Another Type of WorkSong (for Huddie Ledbetter)


Lead Belly was born in Louisiana somewhere around 1888. Living the often violent life of an itinerate musician he found himself twice imprisoned for murder. In 1933 his reputation reached the Lomax family, who, after no small personal tragedy of their own, were traveling the Southern states, recording American work songs, ballads and blues in prisons, penitentiaries, and brothels. Moving around the country in their Ford sedan, John, and his sons John Jr. and Alan, set about recording such artists as Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Jelly Roll Morton. They came across Lead Belly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, and with their state-of-the-art acetate disc recorder they cut several sides together over the next few months. They soon parted ways; Lead Belly to a fifteen year career as a solo artist, and the Lomax’s continuing their collection of folk musics for the archives of the Library of Congress, and the Works Progress Administration. Despite the difficult relationship between the academic Lomax’s and the hard-living blues artist, it is through this short-lived collaboration that Lead Belly’s work reached a wider audience, of which I count myself a part. My father, following a period of time working in the Caribbean after leaving school in 1964, had become interested in what was still at that time called ‘negro music’. A Presto vinyl record (PRE 689, 1965) containing a selection of Lead Belly’s early Lomax recordings, is one of the earliest artifacts of any kind that I remember from my childhood. For this project, I was interested in engaging with a populist folk tradition, in the hope such a strategy would enable me to think about electroacoustic composition in a new way. The sound material selected, was by necessity, lo-fidelity (A short promotional film made by Lomax and Lead Belly, found on YouTube). The surface noise in the piece, the glitches, and crackles, are inherent to the source material, and are intended to reference the sounds of old blues records, and to address issues of the value of distribution of heavily compressed audio on the internet, thought of here, as a repository of cultural memory. The piece was entirely constructed from Lead Belly’s voice and signature 12-string guitar.


An audio-visual redestructive performance by 7000dirhams (J Milo Taylor and Joel Cahen)

Year: 2007
Location: Greece
Worktype: Intermedia Performance
Materials: Super 8 projectors, slide projector, gasmasks, burning film, digital processing, text to speech, found records, cassettes, modified found slides.
Info: Destroy Athens Biennial

7000DH – Fukdapolis – Opening Theme (2007)


7000DH – Fukdapolis – Second Theme (2007)



The performance focuses on the regenerative aspect of destruction, understood as a process of mutation rather than a form of obliteration. It identifies cultural kitsch as a destructive element within a dematerializing process that creates a noise pool nurturing new patterns of identity and cultural production.

For this performance 7000dirhams has collated a small archive of this kitschified detritus in the form of archetypal melodies, folk and popular music, touristic memorabilia, live radio feeds, to create a rich sludge of source material.

The materials themselves (Super 8mm, souvenir slides and audio recordings), are cut into, burnt, degraded, looped and spliced with a savagery comparable to that embodied by their impoverished representations of a dynamic and living reality.

As such, the work attempts to address the gulf between the image of Athens as presented to the outside world, with that of the everyday, as experienced by Athenians themselves. It therefore presents an environment of plowed structures and splintered forms of Greek culture as filtered by the eyes and ears of two hapless fools from London.



1st Athens Biennial – ‘Destroy Athens’. Public Opening: September 10, 2007. Technopolis, Gazi

Exhibition & Live entrance: 10 euros. 9pm.
Destroy Athens – Live is a reflection on processes of music & sound production within a visual arts ‘Biennial’ setting. Resisting the notion of ‘art-bands’, Destroy Athens – Live aims instead to describe a phenomenon: that of practitioners operating within different genres (media artists, musicians, film-makes, writers, designers, comic book & soft-toy makers, circuit benders etc) engaging in collaborations, collectives & media experiments that have diverse musical outputs.

From experimental politicised avant-pop commentary, to hip-hop jazz electronica improvisations, to real-time deconstruction & amplification of media, these acts all maintain a commitment to immediacy & non-virtuosity.
The Live part of the public opening engages the Biennial’s theme & purpose (‘Destroy Athens’), by treating Athens as a signal source to be sampled, tweaked with, looped, filtered, commented on and jammed along to. Through the use of on-site found & recorded sound & image, real-time local radio broadcasting interventions, and sonic-surgical media operations, the performers offer a response to context as they find it. Such a grounding for free & open improvisation is a platform for testing their own ignorance of so many aspects of the signal source – cultural, linguistic, historical, while drawing parallels with their own experiences as inhabitants of London, a multi-branded city.



