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Jason Smalridge


1. [6] Gilles Gobeil - Le Vertige inconnu [ex] - 3'

The piece begins with a fast fade in of a door creaking. The sound is taken over by a filter sweep and what sounds like a pitch bend into a low note. The bend sounds like a motor or engine. The whole segment ends with the slam of the door and the sound of shattered glass hitting the ground. After some quieting engine sounds off in the distance, the door sound occurs again and this time introduces a steam train sound. The sound stops with a pitch bend lowering the tone like an engine that has run out of steam. A few bursts of steam and all the sounds of crickets chirping fill my ears. A tone begins to rise in the background and the sound of someone changing the station on a radio cuts out all the sound. In the distance the sound of a machine working hums and is broken by the rattling of keys in a door lock. A bell's resonance is echoed and placed at a fast pace before the quiet bell toll is heard. Wood creaks and falls like the dropping of stairs off a train. There is steam from the train and metal wheels squeaking.

2. [14] Jean Routhier en collaboration avec Christof Migone et Michel F. Côté - Sous les décombres d'une brève hémorragie champêtre - 2'58"

The piece begins with the sound of birds chirping. Then the sound of a distorted guitar that has sound removed and replaced with silence appears. The sound of drums in a large room, done with processing reverb into the sound, comes in. In the background, I hear what sounds like a single string with a bow passing over it. The guitar fades in very slowly and a tin voice from an answering machine mumbles. Taps on symbols and bells interrupt the beat the drums are attempting. Then the guitar breaks focus and stops the pattern and lets the feedback take over. In the back I hear talking and mumbling. This sounds like what might be going through a nervous performers mind before presenting a music piece. Everything might sound of beat or jumbled on top of each other's sound, the mumbling might be the crowd getting tired of the music and the end guitar feedback could be the musician giving up.

3. [15] Frédéric Roverselli - L'éveil de la cité - 2'30"

The piece begins with a low hum panning from side to side and then a door slams sharply. A tapping sound, that might be sped up talking is introduced. The door continues to slam. Water begins to flow fading in and out and side to side. What sounds like someone crying along with music with no melody is off in the distance. The door slams repeatedly fast and the music gets louder. The tapping begins a rhythm along with the slamming of the door. The water fades in and out on beat and a twang from a stringed instrument fills in the rest. Together they form a looped rhythm. The crying comes in and the piece reaches a peak and fades out slowly. I see the representation of constructing rhythm from regular sounds. This could be a commentary that music, which is so often constructed with instruments, is only one side of the coin. A rhythm of city life is heard everyday with the compilation of fragments of sounds heard throughout the day.

4. [19] Egils Bebris - Hockey Night In Opera - 2'26"

The piece begins with the sounds of an opera singer singing in a large room. The sound is pushed aside by a loud cry from an audience. This is obviously not something you would hear normally at the opera. The merge of the two sounds was smoothed out by reverb to make them sound like they both came from the same large room. All this is followed by silence and the proper reaction of clapping at the opera. Then, the picture is mixed because there are instruments tuning (like at the opera) along with the crowd calling out (like at a hockey game). The two sounds are then processed with a delay and begin to sound unnatural because of the equalization. The clapping resumes and there is a whistle. This piece is used to contrast two sounds that will never be heard together. It is like having the sounds of underwater travel with the sounds of the wind. These two sounds do not occupy the same space naturally. Therefore, they can only be heard through the incorporation of technology.

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