John Duncan

Infrasound -- Tidal

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The music on this album is all derived from scientific geological and meteorological data. In 1998, Densil Cabrera offered a set of tidal measurements he had "transcribed" into sound for sound artists to work with. John Duncan stepped up to the challenge. This first set (allegedly covering nearly 300 years of recorded tidal activity at 60 locations around Australia) was soon joined by a seismic set and a barometric set. Cabrera's sound sources follow meticulous rules of time compression, they are scientific audio representations of scientific data. Duncan used them as raw material to create a single 42-minute piece divided into four movements: tidal, seismic, seismic and barometric. The first section takes the form of an electronic drone, the oscillating sine waves mimicking the ebb and flow of the waters. The two "seismic" sections consist of tiny water drop-like sounds backed by a loud hiss. The last section is the most fascinating one: the barometric data has been shaped into slowly rising and falling tones. Cabrera's liner notes explain in detail his part of the project. On the other hand, Duncan -- who is responsible for the creative part and had the final say -- remains vague as to what he actually did to the source material. So Infrasound -- Tidal remains draped in a shroud of mystery that enhances its captivating appeal.

Track Listing

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