Artists: Antifamily, Infinite Livez vs DJ Tendraw, 7000 Dirhams
Curator: Chloe Vaitsou

Fukdapolis: Destroy Athens Biennial: Cut-up text (for text to speech Intermedia Performance)

In ancient Greek, the name of Athens was [ha atna], related t? [h atn] and its dialectal variant[h at´n], the Attic and Ionic names respectively of the goddess Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom. The city’s name may have been in the plural, like those of (Thêbai) and (Mukênai), because it consisted of several parts. In the 19th century, was formally re-adopted as the city’s name. Since the official abandonment of Katharevousa Greek in the 1970s, however, the popular form (Athína) has become the city’s official name, though the plural may be kept for several purposes in literature.

fuk the polees

the destruction of athens

Pangrati, Ambelokipi, Exarcheia, Ano Patissia, Kato Patissia, Ilissia, Ano and Kato Petralona, Mets, Koukaki and Kypseli,

one of the longest of any city in Europe or the world; it has been 1981 885,737 – – continuously inhabited for at least 3,000 years
980s it became 1896 123,000[17] evident that smog from a conglomeration of historic gas factory distinct towns and villages that major waste management Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical, to modern efforts undertaken in the last decade gradually expanded and merged into people of all ages who will sing, dance and drink till dawn a single large metropolis; 1991 772,072 – 3,444,358[19] most of this expansion occurred during the second half of the 20th century factories Panathinaikos Football 1908 Super League Greece Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium
Olympiacos Football 1925 Super League Greece Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium
AEK Football 1924 Super League Greece Athens Olympic Stadium
Panionios Football 1890 Super League Greece Nea Smyrni Stadium
Atromitos Football 1950 Super League Greece Peristeri Stadium
Egaleo FC Football 1930 B Ethniki Egaleo Stadium
Panathinaikos BC Basketball 1908 A1 Ethniki Athens Olympic Stadium
AEK Athens Basketball 1924 A1 Ethniki Galatsi Center
Panionios Basketball 1890 A1 Ethniki Helliniko Arena
Maroussi BCE Basketball 1970 A1 Ethniki Maroussi Arena
Spartakos Glyfadas Baseball 1990 National Baseball League Helliniko Baseball Center
Maroussi 2004 Baseball 1990 National Baseball League Helliniko Baseball Center
Athinaikos Handball 1927 National Handball League Helliniko Arena
Athens Rugby Rugby 1990 National Rugby League Athens Olympic Stadium
Starbucks Rugby Rugby 1983 National Rugby League Athens Olympic Stadium and an ever demotika diamerismata increasing fleet of automobiles, as well as a the Athenian 2001 745,514[20] climate is very dry the Attica 1971 867,023[18] – – region experienced a number of brush fires, including one that burned a 1921 (Post-Population exchange) 718,000[17] significant portion parking facilities, cocktail drinks and umbrellas of a large forested national park in Mount Parnitha – considered Omonia Square (Greek:critical to maintaining better air in Athens all year round. Damage to the 1833 4,000[17] – –
1870 44,500[17] – –
– –
1921 (Pre-Population exchange) 473,000[17] – –
– –

1991 772,072 – 3,444,358[19]
3,130,841[20] 3,761,810[park has led to worries over a stalling in the tap rebetadika water is rebetadika safe, and of very good quality. improvement of air rebetadika quality rebetadika in the city.compared with most of Syntagma mediterranean Europe lack of Syntagma adequate free Syntagma Snowfalls rebetadika occur everydue to overcongestion, had evolved into the PsirriPsirriPsirriPsirri city’s most important challenges.
anti-pollution measures Attiki Odos ring road a much more functional city. bound Syntagma by Mount Aegaleo in the west, Mount Parnitha in the north, Mount Penteli in the northeast, Mount Hymettus in the east, and the Saronic Gulf in the southwest he carved details on the five Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thission caryatids of the Erechtheum have seriously degenerated, Ekali, Nea Erythrea, Agios Stefanos, Drosia, Kryoneri, Attica, Kifissia, Maroussi, Pefki, Vrilissia, Melissia, Pendeli, Halandri, Psychiko and Filothei while the face of the horseman on the Parthenon’s west side is all but obliterated.

