This was a pleasant surprise – one of my tracks is included on the latest compilation from the indefatigably productive IFAR Compilation machine, IFAR Musique Concrète The Sound Objects compilation.
The assignment was to create a tribute to the spirit of John Cage (however you may interpret that) using primarily found sounds. They specifically requested “not just John Cage samples over a synth drone,” which I respect immensely 🙂
The process was fun – I decided to create a piece that utilized all of the directions John Cage has sent me, rather than emulating his techniques (how does that quote go? “Do not seek to emulate the masters; instead, seek what they sought.”) You can read more about my process in a short essay on the compilation’s website, but long story short I made a tone row and ssstttrreeetttccchhheeedd the sound of each note until it was a drone, determining the length using various calulcations derived from the golden mean. Then I overlaid that with a field recording of the traffic in my neighborhood (which Cage might refer to as a reading of 4′ 33″).
I really wrestled with the idea of having a “peak” in the piece. I wanted it to stay true to a very broad definition of music, but I also wanted it to be a satisfying listen. I ended up using a very subtle change in the timbre, which adds a “climax” only in the sense of variety. I think it works.
Anyway, go check out the whole compilation – it’s a really nice collection of very interesting tracks. (And you’ll notice each track on the compilation is 4′ 33″…)