instag/am/bient - drawing + sound
I have a drawing and a sound piece in instag/am/bient, an image/sound collaboration album put together by Marc Weidenbaum of the great blog disquiet.
His plan was to have 25 artists/musicians swap images that have been through instagram (a popular iOS image sharing/maniputating app/website). Then each participant would create a sound piece based on the image they received.
I was sneaky and turned in a manipulated drawing, not a photo, but since this is mostly what I post in instagram it made sense. My drawing is from a photo I saw online of a battle in Libya earlier this year. There are more like it here to see here, and a little book related to it here. Christopher Bissonette made a wonderful sound piece for it (listen here).
I got a great and evocative image from Linda Aubrey Bullock to make my sound piece from (you can see it in the PDF booklet of the project here).
I'm not a musician but I have become fascinated with field recordings and manipulated sound over the part few years (mostly due to reading Weidenbaum's great disquiet blog). I've especially liked, and drawn from, the work of Aaron Ximm aka Quiet American. He does a great job of keeping a strong connection to the recorded sound while still composing and creating something new and alive; something to rival the original field recording.
I've been making simple field recordings and posting them at SoundCloud (my kids playing, a train, some animals). Doing these documentations seemed like drawing in my sketchbook to me - to remember, to aestheticize a little, to try to make something out of them.
For instag/am/bient I looked at the image I was given of a car side mirror, ice/rain and weird light and went out looking for sounds to record that could work with the photo. I ended up with some rain and car sounds, a hum of a powerline and some other mechanical rumbles I found by walking around my neighborhood late at night. I sometimes go on "drawing safaris" and this felt like that. SNEAKY.
I smashed all the sound together and tried to "compose" it. Weirdly, doing that felt natural - like making comics or books. In comics and music there's a pace and composition over time and that I got. I might be fooling myself, but I think I understood at least the basics of it from all the drawing work I've made.
The final instag/am/bient album is really great. There are some wonderful tracks on it, including a few by folks I've been fans of for a while. I am humbled and surprised to be in such great company - I really have no idea what I'm doing and I know my equipment is pretty lame (iPhone4 mic for recording, Garageband and SoundBooth for editing). Still, I'm really really proud to be the lowly amateur among these great artists.
It's also given me a taste of what can be done. Equipment is being purchased. Secret plans for projects are already forming. Trouble is brewing.
Thanks to all the other participants for their great images and sounds and one million thanks to Marc for making the project happen and for having me participate.