Little Johnny Anger

Occasional Solo Outings | Solo Expanded Guitar | Acoustic | Electric | Electronic |

| Heroes | Antiheros | Zeros |
john fahey, robert johnson, christian fennesz, godspeed you black emporer, animal collective, ry cooder , woody guthrie, leadbelly, richard thompson, nick drake, skip spence, 6 organs of admittance, sunburned hand of the man, boris, sunn o)), pauline oliveros, hidegarde westekamp, halim el dabh, nas al ghiwane, yellow swans, lee ranaldo, glenn branca, django reinhardt, scott joplin, sir richard bishop, james blackshaw, bert jansch, tom rush, karen dalton, explosions in the sky, lemchaheb, jil jilala, low, modest mouse, blind lemon jefferson, mississippi john hurt, buster keaton, brothers quay, david lynch, jan svankmier, lumiere brothers, henry miller, ben okri, marquis de sade

Some Past Gigs

August 8th 2007 @ Songbird, Visions Bar, Dalston

August 18th 2007 @ Plac.Art.X, Regensburg, Germany

February 22nd 2008 @ Scaledown, Soho, London

Empire Hotel Radio Scan

I had arrived a day early for the Art of Immersive Soundscapes Forum. 8 hours by Greyhound from Winnipeg airport across flat rolling endless prairie. The Empire Hotel. The cheapest place in town. Next door to the liquor store. The room was $25 a night. It hadn’t been changed in 25 years. Everything run down, and battered. A Friday night. Alone in the prairies. I locked myself into my room. I scanned the FM radio frequency to search for company.

The Blurred Compilation Album (Track 18): 13.30hrs | Concert Hall. Acousmatic Concert Over a multi-channel loudspeaker diffusion system

Stollery, “What you will not see are performers”.

“The diffusers are in the centre of the room”.

“The speaker system consists of stereo pairs, and will diffuse sound from all around the room, and also give the appearance of sound coming from outside the room”.

Pete Stollery | ‘scenes /rendez-vous’

The first piece presented ‘scenes /rendez-vous’ by Stollery is introduced by a film by Claude le Louche. The film was an attempt by the filmmaker to travel a certain route through Paris in a speeding Mercedes with a short period of time. As Stollery’s father was dying, father and son repeatedly watched the film. Following the death of his father Stollery visited Paris and made recordings along the route taken by LeLouche; these recordings formed the basis of the composition. It seemed anomalous, in an acousmatic presentation, to connect the work with the visual domain.

Sketches made during performance.

Washhhhhhhm of white noise sound.

Beep (car horn)

Traffic sounds moving left         to         right and             right

Car horn modified into thematic material.

Car horn filtered from all other noise acting as anchoring drone.

Very low bass hum.

Digital scrapes – like bottles being tapped by coins.

A coin spinning on a table – eternal. This is a heavily treated section.

Raw street sound. Mopeds, other vehicles. Slight treatment enhancing spativality.

Little granular chimes – unidentifiable source.

Play on the stereo field.

Thor coughs.

Street sounds.

Passing cars.


Thor coughs.

Something being shaken or pushed.

Passing             traffic             spatialised.

Door slams.
Squeak of child or cat.
Running water.

Treated background washed out texture.

Water being poured onto some different surface.

James Wyness | “Metallurgy”

He is working from a score. His piece is much more spatial, the sounds seem much more separated. He is mixing manually on an old analog mixing desk, riding the faders of the multiple stereo pairs.

For this work, the Scottish artist gained entry to a small metal working factory. During his time there he made a series of recordings of working men and machines. In addition to this he obtained off cuts of metal which he then used to create instruments, also heard in the piece.

An immersion in sculpted sound.

A fading in and out of raw source material and abstracted inner processes.

A poetic work operating on a number of levels:

An exploration of this particular room.

An exploration of a specific local context and work environment.

