To create the collage:
I used almost all of Transient Harmony, about 18 of the original 20.5 minutes. I cut the original piece down into three large chunks or samples. The original timing of those samples is: A) 1 – 10’ B) 10’31” – 12’46” C) 14’10” – 21’40”. In Fragmented Realities, these chunks represent the time our participants spend on the train. It follows that sample A begins the piece and sample C concludes it.
I used a slightly truncated version of Analog Drift Tour, just over 16 minutes. This single giant chunk of music is nestled between Samples A and C of Transient Harmony. The explosion that originally represented the AI’s birth of consciousness (in Analog Drift), and the subsequent synthesized sounds that represented its attempts at communication, now represent the same in our train.
My treatment of My Trip to The Kansas City Zoo is pretty complicated. Six cuts were made, whose original timings were: D) 1’37” – 5’; E) 5’03” – 6’ 07”; F) 7’51” – 8’54”; G) 9’30” – 10’40”; H) 14’ 05” – 15’ 30”; I) 16’ – 17’ 20”.
Almost all distinction between passive and active participants is made with this material, as evident by the sound of people, and often their footsteps, heard only in the active stream (coming from peoples phones). As the active stream illustrates movement, so does the passive stream (coming from the stage speakers) illustrate a lack of movement, focusing on fixed animal sounds and natural environmental sounds (streams, waterfalls, etc.) Five of these samples (E, F, G, H, and I) are superimposed atop one another, and embedded between the train’s synthesized attempts at communication (the Analog Drift sample). These samples are mixed in a way to indicate relative proximity of the two groups: those who were injured and therefore immobile (passive observers) and those who are walking around the park (active participants).
Sample D is unique to the Zoo samples in that it is only heard in the Active Stream. It is also the only Zoo sample to occur before the train’s explosion, beginning at 6’37”. At this point, the violent slamming of a birdcage door will serve to alert active participants to the beginning of their version of the story.
As sample D continues, bird sounds slowly begin to seep into the passive track, suggesting that both groups, while distanced from one another, still occupy the same location at The Kansas City Zoo. Increasing bird activity eventually culminates in the sound of the Zoo’s famous turn crank, welcoming both groups to the shortcut to Africa. Now 10 minutes into the piece, the train-derailing stampede begins.
Roughly 2 of Fragmented Realities 33.5 minutes are original material: the minute long stampede, and a transitional thunderstorm that begins at 20 minutes and 30 seconds.
Overall the collage looks like this:
Fragmented Realities from Eric Souther on Vimeo.
This video preview shows the moment the train begins to establish consciousness and attempts to communicate with its surroundings: 15’28”.
Blog Post Written by Michael Miller