I'm wanting to get in touch with people who make music solely out of field recordings - no instruments, no beats, few effects; just collections of pure environmental ambience. Does anyone know of any movement like this going on anywhere?
Also, most of the artists on this label work with field recordings in some way
Linse thanks very much.
This technique is often refered to as "concrete" composition. The first of the "musique concrete" composers came around in the early 1900's. After vinyl records and cassette tapes were invented, it became much easier for these artists to record and play back recordings. Some composed entire symphonies with multiple phonographs playing simultaneously. This movement wa short-lived in Europe, though, and even shorter in the United States. It has become rare to find concrete artists since the original musique concrete composers began the 'movement'.
No, I didn't copy that from wikipedia, I just typed it now.
Yes, it is kind of musique concrete, although what I'm after isn't as precisely chopped up and orchestrated as what Pierre Schaeffer or Varese used to get up to. I'm thinking more of long (like several minutes) field recordings mixed together with a minimum of edits and effects.
I believe Bernie Krause does this to an extent; but he does use his field recordings as samples and makes beats, instrument sounds, etc. from them sometimes.
Hello Stuart - have you checked out SoundTransit - an excellent site dedicated to field recordings. If you locate the "about" page there are lots of links to "phonography" sites which are along the lines you describe. Good luck.
Hi Scott and ERH,
Thanks very much for your help. Soundtransit is exactly what I was after, while Bernie Krause's thoughts on editing in field recordings was very interesting indeed. Plus I believe he did the crazy sound design for Apocalypse Now!
Thanks everyone for the assistance, this has been really useful.
Lawrence English in Brisbane, Australia is great at this. He owns Room40 record label and curates events all round the place. Google him... its exactly what youre after