An investigation into the sonic properties of the material used in that workplace (various metals) – he created instruments constructed from waste obtained from the metal factory.

A investigation into the electro-acoustic techniques of transformation.

Further to this, an unexpected spontaneity of performance.

An audience member utters a small moan of appreciation.

I am unable to describe my experience of sound in this context. The material is too rich, too dynamic, too changing, too spatial and shifting to be represented by writing.

A small bat type sound flicks from the left to the right of the room, pricking my awareness, forming connections between underdeveloped synapses.

There is consummate control of sound in a positive sense.

Nothing over the past few days comes close to the sheer poetics of these pieces. What might airlines, bus companies, architects learn from these artists?

Each composer has announced themselves acoustically and succinctly proving just enough to provide an intriguing entry point into the work.

Chimes, gongs, rain.

Wind or a travelling train.

Scrunkle. Leaves?

Small chimes.

Again the physical impression of natural sound.

Modified water – which becomes more so, like a scribbling pen on paper.

Ke –             binng.
CHoin –     choing     – choing

Bloop –         bloop         woopa         wooopa

Kak cha-cha.

Shaka.            shaka.shaka.

Wopple –             whoople bloip bloip             blop blop

Woip-woip woip woip-woip bubble-bubble

Tubba                     tuba

Dzzz     Dzzz     zeeerr

Creak-creak Creak-creak  Creak-creak  Creak-creak

Dup-dup Dup-dup Dup-dup Dup-dup


Scribble                 scrubble                 scribble



D-zee-          de-ze,         d’ze


Something is now squeaking rhythmically, a mechanism turning. Not loud.

Café sounds. Birdsong. A canary?

Pans being gonged.

Indistinct conversation – male and female.

A click. (Billiard balls?)

Passing traffic, very spatialised.

An aeroplane passes overhead.

An opera singer from a radio in some kind of distance.

Sudden extreme processing. Washes of sounds – source unidentified.

Car horn type sound, very abstracted becomes a choral chant.
It is now                     fading a    w        a        y.

Whistling.         Broken     snatches of         conversation.

Claking footsteps. A crowd of people. A touch of flute. A touch of fiddle music.



Jonty Harrison | Unsound Objects

I am watching his fingers flicker over the faders of the mixing desk. It is so beautiful. Detailed. Defined. Dangerous.

Running water. So much ‘waterness’.

He rides the array of stereo pairs as a thunderclap enters. What beautiful power. Powerful beauty.

To see Jonty, clearly enjoying himself in the throes of live acousmatic performance is to understand his problems with academia. This music is intuitive. He is using no score, and he anticipates each sound object, moving them around the room. He is placed in the middle of the audience, the position of best audition. An interaction between composer-player-space-technology-representation.

He twists his head around to map the audio levels front and rear.

Ocean waves. Walking on shingle. Children’s voices. A fade to a bell-like electric tone.
To near silence.


He grins, nods his appreciation.

The Blurred Compilation Album (Track 17) 11.30hrs | Keynote Address | Jonty Harrison “Dilemmas, Dichotomies and Definitions: acousmatic music and its precarious situation in the arts”

Harrison is here to provoke the audience. He is one of the UK’s, if not the world’s, leading acousmatic composers. He describes a situation where a relatively young art form, acousmatic music, is treated with open hostility by those within traditional musical discourse. Here he is explicitly referring to ‘classical’ music practitioners, but I would propose that this hostility, or lack of comprehension, could be extended to almost any realm of traditional sound-making.

While acousmatic music enjoys a relatively high degree of support in its historical Francophonic centres of France and Canada (more specifically Paris and Montreal), within the UK, and much of the rest of the world, acousmatic music remains a culturally isolated activity. Harrison is here to offer us some insight and analysis of this situation.

He beginsby defining his terms. Acousmatic music is designed specifically for loudspeakers; he goes on to pick out a number of defining characteristics:

1)Acousmatic can refer to a situation, or to an intent, it is not a description of a style, and should be seen as a means and not as an end. He compares the term to ‘piano music’ which is sufficiently open to cover musics ranging from traditional jazz, classical works, film scores, experimental work and so on; he relates ‘acousmatic’, as a term, to also allow a great range of interpretations and deployments.
2)It allows the use of any sound as a valid compositional element.
3)Visual aspects are detrimental to acousmatic performance. The focus is upon sound and its transformations and movement in space.

