A piece Eccodek leader Andrew McPherson composed as part of a multi-disciplinary artist in residence programme in 2011. The culmination of the residency, which included lectures, workshops, performances and think-tanking was the creation of a work by the 5 participating artists based on the notion of one 'common pulse'. An electronic pulse was generated and available to all of us at our various work stations (open concept style, in an art gallery), and could be converted to whatever medium best suited our artform.
In my case, i chose MIDI, the language that modern musical instruments can converse in, allowing them to receive an infinite number of commands to colour and manipulate an instrument or sound. Others chose heat, voltage, on/off commands, etc.
The composition is heavily influenced by many of the great minimalists i love like Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Erik Satie, Debussy, Fennesz and others. The piece blends instruments, found sound and ambient sound from the area where the gallery was located. A raging river flowed nearby the gallery and its sound can be heard anchoring the whole piece as a morphing and undulating bedtrack of white noise. You also hear machine noises, sounds produced from some of the objects being created by the visual artists. Think of this as my musique concrete, as the French say.
It was pretty weird and cool at the same time. I felt a bit 'man before an empty canvas' at first, thinking 'how am i going to compose something based on the idea of a common pulse'? Well, after 3 weeks and countless dinners, retro-film screenings, nights of chasing the muse and so on, I created this exactly 12 minute piece, called Something in Common. I mean hey, we're on a clock here.
released 10 April 2013
Created, and performed by Andrew McPherson. copy. SOCAN 2013
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