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How unlistenable can we be?

Doo DooPosted by Richard Hemmings Fri, August 23, 2013 09:14:10
The Project

It is my new goal to create a 24 hour piece. Others have tried and succeeded, so there's no novelty value here... just the challenge of creating a day's worth of music; a day's worth of the most challenging, most stupid, most unlistenable, most 'catchy' music I can muster, using any techniques, strategies, concepts, materials I decide to use. I think reading 50 pages of Finnegan's Wake earlier this year has had more influence on me than I realised because I am seemingly undaunted by the challenge I have set myself (probably because I don't really hold out much hope that I'll achieve it, but it's good to have goals).

Here's a clip of the first minute. Each hour will be released once it is complete. Some of you may be dead before I complete all 24 hours, but let's face it, so might I.

Extract from hour 1

Organisational Principles

OK, so you can't grasp much from that, but let me expand on how I am organising the sonic materials. The keyword is 'quasi-random', that's to say, I'm in control of how I organise things but the system I using to organise them is highly arbitrary and certainly not aimed at creating a familiar musical experience. By the way, can I just convey how much I hate Philip Glass's horrendous Symphony no.10. (Sorry Phil, if you're reading this, but what the hell were you thinking??) My organisational processes are based upon what I can only describe as 'non-musicial' choices (Hello, I'm a Dadaist - fuck you if you don't like my hat). Here are some examples of the types of choices that have dictated the order of events in this first hour.

a) A sound file located in a dusty folder is opened. It offers some potential. A few seconds are used as the first sound heard in the piece.
b) Other 'highlights' are extracted from the same sound file and stored for use later on.
c) Without any real sense of purpose another sound file from the archive is opened, a few seconds leap out and become the next sound used in the piece.
d) The next arbitrary soundbite offers 'dynamic contrast'.
e) Using some effects makes things more interesting. Reverb maybe? Reverb is used on several of the 'tracks'. Soundbites can easily be auditioned 'dry' and 'wet' and the winner gets a leading role in an Evil Dick composition.

(more soon)