aural encounters directly out of the imac line-out and did no further processing to the outcomes. Unlike my usual practice where I simply leave the files to play (because I’m doing something else), for these recordings I did make occasional live compositional interventions by way of stops and starts, and fades in and out to provide some textural and temporal modulation, but given there were eleven or more files all playing simultaneously, even these interventions have a strong stochastic sense.

Each of the three tracks in this episode is approximately 20 minutes duration, so the episode is longer than usual – just in case you’re interested to experiment with experimental sound work as a background to your own studio investigations…