Acousmatic composers trace their filiation to Pierre Schaefer’s influential invention ‘musique concrete’, which began from an empirical approach to sound. From this empiricism (e.g. the classification of sounds according to its amplitude envelope (attack, decay, sustain, release) and frequency envelope) structural compositional implications are derived, with a resulting effect upon working methods; which Harrison describes as ‘hands on’ and ‘organic’.

He compares this traditional with the Cologne School of ‘elektronische Musik’ which operated along much more formalist methods, as typified by serialism.

e.g of Tony Conrad et al boycotting Stockhausen concerts – cultural elitism of Lamonte Young for all his posturing.

Harrison notes that the tension between the differing approaches of the two schools continues to destabilise practice.

L’objet sonore – ‘recording was the most important dynamic of twentieth century music, much more than the abandonment of tonality.

— McLuhan – sense ratios.

Reduced listening – the detaching of the sound object from the sounding object

‘sound as sound’

Schaefer’s early work Etude aux Chemins de Fer (1948), now seen more as an experiment rather than a finished work, was criticised for too close a relation between the two objects, but Harrison notes that this oscillation between ‘real sounds’ and those more abstracted, is one of the most effective techniques available to acousmatic composers.

—- how is visual representation considered? A painting, photograph or a film surely is not presented as reality, but a construct. What does this allow us to say about acousmatics, field recording and phonography?

Harrison ends this section of his talk with a description of the introduction of digital technology as a ‘quantum leap’ forward.

playback > > “Unsound Objects” J.Harrison (1995, 13mins, excerpt)


Footsteps on bracken.
Footsteps on shingle.
Footsteps on snow.

Sudden short cracking sound reveals itself as fire.

Realism gives way to abstract interplay and textural changes.

Fire bounces spatially.
Which then becomes a ping pong ball which fades away.

The sound of keys leads to the unlocking of a door.

Recapitulation–? of rain and thunder
Footsteps motif is linked to a similar sound, a car on shingle.

We then arrive on a beach.


There is a real fluidity in the way the location can be treated in acousmatics.

Acousmatics proceeds from the concrete into the abstract, and from practice to theory.

Harrison then asks the question whether acousmatic music is actually music. Using the often cited quote that music is sound organised in time, and sound art is sound organised in space. Is it then music? Harrison argues that an acousmatic work can be listened to on a CD much less problematically than a sound art piece.


– less associated with the specific site of reception.

– often uses multiple sites as sound sources.

– is concerned with the sonic properties of sound objects, less of a conceptual emphasis. The conceptual concerns of many sound artists, while important in creating significant artworks, can create some pretty unlistenable results, once they have be removed from their original context.

– acousmatic work is explicitly created for loudspeaker listening. Sound art audio output can often be the result of

– unpredicable
– natural
– improvised
– kinetic


and their interest is not in the empirical qualities of sounds per se but in sound’s ability to articulate

spatial relationships.
cultural concerns.
environmental processes.
socio-political agendas.
technological dependencies.

He reports a dialogue he had with Bill Fontana, who is more concerned with letting ‘sound be’, without any of the transformative techniques used by Harrison and other acousmatic composers. Harrison, self-depreciatingly describes his methods as ‘tinkering around’ but, more seriously, considers his transformative approach as an investigation into what ‘sounds may yet become’.

“Acousmatic music is sound art, but sound art is not music”.

In his final comments, Harrison describes his vision of the future of acousmatics, he sees this future an inevitably involving collaboration, diversification and hybridisation, in a effort to move acousmatics from its precarious position in the arts.

While his address has had much to say, he seems to be firmly entrenched within a modernist and institutionalised culture of academic music. Although acousmatics can be seen to question the conventions of serious music, chiefly through its rejection of the score, and in its reconfiguration of performance norms, within the UK at least, one can say that acousmatic music is firmly tied to academic institutions. Examples of this are Harrison’s own BEAST diffusion system, and the work carried out at the University of York and the University of East Anglia since the early 1970s. Harrison claims that acousmatics has this academic association for historical reasons, and that there is absolutely nothing intrinsic to the form that definitively ties it to academia.



