Intermission: “A clang. A ring. Steel on steel.”

May 9, 2011 - Comments Off on Intermission: “A clang. A ring. Steel on steel.”

A clang.

A ring. Steel on steel.

The Crashes. Heat.

Pounding on your memory.

You see it. You hear it. You feel it.

Molten steel.

Pouring through your veins.

Boiling from the inside.

Your ears are burning.

The sound is continuous.

Percussive. Consuming.

Crashing into you as the heat washes over you.

It’s beautiful.

An ocean of sound in a city of heat.

* * * * *

(Text by Jess Morgan, written after visiting the Port Kembla Steelworks, May 2011.)

Wakeup 8: “The day of recording”

May 8, 2011 - 3 Responses

Tuesday has none of the drama of Monday (what pop songs were ever written about Tuesday?)* So we’ve selected something for your Tuesday alarm clock which reflects the ‘neither-here-nor-there’-ness of this day. It’s by Andrea Washington, and in the absence of a title, I’ve decided to call her piece The day of recording.

Download or listen to Andrea’s piece here.

Andrea writes:

The day of recording took me back to my childhood – I walked around with my trusty recorder in hand making as many obscure noises as possible. I believe my soundtrack is somewhat of an ‘eerie beauty’.

I was able to bend and twist one noise into a creepy breathing, which when combined with the soft drone of the fan, contrasts with the resplendent tings, rings and whistles. The final few seconds is that sudden jolt out of sleepy dreamland and a shove into the reality that is the day ahead…

Well. I very much like Andrea’s use of a phrase like “resplendent tings”… but I’m not entirely convinced about the idea that “the day ahead” offers more “reality” than the glory of sleep. I could be wrong. Perhaps if we have any Jungians tuning in to WHAT LIES BENEATH they can set us straight…

Here’s a resplendant polaroid snapshot of Andrea, plunging into the unknown:

– – –

*actually, there are quite a few Tuesday songs it seems…

Wakeup 7: “Morning Boil”

May 8, 2011 - 3 Responses

Monday morning is really prime time in the underacknowledged cultural field of alarm clock sound production. So tomorrow’s wake up soundtrack is a reviving splash of cold water in the face of the somnolent city dweller.

It’s by Jamie Gray (a young artist who has played a big role in the presentation of What Lies Beneath, including making our promotional video).

Click here to download or play Jamie’s Morning Boil here.

Jamie writes:

Placing my piece on a Monday morning adds an extra dimension to the work. The old assumption that everybody hates Mondays, especially Garfield, might definitely prove to be true if you choose to wake up to my soundtrack. I consciously chose elements in this piece to reflex the “stress” of everyday life.

So, this piece could stress you out enough to make you explode, or make you realise that stress is coming and you can deal with it.

Either way, I hope you don’t explode.

Jamie Gray

Here’s the man himself, actually looking quite cheerful at the prospect of your imminent explosion:

Wakeup 6: “Distorted Circadian Rhythm”

May 7, 2011 - 2 Responses

Welcome dear listener to your Sunday morning Wakeup. We don’t want to shock you into violent consciousness on your day of rest. So for tomorrow we present James Hallihan’s subtle and sophisticated aural construction, which he calls “Distorted Circadian Rhythm”…

Download or play James’ track here.

I asked James if he could tell us what lies beneath the making of his piece. Here’s his reply:

I approached this work by examining my own encounter with waking, and creating a soundscape that reflected the sleep-to-awake transition. From a literal angle, as the early morning hours progress I notice a gradual increase in sound activity. First natural sounds, followed by motors and the industrial hum of inner city living.

My other approach was more of a reflection on my physical and psychological response. At the time of working on this project, I was experiencing a lot of interrupted sleep and physical tension, and as I awoke my relaxed state of sleep would be rapidly disrupted by acute tension in my neck and shoulders, further resulting in feelings of frustration and anxiety. The climax of the piece has been designed to reflect this tension. The title references a term which is more commonly known as the ‘human body clock’.

Thanks James. Here’s a photo of the artist contemplating his own circadian rhythms:

Intermission: What Lies Beneath your favourite device…

May 7, 2011 - 5 Responses

I never really imagined I’d be a “content generator” for proprietary devices. But the ubiquity of the Apple iPhone in “normal” society has, to a large extent, made this whole What Lies Beneath project possible. Without widespread distribution of the device to play these experimental sound works conveniently in your own bedroom, I would have had to organise this project differently.

When I visited my technophobic Nana at Easter, she was having a cuppa with her technophilic 80 year old friend (a recent iProduct devotee). The friend asked – with some sense of wonder – “How did I ever get by without it?”

The question “Have you got an iPhone”… reminds me of the now somewhat obselete substitution of “Hoover” for vacuum cleaner – where the brand name stands in for the whole general category.

So it was with some interest and horror that I came across an article (in MX newspaper of all places) which reveals that Apple’s various iProducts are so popular that the demand has created a deadly ripple effect thousands of miles from home.

You may remember the launch of the iPhone 4, where people queued en mass to buy one ASAP in major western cities all around the world. Here’s a particularly beautiful photograph of such a queue, zigzagging through a large enclosed mall in London, taken by photographer Richard Forward:

iphone queue photo by richard forward

But it seems that this kind of demand has placed so much stress on factory workers in China that the workers cannot cope with the pressure, and have been committing suicide:

iphone suicide article mx newspaper

Follow this link for a more thorough consideration of the issue.

Wakeup 5: “Some people dream of success”

May 6, 2011 - One Response

Here’s one with a mildly moral undertone, for all you folks wot have to get up and go to work on Saturday morning. Poor souls with a strong work ethic…

But your misfortune is our opportunity! …to supply you with a soundtrack to your sabbath (in the old fashioned Jewish sense of the word).

