Not a travelogue, not a diary, just a few things I've heard
for stereo sound // duration: 7'58"
Not a travelogue... (informally titled, Breakfast) is a further exploration of writing music using arbitrary (often appropriated) material. Working within the everyday reality of digital audio, I usually download or rip before I listen. As a result, I have a substantial collection of both original and appropriated sound materials on my computer, seeing as how I can't bring myself to delete anything. I often find myself combing through my collection of sounds for a particular snippet, a moment that I vaguely recall having heard or I believe should exist somewhere... if I just sift through all the chaff to find it.
For this piece, I (pseudo-)randomly selected material from the wide range of sources available to me at the time of composition (sample effects libraries, acoustic instrument samples, conversations, art music, pop music, snippets of other pieces of mine, etc.). In this way, the sound material functioned as pre-given and allowed me to focus on finding a place to put each element, to think both horizontally and vertically about arrangement. Once a sample was placed in time, it was composed into the mix (sometimes processed, but often not), and its position was then treated as inflexible. Localized structures, then gesture, and eventually form, all emerged as a result of hearing interesting temporal alignments between an individual sample and the current mix. This became an engaging way to work: mixing each sample into an increasingly denser landscape and then continuing to add to that landscape until the emergent form was sufficiently articulated by otherwise unrelated material.
I should probably cite the materials I used, but honestly, I couldn't keep track of it all at the time and now each individual bit just sounds like the piece to me. In some cases, samples I used are appropriations of appropriations. Regardless, the piece is not about plunderphonics per se, but rather, a way to address our ability to both listen into and be overwhelmed by an ever-shifting soundscape. In our everyday (urban, American) soundscape, where the sounds that confront us are often out of our control but our path through them is not, we face the issue of what to attend to, and where. You just have to choose, I guess.