Hypnotic and chant-like, this Christian Carrière composition hums and vibrates with what sounds like a chorus of electronic synthesizers.
But that’s not what you’re hearing. It’s actually all a “no-input mixer” – a rig that makes use of controlled feedback rather than any other source of sound. It is, as Montreal-based composer Christian describes it, the sound of the circuits inside the mixer singing. And while you may associate feedback with angry distortion, here it’s beautifully tranquil, the rich tones of the circuitry themselves transformed into oscillators. The patterns and layers are all made with a looper.
We heard music like this before from Christian, back when he was covering Estonian composer Arvo Pärt:
No-Input Pärt: ‘Fratres,’ Played on a Mixer, is Eerily Beautiful
This time, an original composition accompanies an installation. Christian explains to CDM:
[My music] sometimes sounds a bit like analog synths… is certainly based in looping… but is entirely made with controlled audio mixer feedback (aka no-input console ). I use the EHX 2880 multi-track looper, which allows you to pitch the loops up or down, in semi-tone increments. Lots of fun…
Recently, Montreal-based collective mere phantoms asked me to make a soundtrack for a shadow installation they set up at the 2013 Istanbul Biennial in Turkey, which runs until October 20th. All the individual tracks that make up the mix were recorded in August 2013, live… no overdubs.
If you’re near Istanbul, there’s still time:
13th Istanbul Biennial
I’ll talk about the installation separately, as it touches on an idea on which I’ve been reflecting a lot lately – plays of shadow and light – but you can check out it and other work at the Mere Phantoms site:
More of Christian’s music: