Room Harmonics: Magna

12 10 2011

A new exploration of architecture and acoustics, and this time in a different type of building. So far, most recordings i have done were in churches and abbeys. i have just had a rare opportunity to work in an industrial building and compare how different the results can be.

I started by playing the saxophone, as usual, sounding out the place. At first, i reacted to the environment and what i was hearing, and responded by playing abstract sounds, extended techniques, that merged into the existing soundscape.

Gradually, as the place became quieter, i could work more with the reverb and colour of the space. Focusing on the inner quality, the acoustics, the architecture. So my playing became more tonal, sending notes into the space and searching for resonant frequencies…

In any case, this project is not so much about the playing itself, and in the end result, the saxophone sound has totally disappeared – so that what i played is really not relevant. This is more about architecture and how it translates into sound, how the physical space is represented by harmony, tones, wave length.

In Magna, the spirit of steel is still present, although the place has been turned into a museum. The sound is a lot more raw than in a church. And it felt i had to work the space harder, perhaps longer in order to get results. And at some point, some very interesting rhythms and movements in space developed, very much like an industrial machine at work. Sounds were moving across the very large hall, inhabiting what is now known as ‘the face of steel’, ebbing to the beating of a ghost machine.

Soon enough, the whole works were resonating. And the place finally started churning out its resonant tones, full of textures and full of the screams of molten steel.

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Magna Steel Works

room harmonics: magna tones final generation

recorded in magna steel works, sheffield, 10 october 2011

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room harmonics: generation 11

recorded in magna steel works, sheffield, 10 october 2011

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room harmonics: generation 7

recorded in magna steel works, sheffield, 10 october 2011

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room harmonics: original sax improvisation

recorded in magna steel works, sheffield, 10 october 2011

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Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works
Magna Steel Works

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One response

7 03 2013
Yibo Hu

these are really amazing 🙂 im deeply touched… you should select the best solos at different sites and put out an solo album !! (or is it already done!)

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