Artist: The Importance Of Birds
WTF Album: Spotting Birds
Tags: Sound-Collage, Noise, Acousmatic, Field-Recordings, Experimental, Bird songs
WTF Quality: Short pieces of hard to identify noise, no structure, mysteriously humorous
Release date: 2010
"What's making those sounds?"
"I have no idea . . ."
Anyone familiar with the term "acousmatic" in music should be familiar with Pythagoras - the philosopher who lectured his students from behind a curtain so as to not influence their thought processes while taking in information.
Acousmatic simply means to hear a sound without seeing what made it.
Before recorded music made it's way into the public intentional Acousmatic methods for the composer were hard to come by. Very few players desired to hide behind a curtain and play for a blinded audience.
When dealing with acousmatics in music we also have to take in consideration the origin of the sounds. It should be hard, if not impossible, to define what is actually making the sound that we are hearing. At least that's what the pioneers of musique concrète were hoping for.
The Importance Of Birds created a collection of such sounds.
In fact, it almost plays as an audio game of "Can You Guess What's Making This Sound?"
Heavily reverberated refrigerators, delayed ocean waves, overblown microphones, distorted synths, filtered power tools?
The guessing goes on and on.
But that's not where the interest ends.
The transitions between each sound and overlapping of various noises make this a worthwhile album to further investigate and purely enjoy.
Another curious aspect of the whole package is the title of the album itself along with the titles of the songs - all dealing with the anatomy of birds.
Of course my first reaction is to try and piece the meaning of the titles with the sounds of the music.
And this is where the acousmatic syndrome, and a good bit of imagination, come into play.
I have managed to tie the names of the songs with the sounds.
First, let me confess that I know my synth sounds pretty well, I can tell one effect from another and the kinds of noises a computer can make are no mystery to me.
But none of that should matter. It's very easy to shut that information out while listening to music like this. Such knowledge and logical analysis could only hinder the experience.
For example, the appropriate ending title for the album, "Tail Feathers", trails off in a fluttering of weightless static that slowly disappears resembling the lightness and movement of a bird's tail feathers while flying away into the sky.
The image so easily projected in my mind while listening.
The song titled "Toes" - a multitude of static points bouncing around like hundreds of birds walking on a tin roof.
It's all there.
Though, it shouldn't matter how you wish to listen to this EP.
Be it through playing a sound guessing game, bird visualizing imagination, or letting it just go on without a thought in the world.
This is a unique sound experience that should catch the attention of anyone looking for a little WTF in their music.
Further discussion of this artist and album can be found here:
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Posted by WTFMusic.org