Bjarni Gunnarsson: Volume & Void

Volume & Void album cover.

Bjarni Gunnarsson: Volume & Void.

“Composed through experimental scheduling algorithms that explore the duality of immediate, direct events with gradual and evolving processes.”

While not quite as academic an exercise as, “Data sonification of the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence,” that does sound a bit dry. Fortunately, the sounds generated by the exercise are not so dry as the theory.

One thing I like about Volume & Void is that the progression of the pieces, while not musical in the traditional sense most of the time, do have a natural feel. Like sitting on your porch listening to a thunder storm. There is no “Theme and Variation” or “Call and Response”, but certain sounds have repetitive characteristics that evolve or change as the pieces progress.

Some parts of pieces might sound like a close mic on an insect chewing a leaf. Others a the sound effect from a b-movie of a hovering UFO. Others a needle scraping across a vinyl album. Or even tap dancing shoes. But certainly none of the more typical sound sample or rhythmic hallmarks associated with more commercial electronic music. Some nice speaker stretching low end booms, though.

There is a lot of variety in sounds and an active use of the sound/mixing/space/mind stage to blend or transform the various sounds dramatically. Quiet to Loud, Loud to Quiet.

The album is always progressing and always interesting, and, like a thunderstorm, you never quite know what will happen next.

It is also a very different experience to listen to loudly in the car and on headphones, in ways I can’t quite quantify.

As the name of the album implies, a lot of the album’s “musicality” and “listenability” comes from the tension between the “volume” levels of the sounds used in contrast to each other and the tension between the sounds and the “void” between the sounds.

“Stash System and sounds created during the summer of 2020 in Scheveningen, The Hague.”

#SuperPang #SP15 #BjarniGunnarsson #VolumeAndVoid #NowPlaying #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Porya Hatami: Aggregatum

Porya Hatami: Aggregatum

Porya Hatami: Aggregatum

There are 32 tracks on this album, most are around a minute long, with two approaching an epic 4 minutes.

Most of the pieces are grouped by name: Canto [A-C], Rima [0-6], Aiôn [0-9], Drip [0-9]. Along with the Canto songs, three named songs bracket the collection, “Time-Image”, “Movement-Image”, and “Recollection-Image”.

I can’t say I can particularly detect any similar organizational method or sound source used for pieces with similar names. Occasionally there are sounds which might have been created by instruments, but mostly this feels like manipulated noise/sound sources. There certainly isn’t anything that qualifies as electronic “music”, closer to the spirit of Musique concrète.

Some albums drop you into a sonic worlds all of their own and this is one of those albums.

I found it compelling from start to finish. Definitely a favorite, (so far,) from the SuperPang library.

Even though the pieces are short, there is a feel of progression between the various short bursts of sound.

I will say, for best effect, I think you should listen to this album with headphones or in a quiet room. It is not particularly good driving music.

Porya Hatami (b.1981) is an experimental sound artist based in Sanandaj, Iran. His compositions explore the balance between electronics and environmental sounds, utilizing processed acoustic and electronic sources. and field recordings. His debut album released on the UK based Somehow Recordings in January 2012.”

“Composed and recorded by Porya Hatami in Sanandaj, 2017”

#PoryaHatami #SuperPang #SP16