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...different from the one you are in now... (2004)


A reading of sound from works by Alvin Lucier, caused by layering of sound played back in multiple tabs of a web browser.

I’d fetched some empty CD-Rs and was about to download and burn a number of mp3 files by and about Alvin Lucier from UBU-web so that I could listen to them at the stereo: “I’m sitting in a room” and an interview/documentary from 2001 split into 11 files.

For some reason “Save Link As…” wouldn’t work in Mozilla, so I had to open all mp3s in separate tabs and save. Mozilla would only download 3 or 4 files at the same time, and as one download completed, a new one would start. As soon as some of the file had been cached playback would start.

As I downloaded I found the somewhat random collage increasingly interesting, a hyper-soundscape offering various cross-readings between whatever was played back at the same time, with a striking consistency of the resulting sound image. The form worked out well too, with the last mp3s from the interview ending in parallel and shortly after the end of “I’m sitting in a room”. All in all the result seemed to indicate a sub- or supra-conscious polyphonic voice-leading in spite of the fact that the various parts had been created over a period spanning more than 20 years.

A different kind of listening. A different ressonance.

I decided to do it all once more, emptying the browser cache, use Soundflower and Soundflowerbed to route the resulting mix to MaxMSP, and record it. Playback would hitch occasionally during the process. I decided to leave the gaps as is, as traces of the process creating the collage. The result has been compressed to a new mp3 file, but apart from that no additional processing or editing has been done.

Bergen, December 16 2004


Source material used by kind permission. All rights reserved.