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Evie Farmer


1. [4] Daniel Feist Diptych - Auxferd nightburr’d November 2 a.m.; Our Child 2’52

The piece opens with a bird chirping, soon joined by a very deep Jamaican-sounding male voice processed to have a mechanical quality. The bird continues to sing throughout the first section of the piece, maintaining the presence of the "crazy old bird" which the man is describing. He says that the bird is disconnected and that no one wants to listen. A brief pause about a minute into the piece is followed by a clicking rush that begins to sound like water running. Then, some gospel tones, and voices saying "a conscience," "a child," "face to face our sins," and other words. The overall tone is haunting and beseeching, as though ghosts bring a warning back to the living, perhaps about disconnection from nature and the destruction mankind leaves behind for future generations.

2. [7] Monique Jean - Embrace [ex] 2’42


3. [8] Kathy Kennedy - Music Box II 1’15

High-pitched mechanical beeping sounds, rapid and chaotic, introduce the piece, followed by a series of distanced voices emanating from an answering machine. Melodically arranged notes--characterized as belonging to a music box by the song’s title and because of the plunking quality of the sound--plays behind the spoken texts, fighting for prominence with it’s catchy sequence of tones. Eventually the two conflicting elements come together when a voice on the machine says, "I love you and I hope that music box thing is going well." Toward the end of the piece a female voice (not on the answering machine) begins to sing some notes. The music box sounds may also be made from processed samples of the human voice. The piece suggests the connection between the constant mechanical beeps of buttons and cues on everyday office appliances and the simple sounds of a traditional music box made for the sole purpose of entertainment.

4. [12] Er Pilen - .TRANse.SEPTem. [Machina Mundi In Septem Saeculum] 3’00

A child’s voice, processed to sound mechanical, speaks, followed by a deep man’s voice (also mechanical), which sounds like the devil speaking. The voice is insistent, urgent, a warning with a threatening edge. "I am the beginning and the end, the first and the last," says the deep voice, which is joined by a more treble male voice. The deep voice says: "neither women nor men but dogs…enemies…they are seven, seven times seven." Then, "The hour is near," followed by disintegration sounds (processed layers of sound made up of many little fragments), and a few final words from the deep voice. Although I did not understand all of the French words, I found the piece to be extremely powerful even as a collection of abstracted vocal sounds without meaning. The tone of voice and mechanical processing made much of the intent quite clear.

5. [13] Laurie Radford - enclave [ex.] 2’52

A brief, incomprehensible vocal blurb, coupled with a sequence of processed grating, chittering, and grinding sounds dance from speaker to speaker in the initial section of the piece, ceasing abruptly as a reverberant thumping begins. The thumping is soon replaced with high-pitched panning tones and other processed sounds, as well as glass being struck and a brushing-your-teeth sound. Some male vocal mutterings, processed, fade in and out among the other sounds, and eventually they become discernable: "One door leads to the hall of hope." The sound of a glass being struck becomes singular and distinct, and then ceases. A falsetto male voice makes ee-oo sounds, the reverberant thumping from earlier recurs, and the piece ends.

6. [16] Claude Schryer - 3 Radioludes [ex] 3’03

Part 1: The sound of machinery and the squeal of brakes. Silence. Part 2: Rustling and crackling sounds like footsteps on leaves followed by a sequence of grating tones rising in pitch and then falling, altering in character until eventually becoming the ticking sound of a bicycle wheel spinning freely and slowing down. Silence. Part 3: A loud rumble and a church bell, a chittery shimmering sound--short and faint, and then the sound of someone walking, perhaps carrying a bag full of small wooden blocks. A series of sounds that seem at first like a bird screaming and then a cat crying, is followed by machinery noises, more birdcalls, and then men, women and children at a banquet, a young girl saying "not me!" and the sound of waves breaking against the shore. Most sounds seem fairly close to their original samples, or at least their sources can usually be identified. The main processing seems to occur when two somewhat similar sounds are morphed together so that it is difficult to tell when each source begins and ends. This could also be done with just one sound sample processed in the right way.

7. [19] Egils Bebris - Hockey Night In Opera 2’22

A female opera singer opens with a few notes, followed by raucous cheers, and then sedate clapping sustained for an unnaturally long duration. Sounds of an orchestra tuning, responses from both an opera audience and an audience watching a hockey game, and the sounds of ice skates, hockey sticks on pucks, and a referee’s whistle can be heard, as well as other common ambient noises present in an opera hall or hockey arena. The piece is mostly a collage of "sound images" rather than processed or abstracted sounds, and seems to be making a humorous comment on Canada’s national sport (and favorite TV show), and the more refined (and more European) bourgeois pastime, the opera.

8. [20] Gustav Ciamaga - Possible Spaces No. 1 2’44

This piece seems to be a combination of samples from a piano and a clavichord or harpsichord, or else piano samples processed to sound like the later two instruments. The notes are very resonant, giving the piece an outer-space ring. A combination of melodic relationships and flat, dissonant, notes, as well as abrupt changes in sample source or processing (piano to clavichord) contributes to the ethereal feeling of the piece, as does the meandering non-progressive structure.

9. [22] Rob Cruickshank - Starting From the House, Working Outwards 2’46

A crackling, popping sound opens the piece, perhaps sampled sounds of a campfire burning combined with the rumbling, pattering sounds of a rain shower. A low-frequency rumble drones on for a bit. Suddenly, twangy, extremely processed sounds are introduced, altered from their original (unidentifiable) state by flanging and other tools. The sounds of a modem dialing up, and several voices can be heard, including the distinguishable words, "zero hour." The relationship of the piece itself to it’s title is odd because, contrary to the title’s indications, the sounds seem to move from outside the house (a fire and a rain shower) to inside (the modem dialing up), with an otherworldly processed sequence in the middle.

10. [23] Bruno Degazio - Jolly 2’23

Fragments of common folk and classical music are inter-cut with bits of electronic music excerpts (processed and without rhythm or melody). The abrupt changes in style and strange combinations of styles (at times they overlap) create a very interesting dynamic. Toward the end of the piece, a police siren can be heard, followed by a continuation of a previously-introduced violin piece which closes the track with a sudden fade out. Rhythmic interruption and tonal clashes create a work both jarring and disconcerting as well as stimulating and pleasurable.

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