Composition with recorded material from London soundscapes

A while ago I composed a set of five pieces under the heading ‘Foreign Objects’.  My intention was to juxtapose recorded natural and man-made sounds with synthesised instruments.  Each piece is set in a different environment, for instance No.1 is on the London Underground, and No.2 is at a building site:

I have then taken another sound which would usually not be present in that environment and used it as the basis for my MIDI instrument parts.  For example, the geese in No.3 are doubled in a brass ensemble, which I intended to also mimic the sound of horns honking in the middle of all the traffic:

I wanted the set to become increasingly strange as it progressed, so for No.4 and No.5 I tried to leave the natural environments behind and explore the musicality more deeply:

Best listened to through headphones.

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4 thoughts on “Composition with recorded material from London soundscapes

  1. Thanks. The environment of the pieces is just spliced recorded material, but the instruments are the complicated part – I did a spectrogram of the recorded sounds, such as the birds, and reduced it to the fundamental frequencies. Then I used these frequencies as the basis of the chords in the intruments – I started with the note the frequency was closest to and then pitch bended it up or down. That was quite time consuming!

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