Velvet Skin, Heart of Steel
24 channels, 3rd order Ambisonics, 2013
The Bing Concert Hall may appear to be sonic velvet, gracefully covered with multiple overlapping sinusoidal curves carved from warm resonant wood, its sails and cloud ceiling caressing all sounds produced on stage into enveloping beauty, but at the core, the Bing Concert Hall is made of steel. I had a chance to bang on the steel beams as they were waiting on the ground before construction began. Sleeping steel, biding for its time of hidden glory. I also climbed on top of the “cloud” ceiling after construction was finished, recorder in hand, and spent one hour getting sounds out of anything that could be banged or scrapped or bowed. Some of those sounds are included in this collage and short etude that is a prelude for a longer piece. Included are metal doors banging in asymmetrical rhythms, steel pipes and beams of all shapes and sizes, big ventilation fans left over after construction, and much more. The sonic materials were coaxed into musical form using Bill Schottstaedt's s7 Scheme language interpreter and CLM.