This mini-album from Baltimore-based Andrew Hayleck is a “sound film” constructed mainly with the help of field recordings. Using simple arrangements of sounds, Hayleck builds a brooding, cinematic soundscape meant to evoke the spirit of film noir.
“The Paranoiac” is digital music. All of the sounds, while natural in origin, have been transformed in the digital environment.
I’ve always been interested in using ordinary, everyday sounds as source material for music. It’s not a new idea, as long as there has been a way to record sound composers have used field recordings in their compositions. Edgar Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage; these names come immediately to mind but there are countless others as well. Modern day counterparts include MAIN, Organum, and Thomas Köner. As musical expression it’s a whole new world still being discovered.
A frequent theoretical barrier in western music is the chromatic scale. Various attempts to penetrate this barrier have been microtonality, just temperment vs. equal temperment, the increased use of percussion as a “musical” tool (go figure, percussion can be used in a musical way!). Some western musicians have looked to the east for different ways of organizing sound, others have jumped into electronic means of sound production. Digital manipulation of sound has made the just vs. equal temperment argument irrelevant.
My approach to all of this really began to develop when I built my first contact microphone. Sound, which to me had been strictly an airborne phenomenon now became VIBRATION, and vibration is everywhere! One vibrating object excites air molecules which transmit some of that energy to other objects, setting them into sympathetic vibration along the shared resonant frequencies. It’s fucking incredible. Put a contact microphone on a lightpole and you hear passing traffic. The lightpole becomes the diaphragm of a microphone. You can talk to the lamppost and the contact mic will pick up the vibrations of your vocal cords, BUT ONLY ALONG THE FREQUENCIES THAT YOUR VOCAL CORDS AND THE LAMPPOST HAVE IN COMMON!!!
Most of the sounds used in "The Paranoiac" are from a contact microphone recorded onto microcassette (no real reason for this choice other than economics! plus I kinda like the wow and flutter. it adds a certain warmth to the sounds). Sound sources include underwater recordings of a barge, tugboat, ferry, a boat dock, a marsh and swamp (near the Chesapeake Bay); and contact mic recordings of television towers, suspension cables, a lamppost, a fallen tree chopped with an ax, and numerous gigantic metal structures.
These field recordings, while beautiful on their own and dense in their complexity were difficult to use musically. While my experience with “musique concrète” is limited to Stockhausen and Varese I knew I wanted to use these methods, but I also knew that I did not want just to sample short phrases because the beauty of these recordings was in how the sounds revealed themselves over time. There was a certain suspense to them. This led to the idea of treating the sounds as parts to a movie; all I had to do was find the movie in the sounds!
Thank you for listening…
cat@nt_014generated in Montréal by litk 0.600 on Saturday, November 25, 2017. Development & maintenance: DIM.