“Chicago Metra Number Station” live at Dada Sounds project

Cities & Memory maps the sounds of the world through discrete online projects. I created “Chicago Metra Number Station” for their Dada Sounds project. Artists were invited to remix field recordings of mapped locations, using DaDa-esque apporaches.

My 3-track project is included with 76 other artists, and it is live! Explore the map to hear field recordings. Explore the playlist to hear how 77 artists employed DaDaist approaches to sound-spaces fromVietnam to India to Britain & 25 other countries!

Look for the pieces labelled “Chicago Metra – ” in the playlist to hear mine [ Chuck Mix, Sapling Mix, Fontana Mix ]. I think my favorite creation so far is “Ssa-ha-la (Margate’s reimagined gulls)” but there’s so much to hear – –


Dada Shareable_1



walking backwards into the future

Two weeks ago I pulled the video for Spoiled Heat from storage, to submit to a festival requesting short films about ‘industrial spaces’ and ‘factory towns’. With the recompressing and pulling of stills etc. I rewatched it several times, passively listening to the audio.

I made Spoiled Heat in 2008, manufacturing the audio using a freeware waveform manipulator to generate tracks that I assembled in SoundtrackPro along with loops & waveforms pulled from the internet, also manipulated in S.Pro.

Tonight, I finished a video that I’m sending to festival-type things, hopefully they’ll pick it to be like wallpaper for a big space that people are walking around in. Decided to make an audio track to support it, since I’m putting it on vimeo for ‘screener & submission’ purposes & video with no audio is just thirsty to me.

Realization, as I was mixing the sound tonight : half the tracks were almost exact duplicate waveform manipulation strategies from the 2008 soundtrack. The pitches matched. The order of pitches matched, though timing was a little different.

I went back in and consciously altered some of the strategies – added a voice, discovered something else, amplified that discovery – but even now after posting it to Soundcloud I’m like, damn, that’s ‘Spoiled Heat‘ smuggled into ‘data painting [swimmy]‘.

The funniest thing – – tonight, in swimmy, I mixed the waveform manipulation tracks with a skidder plugin on them, to give light crackle-and-hiss as if the transmission wasn’t coming in quite exactly. If there’s any metaphor for ‘hey, I’m just writing down what I listened to two weeks ago’ I don’t know what is.

Wish Jane Coopman was here to read this, she taught me how to transcribe sound to written music when I was in conservatory. Its more complicated when you’re mixing 8 tracks in Logic . . . Oh yeah, this time around I was manipulating the pitch shifter using the automation tools in Logic instead of the GUI of a funny little ambient mixer.

Soundtrack’s over here : https://soundcloud.com/drawclose/data-painting-swimmy. Though other makers have given me positive feedback on my audio, I feel clumsy. Its as imprecise as flossing my teeth with a 2×4, to me, compared to what I could/can do with a violin, which is still easy as breathing. So. Walking backward into the future . . .

varese took pictures of the future (1958)

Always knew I had a lot in common with Varese. He of the ‘organized sound’ school of composition, responding to the sonic influences of the technological environments he lived in. Varese, Frank Zappa’a musical father.

I watched this tonight. Swoon. I have made some of the same video-collage gestures, unknowing quotes (esp. the skeletal hands – the 2-channel projection installation/performance ‘the hand remembers’ i did at the brillobox in ’09) . . . Maybe every aspiring video artist should watch it, so they don’t have to make it (but we make stuff like it anyway to learn how that language works so whatever.)

This video, from ’58. varese took a picture of the future.


a decent starting point about him : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgard_Varèse