Composing soundscapes from a single field recording

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Seeing The Inadudible, Hearing The Invisible


Australasian Computer Music Association


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Tsang, C. (2019). Composing soundscapes from a single field recording. In Proceedings of the ACMC 2019: Seeing the inaudible, hearing the invisible (pp. 58-62). Australasian Computer Music Association. https://computermusic.org.au/conferences/acmc-2019/


This paper will discuss the multiple uses of a single original field recording in relation to the author's own work, with inspiration drawn from composer Joanna Bailie's works. Bailie views the prolongation of frequencies in field recordings as a way of "freezing" a section of time, to explore the essences of the frequencies found within a particular point in time - turning the moment into a decipherable stretch of time for the mind. This elongation also allows the exploration of emotion and musicality of a moment, by exposing hidden harmonies and rhythms. The paper will discuss methods of composing with a single field recording (time-stretching, layering, and the use of effects and panning), through examining two pieces from the author - Corridor [2018] and The Insect Apocalypse [2018] - and how such a process, with its combination of artistic and technological interventions, can also create pieces that mediate on the ecological stresses found within the original field recording.

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