After an emergency move from one studio into another plus a gig for Tidal ~ Signal, an all female identified performer mini festival at selectors records I've got everything back in place (sort of, ha) and have put all the peices from my furious recording sessions before the move together and done some fresh recordings to fill in the gaps where necessary.
My peice follows a literal storyline where you first hear the petroleum oozing underground, and as the trucks roll in over head there is a sudden blast of my interpretation of what fracking might sound like as the drill blasts into the earths surface and starts about its business.
Once the petroleum has been extracted the sound of industry kicks in, pun intended, with a simple 4/4 kick which builds as the raw petroleum is transformed into the industrial chemical phenol through a series of chemical changes. First is the hydrolization stage which is represented by a recording of a kettle boiling which has been contact mic'd. Then the gaseous phase where I simply Eq'd noise from a dead channel on one of my reel to reels. Next is the sound of the crystalline phase where I gently broke glass sheets with pliers and contact mic'd the glass to emulate crystal growth.
As the kick drums build in complexity and intensity we hear the final product emerge. Medication, in a pill bottle being played physically in time as an instrument. The images attached represent the contact mic'd pill bottle and the state of my gear after moving twice in one week.
A precursor in the production of many major lifesaving pharmaceuticals, phenol is the subject matter for my exploratory sound peice. Phenol is made of petroleum, a source unsavoury yet necessary to some applications.
I hope to shed light upon this fact and generate discussion on the concept of conservation and redirection of resources.
industry plays an important role in our future, regarding technology and advancement, perhaps with the awareness of our current limited supply of resources and the call for it pharmaceutically we can put pressure where it is needed to readjust our focus. We have the technology and knowledge to change to a more acceptable future where resources are conserved for crucial products like medicines, until alternatives can be discovered. With the downscaling of fracking practices, fresh water is wasted less and our rapidly depleting limited supplys of pitch, coal, petroleum and oil can be conserved and redirected away from cars, planes and boats, devices such as computers and phones all which can utilize sustainable models already known such as hemp plastics and fuel, technology under growth but with proven results as well as power alternatives rapidly being discovered and championed.
With this peice phenol, I will explore the notion of being underground and experiencing the sounds and sensations one might endure as petroleum is wrenched from below the earths surface and transformed into phenol which ultimately takes form as medicine.
So far, my process has included a lot of work with my cold gold audio technologies contact mic.
Recording the sounds of a kettle boiling with the contct mic yeilds useful result for the purposes of Phenol (the sound work i am engaging in for this project i will discuss in another post...).
Scraping the mic across my table and tapping it, then eqing and rerecoring to tape after some light reverb from ableton which is then slowed with the tape units variable speeds function and then further processing in ableton (EQ8, reverb, separating the track into two and eqing out lows on one highs on the other then recombining the two) lends nicely to the concept of what fracking might sound like from below the earths surface.
next was contact micing sheets of glass i gently cracked and broke to achieve a sort of crystalline growth sound once processed with tape and eq'd heavily in ableton.
Next up will be pills in a bottle, once again with the contact mic.
It's amazing how easy this all sounds in text but listening and relistening and re recording over and over from digital to tape to digital to tape and back again all inrealtime leaves me feeling accomplished.
Where my weird family of vintage analog electronic instruments i am curently blending with a healthy dose of ableton on an old iMac are working out of. located on the edge of strathcona and the beginning of hastings sunrise lately known as the east village at Sunrise Studios. here I have a collection of gear including:
Roland TR 77 and Ace-Tone TR 33 vintage analog drum machines
An Akai 8 track cassette recorder i like to us to process signal with by feedback looping it within itself,
An RNC (that stands for "Really Nice Compressor") to sidechain with
A Mackie analog 12 channel mixer
A double input/output passive DI box for the drum machines and contact mic
a gold glitter encased cold gold audio technolofgies Contact Mic ( from Nanaimo.. Local! )
A Paia 4700 vintage analog modular synth with mismatched 8782 keyboard
A small handful of 1/4 inch magnetic tape recording units each with thier own personality and use.
I currently monitor with a pair of mackie cr3s and a behringer 10 inch sub whcih does nicely in my smallish suite here at sunrise studios.