Pure Distortion (2006)

for electroacoustic media
4 minutes

Program Note


Take distorted coarse sounds, and combine them in a way that creates a sonorous harmony.  Or, take pure acoustic sounds, and distort them in a rather harsh way.  Either possibility results in “Pure Distortion”.   

Saxophone growls, squeaks and clicks develop into effects that are quite similar to those that can be created in electronic music.  My objective was to take these acoustic sounds, combine them with electronic effects, and consequently produce timbres that could not be done with either medium by itself.  

In some cases, I transposed samples high enough so that the core of the sound was lost, resulting in a scratchy or fragile transformation.  In others, I added frequency modulation to multiphonics, and the sounds can convolve together and fade in an out.  The swells for instance, integrated ambient synthesized sounds with altered saxophone samples, allowing each to become a part of the other.   In other passages, I created a contrast between key clicks and metallic sounds derived from dropping and spinning coins.   The form is repetitious and organic, allowing distinctive timbres to emerge together.