Monthly Archives: May 2013

This residency has turned out (so far), in my case, and for whatever reason, to be concerned with the possibility of transversal movements between long waves (economic, cultural, political) and micro, infra-legible territories of potential action. How can a long wave be accessed through sonic practice—processes of accumulation, punctually accessible through visual representations (charts), yet elusive in the time-bound nature of sound. How can sound’s irreducible indebtedness to time be temporarily short-circuited in order to give evidence to historical processes, as if hearing through a deep incision? Is a fictional, hyperreal, hyperstitional construct the only manner of ingress into such accumulation? (slow density, episode 2 (see below), proposes the incorporation of synthetic, speculative elements, in the form of predictive sine-wave motions, as an anachronistic noise which deviates continuity (in which no radical break is truly possible as continuity is always assured—a Bergsonian aporia addressed by Bachelard in the Dialectic of Duration) from its steady path, forcing various collapses of the field recording’s pretenses to objectivity). It’s not so much about the sonification of this or that wave, but more of a zone of resonance, where amplified traces mutually condition each other, and where feedbacks are foregrounded. Moreover and more importantly, how does the consciousness of what appear to be periodic waves (such as depicted by Kondratiev, illustrating the autonomous nature of the market and its imperviousness to state measures (Keynesian or other), much to the chagrin of Stalin, who promptly interned him in a gulag where he died in 1938), beyond the control of any one individual, apparently only shaped by the actions of massive, molar movements, inflect the capacity for molecular disruption, erupting the future in the present? Looking at the K-Waves one is immediately aware of being caught in a particular season, which seems to invalidate the very possibility of repatterning the system in an instant, or ejecting from it altogether. One’s life trajectory appears isomorphic with, inextricably correlated to 50-60 year cycles; born in Summer means something very different than born in Winter.  “Eric A.” has made a valuable contribution in his two-part series “A Brief History of Cycles and Time“, which suggests that economic rhythms set their own pace, and the worst hasn’t yet happened because “it isn’t time.” If the K-Waves allow for a certain type of long-term prediction, then how can the ground be primed in the meantime, while awaiting the next collapse?

A diagram of time scales at the beginning of Curtis Roads’ Microsound awaits deeper analysis, and possible correlation with some of the above-mentioned ideas.


Attempts to sonically lasso the affective temperament of the windy city were distracted last evening—out of partial desperation occasioned by the weird shifts in mood impelled by historical waves—by a wholly other type of scenario. A four-track wave machine, built to provide analogies for long economic waves (Kondratief-style or other), was accidentally triggered while listening to songs by Chicago, the band. Noticing that the machine had a tendency to achieve a certain kind of stability around their music, I rejigged some of the numbers feeding the randomizer, which appeared to induce the waves to outline the harmonic/melodic structure of each song. Up tempo numbers and ballads alike drew the waves into their perimeter, or just outside of it. Note that no actual physical connection exists between the wave machine (constructed in MAX) and the iTunes playback of Chicago songs. You can hear the wave machine catching up with each song, as if listening before determining its course.

I’m going to revamp the patch so that it collects the random numbers inflecting each wave direction and speed. Perhaps these numbers will provide other tangents, when charted visually.

The songs which made up the session were mostly recorded during the first 5 years of the band’s existence. Later numbers (the last 2) seem to work equally well (I’ll leave it to someone with a tougher stomach to essay the David Foster-era monstrosities):

20-sine or 6 to 4

Make Me Sine

Colour Sine World

Wishine You Were Here

Feeling Stronger Every Sine

Questsines 67 & 68

Sine on Me

Sineturday in the Park

Does Anyone Really Know What Sine it is?

If You Sine Me Now

Baby What a Big Sineprise

Listen to the full 44 minute session here.

EPISODE 1 of slow density, as realized live on Free Radio SAIC, May 20 2013.

Listen here.

pansonic conversations, overheard, processed into melodic pulsations, flipping switches, intercomversations, capturing the affective charge of Chicago, temporal sinkholes, overlaid interpretations, shepard tones indicating trends, primings, foregrounding the repetitive, the wave coming into awareness of itself, sounds that generate an immediate sense of context, winging it until something arrives