big birds

new piece up in the box on the right. it’s my last piece for music class. i was going for the minimalist-ambient sound of my favorite Brian Eno songs. the sounds are birds outside my window and my Native American flute, each slowed down three to five octaves. quick chirps and whistles of the birds outside my window sound like huge roars and wails; kind of prehistoric sounding if you ask me. enjoy.

edit: i should say that this piece is not meant to be complete song; i imagined it as an installation you’d walk through, like walking through a forest.


I’ve added one more clip from my concert (clip 4 in the box). it’s the most dramatic and loudest part.

the first sound is this nice chord-like sound I got under the I-44 bridge (I think it’s a distant train whistle), which is the only instance of real harmony in my entire piece, the only sound i pitch-shifted, and the only one i repeated. the rest of the clip is freight trains – one from Kingston, NY (recorded for Maryanne’s class a couple years ago, where we had a little run-in with the cops), one from my hometown in  Eureka, and the loudest one is huge double-decker I recorded from the platform of a Metrolink stop in downtown St. Louis.

try to imagine it in five channels, with trains coming from every direction and a lot of bass…

found this on youtube, thought i’d share. it’s Maryanne Amacher, who’s third ear noises i mentioned before, and Thurston Moore, listening to some of Maryanne’s installation work that eventually made it on her ‘Sound Characters’ album. part two of the video is them performing together.

i took a class with Maryanne and she helped me out on my radio astronomy project i did a couple years ago. enjoy:

as promised, I’ve posted a few clips from my senior concert in the audio box. Tom Mark and Jon Sargent made a great recording for me, and although it’s not in 5 channels anymore, it’s better than nothing. obviously the 45 minute piece is not meant to be chopped up like this, but I just wanted to give you a taste.

the concert was in Bard Hall, an old building with a high ceiling and a lively, reflective sound. it started a little after 7pm while the sun was setting. i told everyone to close their eyes, and someone suggested turning off the lights (i hadn’t realized they were even on) and i’m glad i did. by the end it was deep blue twilight, almost totally dark, which i thought was perfect.

another cool thing about the live performance: the windows of the hall were wide open. on clip 3, my audio goes silent and the outside sounds come in – a bird on this clip; at the end of the concert a lone peeper was chirping.  i’d love to perform it in a field near some train tracks…

senior concert flyer

please come if you can. it’s on Earth Day! and it’s about 40 minutes long, so bring a pillow.

EDIT: My concert was great. Thanks to everyone who came. If the recording came out well I will post some clips.

spring peepers

spring is here in upstate New York and so are the Peepers. from a distance, it sounded like there were hundreds of them, but as I approached their little cattail-ringed puddle, I realized there was only half a dozen or so; the tiny frogs are incredibly loud.

sitting about ten feet from the peepers in the dark, I actually noticed some of the neurophonic effects that Maryanne Amacher creates with her music: the loudest chirps seemed to make a funky sounding inner ear chord for a split second. maybe I’ll post more about this phenomenom in the future. for now, enjoy my short and simple piece in the music box on the right.

this is the first real piece of classic music concrète i’ve done. it’s sort of a summary of a recording trip to New York City. and there’s some Missouri sounds in there too. i made it for Richard Teitelbaum‘s electronic music history course.

all of my music will appear in the box on the right. this one’s about 4 minutes long. listen to it loud. all the sounds were recorded in binaural so it sounds best in headphones, but speakers are fine too.