Kubisch (from the floor),”I have always seen acousmatic music as academic. There is no difference between a composer of instrumental music, and one of acousmatic music. It’s very male dominated, is not fun, and is clearly academic”.

Harrison responds by emphasising the organic nature of his working process. He is not engaged in research, he ‘makes things’. His approach is not theoretical, but is based in practice. Again he reiterates the historical justification for its placement within universities, but then acknowledges that performance venues and the technical difficulties associated with monitoring and mixing acousmatic work, has limited much performance to relatively well-resourced institutions.

Acousmatic music involves the audience in very ‘artificial listening’, and as such requires a process of familiarisation with the techniques, processes and goals of composers. Given the fact that it remains a largely under funded discipline, particularly in the United Kingdom, this process of familiarisation, has historically been centred upon those institutions associated with the development of acousmatic technique, discourse and practice. Penetration into broader society would require a degree of promotion and dissemination impossible under the financial constraints suffered by historical practice. Harrison responds to Kubisch’s comments with the observation that the acousmatic listeners are highly dispersed in a geographical sense, and a survey of such an audience remains to be undertaken. He concludes by speculating on the future of acousmatic music in the information age where listening habits of music lovers in the widest sense are changing, perhaps towards a situation more sympathetic to acousmatic listening.

“We’re having this conversation again, about you not being academic”. (Male voice from the floor)

The Blurred Compilation Album (Track 14): Owen Green “More Than ‘Just a Hammer’: Critical Techniques in Electroacoustic Practice”

Lecture Theatre, MacRoberts Building, Uni.of Aberdeen.

“There’s feedback going on throughout the system…”.

“…both internal and external…”

“…Sound is the interface…”

“…a heretical use of technology. Less problem solving and more problem raising.”

“…it cannot be controlled, and can only be interacted with”.

“the relation of technology to sound artists is interesting from an anthropological perspective”.

“…using technology for critical discourse on a technological world”.

“How do artists engage with technology on a day to day basis?”

“Compare this to acoustic instruments. The search for extended techniques is emblematic of the creative spirit. The desire to subvert design”.

The Blurred Compilation Album (Track 13): Bill Thompson and Patrick Keenan – Improvised Performance

“I’m Bill Thompson, we’re going to start”.

Owww. Sine tone

Like vinyl noise.

Like vinyl noise.

High sine tone.

Like vinyl tone. Higher in the mix. More defined.

Source = water? Fire?
Pop.         Pop       Pop…       crackle


The footsteps of latecomers.

Skrayp of chair.

1  2  3, 1  2  3, 1  2, 1  2, 1  2  3, 1  2  3  4

Mid-low percussion kicks.

I close my eyes and wait for something to write.

Any number of images come into my mind.

The first being a view of the ocean today during a soundwalk.

Cold wind, ocean surf, ships in the middle distance. What does this have to do with these sounds?

Hi hi static sine tones, with slight beating.

Low register bass tones. Beating more noticeable.

Thompson pulls out a contact mic and battery powered fan. It makes a sound.

Beating pulse tones continue.

Cough from two seats to my left.

I look at the clock.

A lo to mid bass texture comes into the mix.

I am experiencing some in ear soundings.

A deeper bass texture increases its presence. Pulsing, pulsating.

Hi frequencies are now clearly sounding in my ears.

Not unpleasant. Not pleasant. What then?

A bass texture, pulsating comes into the foreground.

In ear tones continue. Maybe one of the extractor fans from the Heathrow smokers’ area have spawned a cartoon monster offspring that has tracked me here?

The sound of oars? Running stream water.

I am now inside the sound. Or rather, it is now inside of me.

Everything disappears other than pulsing pure tones.

As I move my head, so the effect changes. Hmmm…

The same tone that began the piece is still there.

I am sitting much closer to the left speaker than to the right. Am I missing something?

People seem much more comfortable and attentive to this than the last performance. Is this due to Thompson turning on a toy disco light? There is something strangely focusing about the banal play of light from yellow, to green to orange, to red to yellow to…

The threshold has fallen.

Low bass hum. Gentle.

