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disc two track ten - 3:44

Claude Schryer - Vancouver Soundscape Revisited: Fire (2e movement)

ANALYSIS: writing about and with sound

This piece is a soundscape in the traditional sense: concrete recordings assembled together like waves that wash the listener with one atmosphere, then another. Yet each atmosphere is a collage itself, with nothing but the brain to put the pieces together. In a kind of wave pool of sound. This one; an oldish sentiment, in newish times. But as well, just a piece of the larger and "complete" sound piece.

We begin with clapping, hitting, and other modest forms of making a festive beat. There are ambient sounds from a carnival type atmosphere, such as muffled music… bells coming in… chanting. Conversation, directions. Church bells in the distance, tennis ball hits. (This piece seems to bury the bones of the present (excellently recorded tennis ball hits) in the soil of the past (the archival Vancouver Soundscapes the author borrowed and transformed from Simon Frasier University)) They mix well together, as layered packaging. A bubble within a bubble, within a…
Next we place some money into a change mechanism… it is pushed in, comes out, and the old piano bar music begins. And seagulls in the background plea. A machine begins to rise in power and stature, turned on, gaining frequencies, volume, and domination over the sound field. A phone rings but no one answers. The gulls continue. Boats start to blow their horns lonesomely. The phone continues. The boat horns become musical instruments of their own. There is an old remembrance of that old French tune "alouetta", and the horns continue to sound, awakening all boat souls to join in… to slow down, breath deep, and sound serious. Together they sound. Ambient noize provides the clouds of the space, while we remain between water and sky. There is one last dramatic horn sigh, and the piece ends, as the fog lifts.

I didn't see any fire though.

analysis by Sophia Male

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