Serendipity is my friend: here’s how I got around to making this “song” or “track.”
I was checking email yesterday around 4:50 and noticed in my Gmail window that there would be yet another of what seems to be an interminable procession of Republican debates, being streamed online by CBS. So at 5:00 I tuned in. It was another anti-Obama rant-fest punctuated by occasional sensible remarks from Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, the occasional snap from the ever-redundant Newt Gingrich (what ever happened to his intellect?) and even a good response re foreign policy from the dim-witted Michelle Bachman. Overall though it was theater: hot air spouting shrouded in “pick me I’m the most conservative, Tea Partier up here” blatancy. Rick Perry spent his time trying not to remind the audience that Texas is in the dumps while not screwing up again. Herman Cain continues to be a disgrace, he should step down from these primaries if he really believes the Presidency of this country is a respected office in our democracy. Cain and Bachman support torture by the way, and also believe water-boarding is not torture.
Now, it’s real easy to pick on people who may or may not be smarter than they appear, but if these people want to spend their debating time pandering to their constituent base, while spreading massive untruths about Obama and also the economy that he inherited, then in my book it makes them a target. So I thought I’d write something about these debates. But as I mentioned above, along came serendipity.
During a commercial break in the debates I discovered a link to the Mars Rover’s Three-year trek across the red planet. (Video below.) The soundtrack to the captured images in the video was transfixing – the sounds of the little vehicle making its way across the different terrain created a weird scratchy, ambient audio pattern. I was still watching and listening to the video when the debate started again in another window and I realized the video soundtrack was a perfect match to the politician’s soundbites. I grabbed Get Tube, ripped the Mars Rover audio and filed the idea away for later, as it were. I have to admit that the idea of these spoken word transmissions being intercepted by the Mars Rover rather amused me.
The serendipity continued. Later last evening I was watching a DVD that my friend Roy Christopher had sent to me – Will Wright, the game designer and Brian Eno: Playing With Time, a seminar about long-term thinking and gaming, especially Spore. (Fora.TV streams it here.) It’s a fascinating debate but I won’t get into it here except to say that Eno mentioned the idea of “making seeds rather than forests” a generative systems process guided by simple rules, an idea that has long informed his work. I liked it. It made me realize that I could make something that could be a seed, where my only rule is to ask you, the reader, to share something. I had found the opportunity to create a musical piece that could serve to be critical of public speaking politicians seeking office, without having to write a long screed outlining my own personal political beliefs. As I use only pronouncements from these politicians that were spoken and recorded in public it allows the listener to listen to their “truthiness” and make up their own minds.
Here’s the music samples I used:
The Mars Rover audio recordings make up the crackling, white noise background throughout (listen in the video below)
The main rhythm track loops throughout are from Tendency and Moiré by Jan Jelinek from his album Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records
The constant, high-pitched flute sound is a sample from Gammi by Disjecta from the album Clean Pit & Lid
The occasional low bass sound is also from the same cut by Disjecta
The moody undertow with vocal atmospherics that begin around 2:00 are from the recent 12″ vinyl release, Four Walls by Massive Attack and Burial
And finally, the beats under the spoken word outro are from the same Massive Attack and Burial cut
Here’s the result: Click to play or right click/control click to download. It’s a 320kbs 15mb MP3 file.
Feel free to share it on your own website or blog or just hit the share buttons below. Thanks! I’ve also found that for more white noise effect you can hit play on both the MP3 and the video simultaneously..