Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sounds of the Day #121/2016: Jamie Drouin (1-4)

Jamie Drouin - KICK 1 & 2 (2015)

KICK 1 & 2 uses the drum machine ‘kick' to explore iterative sculptural forms in space when played on stereo speakers. The source sound, a staple of electronic dance music, is detached from its usual framework to become an introspective physical object, interacting and expanding within the listener’s environs through the effects of concurrence of two or more sound events.


Jamie Drouin - 12 Sections for DF (2015)

Jamie Drouin’s TWELVE SECTIONS FOR DF uses two identical high frequency sine tones in the left & right speakers with variable oscillation rates to create twelve distinct sculptural ‘shapes’ through their shifting relationship. The combination of high frequencies, and relatively low overall volume, places these shapes just on the edge of perception. Even during passages of complete silence the latent effect of the pitches still colour the listening experience. CAUTION: for your hearing protection, play at average to low volume on speakers only.


Jamie Drouin - Two Works for White Noise (2014)
These two minimalist audio works reveal unique perceptual and sculptural experiences of white noise using simple, but formal procedures. In BLINDS 1, an identical monaural white noise is placed in the left and right speaker. During the course of the composition, the proportion of the white noise uniformally extends in the left speaker, and shortens in the right speaker. This not only creates the effect of left-right panning, but also the perception of complex groupings of the events, in contrast to the regularity of the composition. The original concept was two pieces of semi-translucent paper moving across each other, beginning as two, and then merging along the overlapping edges. GRADIENT 1 again places identical monaural white noises in each speaker, along with a basic EQ filter which systematically opens up to reveal lower frequencies over the first 20 minutes, and then switches roles to slowly remove higher frequencies over the second half. The white noise takes on various perceptual shifts and spatial associations through a gradual process of sonic addition and subtraction. These works are specifically designed for playback on two speakers positioned at an equal distance from the listener’s head.

Jamie Drouin - The Island (2014)

A 40 minute composition examining the sonic and environmental pollution on Sarichef, a small (12 km2) inhabited barrier island located along the Chukchi Sea in Northwest Alaska. By combining various types of microphones and sensors, THE ISLAND becomes a sensory-extended portrait of a fragile ecosystem under radical transformation from both natural and human intervention. In 2010 and 2011, I travelled to the remote island of Sarichef , located in Northwest Alaska, to collect recordings for a sound installation. The island had already been the focus of several news stories on its rapidly eroding shoreline, due to the increasingly higher annual temperatures and sea levels, melting permafrost, and more intense storms. My installation Perimeter:Sarichef was created as a sonic ‘time capsule’ of the island’s receding perimeter. This new work, entitled The Island, attempts to present another complex layer in the portrait of this fragile island, it’s extensive environmental and sonic pollution, something which stood in stark contrast to what I had expected based on my initial research, but was ever-present during my recording process. Sarichef’s isolation, combined with importing consumer goods has resulted in a large community landfill that burns through the year, the constant deep resonant hum of 3-wheel recreational vehicles and generators, and rivulets of oily runoff which stain the coastline. The Island is a composition filled with sudden shifts in perception. The listener moves from a pastoral waterscape to the combined low frequency sounds of ocean waves and electrical generators, to buffeting wind mixed with the static crackle of burning waste. The Island creates a highly textural collage where the edges of natural and unnatural sounds bleed together to become another type of landscape experience. At the end of the composition we hear what sounds like radio static, but is actually the island in the process of disintegrating, as the permafrost breaks down, creating an audible hissing vacuum between the sand particles.


One of my discoveries this year !
Outstanding crypto-minimalisms.

Visit Drouin's blog
and the label
Infrequency Editions