sound art (alex keller)

All of these things (1999)

All of these things is composed of field recordings made in 1999 and a few recordings of texts read out loud. The recordings were both made on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state. One was from the forest on Pyramid Mountain, which was deathly quiet until the rain started, sounding like little hisses and pops. The other was from the military bunkers at Fort Worden. The bunkers have thick concrete walls and spaces between the rooms for isolation in case of explosions. The inherent resonance of the space causes the softest sound to become very noticeable.

The recordings were processed in several ways. Convolution, or using the pitch content of one piece of audio to control the equalization of another piece of audio, was the main technique. Sections were also stretched out over time: a ten second sound can be stretched to one minute, or ten minutes. Using these techniques I placed the mountain in the bunkers, the bunkers in the mountain, and both in my voice. Hiding or changing the statements in the text was the intention, as a purging ritual.

I used a Sony TCD-D8 DAT machine with a Sony ECM-MS5 microphone to make the recordings. SoundHack by Tom Erbe was used to process the recordings, and the piece was compiled with Pro Tools. The idea for the piece, to create a piece of personally cathartic art, originated from a discussion with my friend Paul Weinbach.