An audio piece on Compost and Height

The wonderful sound art/improv/field recording/etc blog Compost and Height has posted an audio piece by me. It can be viewed and downloaded here.

The above photographs are from Chicago, probably taken in the Springtime of 2011.

The piece is justified by this text:

3 February 2012
This recording is a product of a mostly aleatoric process. It functions as a fragmented reflection of my last year in Chicago.
Whenever I load digital recordings from a field recorder onto my computer, I always keep the snippets, mistakes and unintentional short recordings that probably won’t be used for anything. I once found myself going through these brief tracks and thinking about how they could function as elements of a larger composition, even if their existence was not originally intended. I decided to arrange them randomly, using the audio editing program Audacity.
To create this piece, I made an empty sound file in which the tracks were placed. I sorted all my WAV recordings by size, and began randomly choosing small files, placing them—also at random without listening to them prior—in this empty space. I knew I did not want any digital silence, so I selected a few unknown longer pieces that seemed to have mostly consistent waveforms as a kind of “backing” for these sounds. I also randomly chose a few of the tracks and reversed them. Finally, I knew I did not want very loud or abrasive sounds, so I ended up vetoing some tracks.
This piece is an aural reflection of the memories of my last year in Chicago. Because that year was a tumultuous time, their randomness also coincides with how those memories are stored and approached. I lived with my friend in a very beautiful neighbourhood, Ravenswood, and our windows were almost always open. Many of these recordings seem to be of the outside, but recorded from the inside of the apartment. The apartment and that neighbourhood were important to us. Some of the other recordings used in this piece are, evidently, from hydrophone recordings taken in the Chicago River, the resonances of a bridge railing, atmospheric classical music most likely from WFMT FM (which was often playing) and a brief one of my friend Travis tapping his drumsticks in a studio located in Berwyn, IL. One can also often hear the ubiquitous train crossing bell that sounded frequently and could be heard from our window. This recording is therefore an homage to this period in my life.

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