Bandcamp release: Outside

I’ve set up a site on Bandcamp.

The first release is an album of two pieces based on work from 2003. I had been lurking on the old microsound mailing list, and a thread on capturing environmental sounds inspired me to try my own hand at making an altered/found-sound piece. There are a number of variants floating around, (at least seven), but these two mixes were always the best– yet different enough from each other to be presented side by side.

After all the musical work I had done back in 2002 (more on that in a future post), I was exhausted, felt stuck, and found myself wondering what to do next. Meanwhile, at my day job, the project I was working on had been abruptly cancelled. Disgusted, I figured I’d fuck off work, take a week’s vacation, and spend some time playing with sounds instead.

The core sound is a little under 23 minutes of ambient noise, as recorded outside my then-apartment window (as shown) on a slightly rainy day in late May 2003. Literally just set up two microphones and pointed them at angles outside of the window, slight compression, a mild notch filter to “condition” the AC-power drone of the building’s transformer, but otherwise just the raw sound. Typical sounds of a lazy rainy afternoon in that complex: cars (their wet tires skimmering on the pavement). People coming in and out of the building. Car doors, slamming. The aforementioned transformer, droning an almost B-flat off to the left hand side of the mix throughout. A little girl, skipping or hop-scotching her way past her mother. Some interior noises as I went about my business in the apartment.

I then spent the better part of a year playing with ambient mixes over that core sound. Each mix had its own secondary sample/instrumentation set, and (like I said) I ended up with 6-7 distinct variants of Outside. Moving to Salem, work schedule and other life-events postponed mastering these until 2006, when they were declared “finished”, then mostly forgotten or written off as eccentric exercises and curiosities. All I’ve done since then was to do a little rebalancing/eq to get them up to snuff for uploading.

And now… well, I have no idea.

Not sure if it’s the best of ideas to have my first album upload –my first official ‘release’, really– be this off the wall ambient/found-sound/experimental piece from nine years ago. But this was the easiest one to prep and upload, and it was ready.

Next up:  2002.


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