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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soundscape Composition: Get It Away

Get It Away (2:46) Composer David Byrne stayed in A Room for London, a one-bedroom installation above the River Thames, from 17 - 19 February 2012. During this residency, he created this soundscape-based composition. He notes, "I brought along some field recording gear to use. I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds - even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral - seemed to converge around a common rhythm (London's tempo is 122.86 beats per minute). It's a bit too good to be true - that every large city should have its own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.

Sound sources:

Strawberry seller: Borough Market
Train: Southwark
Woman Evangelist: Spitalfields Market
Organ: Southwark Cathedral
Jackhammer: near Waterloo
Footsteps: mine, embankment
Thames waves: near Surrey water

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