Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Musique Concrete

Musique Concrete is a genre of music that was first developed in the 1940’s by 
experimental composers.  This new kind of music wasn’t restricted to the 
normal ‘rules’ of music making, it was much more open to trial and error. 
Each work was made up of layers of different sounds that came from a variety of places 
including the more traditional areas such as instruments and voices as well as more obscure 
areas such as nature, household objects and electronically produced sound.  
The developing technology of the time also opened up possibilities for artists as it meant they 
were now able to manipulate sound – play it faster, slower backwards until they reached 
the desired sound. Pierre Schaeffer was one of the first composers to begin developing
 the idea of musique concrete; he is believed to be the founder of the genre.

"The New Sound of Music"

This video gives a real insight in to how the first artists would have worked 
at creating their sounds it also highlights their process, which was really
 interesting especially compared to the way musique concrete is created today.

In particular I thought it was really interesting how drastically the sounds 
changed when slowed or played backwards. 
These ideas give so much more potential to a sound. 
Something as dull as hitting a tin when slowed and repeated can begin to 
sound more interesting. 
Potentially some pre-recorded work could be included in our final live performance?

The use of shingle in this piece was also really interesting, 
like we saw in class when marbles were all dropped together it 
seems to make a real difference how many noises you can make at once to create one sound. 
It seems to be more dramatic and captivating.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Objects in Original Form

This tin is very typical in terms of what pops in to your mind 
when you consider what to make nose from – an empty 
container offers a wide range of possibilities. I went with this particular object
 due to what its made from – metal. Next to glass or china metal can
 provide a much broader range of opportunities as its unlikely to shatter and become 
un-usable like a glass or china object might.  
The lid will also be useful when it comes to experimenting and discovering new sounds.

Areas to explore: denting, puncturing, blowing,  rubbing the lid and tin together, the possible change in sound when the lid is removed.

After selecting an object that was an obvious choice I went with something a little more random. 
This length of chain makes a really beautiful sound when held from a 
height and slowly lowered on to a hard surface. 
It’s a very slow and calming sound. However it is possible that the range of 
sounds the can be created with this object is too limited.

Areas to explore: whipping sounds, pulling it tight and strumming it like you can with a rubber band to make vibrations, 
the texture of the chain rubbed on to surfaces could work?

This small teapot is my third and final object, like the chain this too has its limitations. 
As it’s made from china it could easily be broken during experimentation. 
However I selected it anyway as it has two different textures: glazed and unglazed china. 
The two surfaces create completely different sounds when rubbed together.

Areas to explore: perhaps breaking the teapot could offer a wider range of sounds. Blowing on the spout and opening could create different sounds. 
Pouring liquids out of the spout could be an interesting experiment.