In ear tones continue at a much more comfortable level.

Mid tone.

Click,                     glitch.

Glitch. Click.

Click, click, clik-clik, click, click, clik- clik.

Male voice (whispered) “This is shite.” (Scottish accent)
Near silence.


Lights up.

“Lots more tomorrow.”

The Blurred Compilation Album (Track 10) Rajesh Mehta “Sounding Buildings: New Music and New Architecture”

Keynote Address

The atmosphere is becoming more cordial in the room. People are chatting more with each other.

Rajesh began his professional career as an Acoustic Engineer and developed an interest in modern architecture and the acoustics of particular buildings. He has an interest in mapping and visual art, alongside a background in music, playing the trumpet. He began to approach his instrument as a modifiable architecture, a structure in which to intervene, and he has, over the years, developed a number of techniques to extend the trumpet using pipes, lamps, mutes and slides.

In the early 21st century his visual art began to intersect with the architectural drawings to which he was being exposed, and developed into meta-compositional scores, which he describes as ‘imaginational maps’.

This dynamic between score, instrument, architecture, space, and movement came together in a collaborative project called ‘Sounding Buildings’.

A-V technician wearing a headset is instructing a camera operator.

Mutter. Mutter.
playback > > DVD of the Film Project ‘Sounding Buildings’, MIT

Snik, Snik, SNik. DVD play.

Female voice – AhhHHh. Modulations in tone. No words.

Flute overlay.

DVD snik, snik – Screen and sound frozen for 3 seconds.

Rattle.                     Drone.
Insect type sounds.

Palimpsest video. Static buildings, maps.

Overlayed textures.

Arrhythmic rattles.

Difference video overlay.

Skratch.                 Scatta.                 Squiggle.

Tambourine. Tap and shake.

Drum tap lo.

Violin glissandi. Microtonal variations.

Rhythm disappears.

Cello. Lo glissandi. And Pluck.



Brass. Buzzy Swells. Almost as analogue synth resonant sweep.

Lo bowed strings.

Some suggestion of trumpet tonality.

Fade out. Screen transition to black.

Rajesh describes the importance of the DVD as an integrating medium. Video compositing and the synchronisation of audio and visual material acted as a ‘glue’ between disparate domains; namely the architecture of sound, derived from drawing notated scores and the architecture of environments. His concerns at this time were the historically reoccurring interest in possible synaesthetic translations from the visual to the audible domains.

He goes on to a more detailed discussion of his strategies with regards to his score making, and his development of a multidimensional approach in keeping with his architectural concerns. The scores he has developed address pitch, rhythm, melodic ornamentation, and spatial trajectories thorough the performance space.
“The music is constructed from a map – like an architect”.

Alongside this architectural construction of sound, is a complementary and contradictory deconstruction of the architecture of his instrument. He demonstrates his hybrid trumpet experiments; by removing the slides from the trumpets pipes, its sound becomes a spatialised simultaneity, operating both forwards and backwards, and also existing in a newly acknowledged immanence, surrounding the composer/performer alerting the audience to a reinvigorated engagement with the specifics of space.

He presents us with DVD documentation of a realisation of the project which occurred in Cork (year? Specifics?).

playback > >

ding DVD auto resume.

The camera moves through a modern art gallery at night, picking out the shadows of audience members moving freely through the space, and the illuminated faces of musicians and sound artists distributed throughout the gallery space.

Female voices. Reverberant in space.
Muted trumpet.
Electronics and laptop.
Kaospad. Version 2.
Bass trumpet.
Stratocaster. Highly effected and transformed.



Tone Generator.


“Different happenings all over the building. It’s hard to capture everything that was going on over 4 floors”.


Questions from the floor.

“How much were you hearing when you were drawing?”

“…a conscious choice about language, a monkey going up and down, and this takes time…”.

“…it was done very freely…”.

“It was mixed, but it was nice to be in a system that existed before and after listening”.

Rajesh expands upon this point and relates it to Hindi music theory, where ‘nada’, the struck sound, complements ‘anhatanada’, the unstruck sound. This ‘before sounding’ provides the metaphysical basis for sound-making within the culture from which his family originates.

“We’ll leave it there.”