For Anomalous City we have endeavored to create a multi layered sonic environment which the audience will travel through at their leisure. If you come to the Anomalous City performance this Tuesday you will be treated to over an hour and a half of other previously composed music that we have stitched together into a seamless whole. There will be peaks and valleys of activity and density, with the overall aim of bringing the audience on a journey through unfamiliar sonic territories and back again. Two of the highlights of the evening will be Our Trip to The Kansas City Zoo as well as the reimagining of Analog Drift.
Since our premiere performance of this evening was delayed due to inclement weather we changed our way of thinking about what we could accomplish with what we had planned. The performance at White Hall served to be a test laboratory for our ideas about separate spaces and time unfolding as a seamless whole. Because we couldn’t ask the audience to be in motion for our performance we instead used White Hall as a test for whether or not the recorded environment was sufficient by itself or if we needed to add movement into the sonic field. The outcome of our experiment was that yes indeed we do need to build front to back and left to right movement of the pre-recorded sounds to our piece when we perform at Prairie Logic this coming August 25th.
Our original idea was to take a walk through the Kansas City Zoo and record all of the locations and animals encountered along the way. During our first trip two of us (Michael and Ted) were tasked with taking location recordings of different animals in their habitats, while a third (Russell) was tasked with recording the whole time as he walked from one animal to the next. Eli then took these source recordings and performed her Eli-tronic manipulations to arrive at the ultimate form of the piece. In our proposal we wanted to bring anomalous sounds into the listening environment, sounds that didn’t fit what the audience thought they were supposed to be hearing.
By bringing the sounds of wild animals (which aren’t native to the prairie) into the prairie we are creating a palimpsest of different locations in both time and space for our audience to discover.
For our performance the audience will be encouraged to move about the Prairie Logic space of their own accord, adding their own third layer of time and space to the environment we have already constructed. In addition to the audience being able to choose their own path, Africa and Australia will trade places over the course of the performance, eventually swapping locations entirely through the cunning use of panning and stereo manipulation. Think of it like this, Africa will start hard left in panning and eventually migrate to hard right by the end of the piece, while Australia completes it’s course in vice versa, right to left.
In Mnemosyne we are always thinking about the possibilities for letting music occur out of the natural sonic environment we find ourselves in during the day to day course of our lives.
-- written by Russell Thorpe