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Becoming Desert - Garth Paine
1 Nov 2014
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Garth Paine: Becoming Desert (2014)

This musical work is composed for 6 channel surround sound loudspeaker perfomrance. It was commissioned for the Listen(n) Project Sympsoium in October 2014.

 It draws on the experience of lying down, silent in the desert for several hours at a time to make sound recordings.  These field recordings are the material of this work, but when listening through headphones at the time of recording, one is aware of a kind of hyper-real sonic environment, the amplified soundfield in the headphones is surreal in its presence and accuracy, multiplying the direct experience of unassisted listening many times. The relationship between the amplified headphone mix, and the real sound world is constantly in mind as a pointer to the fact that the recording is an artificial artifact being generated at the time of listening and that there is a strange and problematic marriage between the act of recording and the act of listening.  This dichotomy is further complication by the necessity to remove the body from the recording – no movement and no heavy breathing – in order for the recording to foreground the natural environment rather than the recordists presence within in it. A dialog starts up around how to avoid moving or being otherwise present in the recording, and how the recorded artifact relates to the natural soundscape.  This work plays out such a narrative for the listener to experience. 

exhibition festival music peformance sound composer Composition
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