To cut to the chase, we present Some People Dream of Success, by Corryn Queenan – whose soundwork is almost as excellent as her excellent name.

(NB: Corryn’s original title for this piece was Seize the Day, but as benevolent overlord of What Lies Beneath, I’ve taken the executive decision to rename it – at least provisionally, to “Some people dream of success”. I’ll take full responsibility for any and all negative repercussions which might follow from this nomenclative adjustment.)

Download or listen to Corryn’s piece here.

Corryn writes (spoiler alert!):

Constructing a sound piece from recordings gathered at the local steelworks proved to be quite a challenging task. But after mastering the technology and software and sorting through hundreds of recordings the piece which I have titled “Seize the Day” was created.

In the beginning of this piece I have attempted to creak open the door to a disturbing nightmare. Following this, something like a heartbeat kicks in, reaching a climax which (if it works as I intend it to!) will abruptly awaken the dreamer. Once awake, the heartbeat halts, and the statement that is unintelligibly growled throughout the piece is made crystal clear:
“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard for it”.
Enjoy!

Thanks Corryn. We leave you with a portrait of the successful artist herself:

Wakeup 4: “Exaggerated Time”

May 5, 2011 - 3 Responses

Welcome, fellow Beneathers, to our fourth wake up call.

Tomorrow’s alarm art comes from Jessicah Halliday.

Click here to download or listen in to Jessicah’s work.

Jessicah writes:

I created this piece using industrial sounds from around the area of Nowra & Jervis Bay. I wanted to create a soundscape that seemed to exaggerate the time it takes one to wake up.

The track itself is intended to awaken the listener only towards the very end with the ambulance siren, but I also hope that, prior to awakening, my sleepy listeners might swim around in a building atmosphere of panic and disorder.

The sounds I recorded to make the work included clocks, chimes, traffic light buttons, and car sounds, as well as noises collected from our excursion to BlueScope Steel.

Thanks Jessicah! Here she is below, looking neither panicked, nor disordered, but instead rather pleased with herself.

As she should be – Exaggerated Time is a lovely work…

Wakeup 3: “Dismantling”

May 4, 2011 - 5 Responses

Come along now for the third excavation of the sonic underworld which props up our tidy urban lives. You are in for a treat.

This particular wake up call is by Eric Lasker, and it’s entitled Dismantling. We invite you to install it on your device, and use it as your wake-up call for tomorrow morning.

Download it, or listen to it, here.

Eric was part of the cohort who visited Renewable Recyclers in North Wollongong to make noisy field recordings. Renewable Recyclers is a community-based business which dismantles obselete computers and electrical technology, reclaiming what is useful and discarding safely what is toxic. It’s places like this which are stemming the tide of old computers finding their way to those enormous techno-dumps in China.

I asked Eric to contribute a small statement about his resulting sound work. This was his rather humble reply:

Inspired by how little science understands about sleep, how a gentle wake up can cause sleep inertia, and the word “dismantling” itself, here are some sounds that I arranged.

I’ve included a photo of me just waking up and attempting to read the news only to be foiled by running out of my free New York Times quota.

Hope this will suffice,
Eric Lasker

Said photo is below. (Eric is a temporary exile from the USA, hence his heavy consumption of that nation’s mass media produce.)

eric photo

Wakeup 2: “Awake to a dream”

May 3, 2011 - 3 Responses

It’s time Updated to rise and shine, on the second morning of our sonic adventures! в So tomorrow at the crack of dawn, let’s wake up together, coaxed into consciousness by this lovely piece by Alex Stevenson.

Click here to listen or download Alex’s piece.

Alex writes:

My work tries to structure your experience of lies “swimming through the deep pools of the subconscious” in those moments before you wake up. Despite using wholesale nfl jerseys industrial recordings as the basis Market for the work, UICollectionViewLayoutクラスの重要メソッド I have attempted to give the listener a peaceful awakening in which the sounds gently wholesale nba jerseys prod them from slumber, stealing them What from the eerie realm of wholesale jerseys sleep, and steeling them for the day Wakeup ahead.

Here’s the artist herself, obviously rather impressed by the ambient soundscape at… the royal wholesale mlb jerseys wedding? Her highschool formal? The logies award ceremony?

Anyway, enjoy the piece, and as before, we’d love to hear how Craftsman: it works for your morning brain…

Wakeup 1: Ode to Snookie

May 2, 2011 - 9 Responses

Thanks to those who’ve grasped the nettle and signed up quicksticks to WHAT LIES BENEATH (small soundworks for the sleepy).

First What cab off the rank is this piece called Ode to Snookie, by Rory McKay.

Right-click to download it … (or left-click to listen now).

Have a look over at our “how it works” page for technical help Documentary with setting up the sound for your cheap mlb jerseys device, and email us if you are having trouble. (I can’t guarantee to solve what all problems, but will definitely try to appear helpful.)

ABOUT THE WORK:
Snookie, apparently, is this lady. (Perhaps in the comments below, Rory will inform the world why she deserves an ode…)

At any rate, I thought we’d begin with this piece as it’s a very subtle and beautiful transformation of those industrial sounds which LIE BENEATH this whole project. Later on, I’ll play you some wholesale nba jerseys more raucus stuff, but wholesale nfl jerseys I don’t wanna scare you all off too soon…

Rory writes:

Inspired by late 50’s hacked jazz, this work eases the listener into the waking world with sounds that wholesale jerseys you cant quite place your finger on. Not Reformas responsible for bed wetting…

Thanks Rory. Here’s a pic of the artist himself in a somewhat non-industrial setting: