This column/section is dedicated to the act of listening. That type of listening that could make you loose the perception of time and space, and could give a new sense to time and space.
I have a clear memory of the night when it was raining and we were coming home from shows or rehearsals. I have a mixture of sounds and noises in my ears from all the times I locked my car door and walked that bunch of feet to my house gate. Few sounds often interrupted by the tapping rain. A branch waving in the wind, the wet leaves sticking to the soles of my shoes, a fat car passing by playing some loud rock music.
Hearing my keys, my hands searching for my keys.
In order not to wake my parents up I would walk the hallway in the dark and to feel more comfortable I would close my eyes, count my steps and project my arms to feel the corners. Hearing the cracking of the bones of my feet. Open the door of my bedroom would always be the hardest part, the hardest hurdle to overcome, because it would definitely make noise.
In order not to open it loudly, I would pull the knob towards me and then jiggle it slowly like to unseal a vacuum-sealed package. T-tLAC-ta- tac…ok…GAME OVER.
When I went out in some club far away and came home late the soundscape from my car to my room was different, since not only the wind would talk to me but also the birds rising up singing. Here those who could be part of my mixtape: the red woodpecker “PIK PIK” “KIK KIK”, the green woodpecker “UHI IHI HIH IHIH”, the nuthatch and the jay “CIIP CIUP CIIP CIUP”, the swallow “CI CIP CI TRRRR“, the nightjar “TRRRRRRR TCI CIP”, the shrike “TR TR UIIII CI CIP“, the finch “CI CI CIIP UI UI TRR”, the wren “CI CI CIP TRRRIICIO TRTTT CIP CIP”, the redstart, the blackcap “CU CII CU CYCY TRTR”, the titmouse “UIZZO UIZZO UIZZO UIZZO UIII”. And the late night owls: the tawny owl “UI UI UI”, the coquette “AAAA AAAA” (Micheal Jackson style), the barn owl “CRRRRSSSS CRRRSSSRRSSS”, and the screech owl “UUUU UUUU”.
In few words my hood was pretty crowded. It was pretty clear to me, they were angry because I was coming home late, they couldn’t understand how one could sacrifice hours of sleep to go listen to some electronic music.
This second chapter is about nighttime mixtape, like those that you’ve been wisely preparing for ages, or that you’re preparing now.
Cuddle your eardrums and try to hear your own personal mixtape, the one of the few steps before going to asleep or before making coffee with the angry birds or with your parents, your partners, your friends, angry or not.
Here’s a little game to play with your friends, family or on your own. It’s one of the “100 Exercises in Listening and Soundmaking” by R. Murray Schafer. I’ll give you one of these games for each playlist.
2– Label natural sounds with N, human sounds with H and sounds of technology with T. What’s the predominant category?
Write down C for continuous, R for repetitive, S for single for each of your sounds.
1. Dusk – Annea Lockwood (New Zeland 1939) is an American Composer. She studied composition at the Royal College of Music in London and she attended the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt. She study electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig. She is similar to the American school of Oliveros, Cage and The Sonic.
Arts Union. Her work is based on field recordings and soundscape composition.
2. Amare Videre Est – Nite Lite
Very few information about this American band. Nite Lite (Philip and Myste French) put together some recordings taken in 2012 on the Tabor mountain in Oregon and released them in the album <i>Megrez </i>(2013, Desire Path recordings).
3. On Birds I (INTERVIEW) – Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was a French composer and ornithologist.
The fragments (3 and 6) are taken from an interview where Messiaen describes how he studied birds’ chant and translated it into music, writing scores for piano and orchestra among which is the work <i>Catalogue d’oiseaux </i>(birds’ catalogue), composed between 1956 and 1958.
4. Night Music – Christian Marclay
American artist and composer, his research is focused on the origins of French concrete music. He uses samples from LPs of any music genre, that he handles (even literally) till he damages the support itself.
5. Sista Gangen – Francesco Giannico
Italian visual artist and electronic musician he composes soundscapes and meditative music. in 2010 he funds together with Alessio Ballerini AIPS (Archivio Italiano Paesaggi Sonori/Italian Archive for Soundscapes).
6. On Birds II (INTERVIEW) – Olivier Messiaen
7. Sequential Circuits – Panda Bear
Benjamin Lennox loves pandas, at the point that he wants us to call him Panda Bear.
Sequential Circuits is part of his last album <i>Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper</i>. His music his a mix of electronic and psychedelic music.
Front cover of Circa 1983