010MLLO, 8'25, 2020, stereo
Lie on the floor and take a deep breath followed by another breath.
009VIRU, 11'20, 2020, stereo
The first response to a pandemic is fear.
This virus infects you, takes control of your cells, propagates, spreads, and ultimately eats you alive. Your consciousness fades and fights through fever and your choked and faltering breaths.
It isn't personal, you see, you are simply a host.
My mother in law had strong opinions, one of which was that she was never afraid of anything that was smaller than her. She would use this assertion to taunt people who feared spiders or rodents, and lived in terror of mosquitoes and other biting insects. I do fear things that are smaller than me: fungal infections, bacteria, viruses. After all, germs spread by mosquitoes have killed far, far more people than people have.
Virus has 13 sections plus a short outro, each section lasts about 50 seconds.
Virus is not tonal; it sustains the same pitch throughout like a drone but in conflict with the quarter-tone shifts. The idea is to evoke the action and effect of a viral infection. As the immune system responds to and fights the virus, consciousness fades and floats through a queasy blur of sickness. Survival is paramount as you fight death.
As of April 2020, this was the ugliest music that I had made in many years. There is nothing uplifting here. I only hoped to see the other side of the pandemic, God willing.
011BNCE, 14'47, 2020, stereo
Disclaimer: No stringed instruments were harmed in the composition of this music.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the city and its airport quiet, so it was an appropriate time to capture quiet sounds at home.
I bounced the strings of three guitars and one baglama against a bookshelf. Three sets of microphones simultaneously captured the sounds of the bouncing strings. I edited the source recordings into motifs - mostly as wave-shaped envelopes - by layering the recordings, and then processed these motifs through effects.
The structure is in three movements introduced, separated, and concluded by four "ludes" - a prelude, two interludes, and a postlude - made up of waves of bounces. The movements express themes in mono and stereo variations in fugal exploration. Movements 1 and 2 follow similar layerings of textures; Movement 3 starts with a raw guitar phrase which it repeats with varying textures.
This composition has no accompanying narrative.
006BORD, 59 minutes 53 seconds, 1995, stereo
Border is the soundtrack to an installation about the American and Mexican border at Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. It floats through sonic textures and ambiences that evoke the desolate and oppressive mood of a national boundary.
Political borders are economic borders and are invented and enforced by people, but people are not welcome to visit and are barely tolerated to pass through. Borders are dangerous places; authorities take them very seriously.
But trade agreements can pry open borders but only enough that money can pass freely. People remain stopped.
The sounds refer to money and commerce - spilling and shaking of salt (salary) and coins - and hint at movement with the speeding of trucks. But the soundscape is muffled and slowed to give a stronger feeling of blockage, caution, and surveillance. It is mostly devoid of people and animals. Water is a frequent theme as the separator, and a helicopter regularly monitors any human activity.