A new development on the soundscape horizon happened recently when three former Triangle Soundpainting cohorts came over to improvise with some soundscapes. Susanne Romey, who played with me at the Open Eye Cafe in early February, was joined by Jim Kellough on digital horn and Eleanor Mills on harmonicas and melodica. Susanne plays toy piano and flutes. They joined in on several soundscapes and even some snippets of things I am interested in developing. We played in the Sun (Ra) Room with the Zoom recorder capturing the sound.

This was an ecstatic first outing for me as I felt the players were really listening and playing into the soundscape. Sometimes they overpowered the scape and made a scape of their own, sometimes they laid low. I think everyone had a solo moment or two. The reedy, resonant timbre of the harmonicas and melodica are a really wonderful sonic match to the clear and piercing digital horn. These voices off set by the jangly, off-kilter harmonics of the toy piano and the warmth of the flute. For me all these voices are the perfect complement to the buzzy, density of many of my soundscapes.

One of the pieces we played with is Gone Won:Life is a Dream. This piece was composed for the Won Buddhist Temple Bazaar last October. In this piece, different instrumental voices take turns improvising and then becoming part of the underscape over which the next voice improvises. Row, Row, Row Your Boat is the theme, but this is not obvious until later in the soundscape. I am excited that I will be able to play this piece at the bazaar this year as well. I wanted to play it again because my keyboard stopped working last year, so I was not able to develop the soundscape as I had planned. I hope my cohorts will be available in October to add another dimension to this soundscape.

After we played with several pieces, we discussed the idea of nested soundscapes and possible places where we could play and record the space. Jim suggested the stairwell where his studio is located and The Power Plant at American Tobacco Campus as possible spaces to sound in. We will check these out and keep you posted!

All you need is vision and cohorts, the rest is!

Addendum: This clip is from the second outing with The Cohorts, and we took turns soloing and listening, which I thought was cool. We will do that again. This is from the soundscape Vollysunds and has been called the butterfly effect and waters. This exemplifies a long, repetitive loop that is almost drone like, but with more movement and tonal complexity than a drone. As you will hear it is alot of fun to play over and through.

So this is my first stab at a “nested soundscape” where I am using files from multiple recorders placed in the room where the soundscape was diffused into the space and we played figures and tones over top of it. I think that the mic placed back in a cutout corner of the room, just slightly inside the frame of the cutout, caught the best mix of the sounds and scape. So this is one section of the session with a file from each microphone. I threw this together quickly, so have not worked with creating space and dynamics with the various mics. I love the richness and the feeling of immersion in an ocean of sound. Listen through headphones if you can.

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