Mar 01 | Noise & Music | Analog Media
Read Before Class
- “The Art of Noise” by Luigi Russolo, 1913 (ubuweb PDF)
- Script for “Symphony of Sirens” by Arseni Avraamov (WI p. 245-252)
- “The Future of Music: A Credo” by John Cage
- interview with Christian Marclay and Yasunao Tone from MUSIC magazine
- Tape Heads (Chapter 9) from Handmade Electronic Music (p. 47-52)
- Arseni Avraamov’s fascinating biography on Monoskop.org
- “Engineering Noise Abatement” from The Soundscape of Modernity by Emily Thompson (p. 144-157)
- “Histories of Sound, Once Removed” , Douglas Kahn, from Wireless Imagination
Today we are focusing on what he calls “inscription” but the rest of the article applies too.
Bring several 12″ records that you are willing to destroy and remake.
Look in thrift stores like the Salvation Army near Cooper. They have records in the basement.
- Discuss noise and the way it was rejected and accepted, aestheticized and modified by 20th century artists and composers:
- Explore the percussive symphonic noise of Edgard Varése, the mimicry of Russolo’s Intonarumori, the actualities of Musique Concrete, and John Cage’s embrace of all sounds as inherently musical.
- Explore the physicality of phonography and its potential for modification. (DIY record lathes, sonification of other vibratory phenomena…)
- Break and remake LP records to make fractured aural collages
- Make cassette or 1/4″ tape loops and experiment with the physicality of linear media.
- Discuss how limitations can become assets in recording, embracing noise within process
- Russolo – Intonarumori samples (on ubuweb)
- Varése – “Ionizations” (alternate version on ubuweb)
- Schaeffer – “Etude Aux Chemins De Fer” AKA “Railroad Study” (excerpt on youtube)
- Cage – “Williams Mix” (excerpt on media art net)
- Cage documentary from “4 American Composers” series
(dir. Peter Greenaway, available on ubuweb)
- Christian Marclay mini-documentary and performance on YouTube and article from Frieze Magazine
- Maria Chavez getting amazing variation from one record and a DJ mixer at End Tymes Festival in 2012.
- Walter Kitundu’s instruments that incorporate turntables.
- Yasunao Tone’s bio page from his label, Asphodel (includes a sample of his “wounded CD” music.)
- Alyce Santoro’s “sonic fabric” (and a related YouTube video that Pierre Schaeffer might enjoy)
- Laurie Anderson invented the Tape-Bow Violin (with recorded tape in place of horse-hair and a tape-head on the instrument.) Example on ubuweb.
- Steve Reich’s early tape music (“Come Out”, “It’s Gonna Rain”)
- Burroughs and Brion Gysin cut-up recordings (ubuweb)
- John Oswald’s remixed audio book “The Case of Death by Agatha Smith” and “Power”, a 1975 track that combines a charismatic preacher with Led Zeppelin’s “The Wanton Song” (both available on the CD “Plunderphonics 69/96“)
- Automamusic film by Aura Satz (link to excerpt on The Wire magazine website)
- Until recently, every New Year’s Eve at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, you could experience something akin to “Symphony of the Sirens” thanks to their chief mechanical engineer and his collection of whistles. Seriously!
- Space Calculated in Seconds by Marc Treib. A book describing the Philips pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (focusing on Poeme Electronique and the work of Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenakis, and Edgard Varése).
- An in-depth blog entry about Poeme Electronique.
- John Cage’s excellent book, Silence.
- Marina Rosenfeld, art-world turntablist and creator of the Sheer Frost Orchestra (a 17-member all-female guitar ensemble that plays solely using nail polish bottles)
- DJ Spooky (aka Paul D. Miller), turntablist and art/pop/academia crossover sensation, who makes connections between avant garde art history and the contemporary art of the remix.
- “A Brief History of Anti-Records and Conceptual Records” essay by Ron Rice (ubuweb)
- Walter Kitundu builds and performs with homemade instruments that often feature embedded turntables
- Graham Dunning’s Mechanical Techno uses modified records as sequencers that trigger physical objects and synths.
- More CD glitch music from OVAL
- Philip Jeck, an early LP-manipulator
- Brooklyn sound artist, DJ, and curator Maria Chavez uses “ruined” records in her performances and collaborations.
- Break Through In Grey Room, an album of Burroughs speeches and cut-ups made with Ian Sommerville.
- “Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative” a 1985 manifesto by avant-garde mash-up pioneer John Oswald (wikipedia, MP3s)
“… All popular music (and all folk music, by definition), essentially, if not legally, exists in a public domain. Listening to pop music isn’t a matter of choice. Asked for or not, we’re bombarded by it…. Difficult to ignore, pointlessly redundant to imitate, how does one not become a passive recipient? …”
- Brian Joseph Davis “10 Banned Albums Burned Then Played” (ubuweb)
- interview with Steve Reich about his early tape music (2002)
- “A New Musical Language” (documentary, 1987) about Steve Reich’s music (ubuweb).
- How to make tape loops with standard audio cassettes.
- or buy pre-made “endless cassettes” designed for pre-digital answering machines.
- “Box with the Sound of its own Making” (1961) by Robert Morris
- “Recorded Delivery” (1995) by Janek Schaefer
- Otomo Yoshihide’s “Without Records” installation featuring modified phonographs playing themselves.
- DIY record lathe video on Youtube, showing an easy way to cut record grooves into a discarded CD.
- “How to make a record without prior acoustic information” (using a laser cutter to engrave waveforms in acrylic!)
- The 1980s/90s BBC science show The Secret Life of Machines did an episode on magnetic tape recording (specifically video recording). They demonstrate how to make audio recordings on adhesive tape dusted with rust particles. Seriously!
- Research & Resources
- Jan 18 | Intro to Listening
- … Exercise : “Reduced Listening”
- Jan 25 | Recordering & Mics | Listening Due
- … Exercise: “Recording 101”
- Feb 01 | Contact Mics & Installations | Recordings Due
- … Performance & Project 1 Prompt
- Feb 08 | Light, Radio, Synesthesia | Editing
- Feb 15 | Circuit-Bending & Electronics
- Feb 22 | Class Performance | More Editing
- Mar 01 | Noise & Music | Analog Media
- Mar 08 | CRIT Project 1
- … Project 2 Prompt
- ! Mar 15 | No Class This Week
- Mar 22 | Soundwalks & Interventions
- Mar 29 | The Voice | Proposals Due
- Apr 05 | Acoustic Ecology & Activism
- Apr 12 | Guest Artist | Interactivity & Process
- Apr 19 | CRIT Project 2 (week 1)
- Apr 26 | CRIT Project 2 (week 2)
- May 03 | Dream House (field-trip)
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