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As far as possible, I wanted to explore the potential of Dafydd’s ‘call’ sample without, first, overwriting either the personality of the composer or the character of the composition to any great extent and, secondly, recourse to digital modulation or effects. The re-composition would be an exercise in acousto-analogue processing, primarily. A small amplifier (through which I played the ‘call’ sample), a digital recording device, and and microphone were set up in various contexts inside and outside of my house, in order to record the sound along with the natural ambiance of the different settings:

The sets ups were as follows:

• amplifier and recorder both in an undecorated and unfurnished bedroom
• amplifier at the top of the first flight of stairs, recorder and microphone at the bottom
• amplifier at the top of the a 3-storey stairwell, recorder and microphone at the bottom
• amplifier in the bathroom with the door closed, recorder and microphone outside
• amplifier in the kitchen with the door closed, recorder and microphone outside
• amplifier in the house with the door open, recorder and microphone in the garden
• amplifier, recorder and microphone in the garden (middle distance)
• amplifier, recorder and microphone in the garden (far distance)


On playback (and without prior cognizance of the set ups), it's impossible to guess the conditions under which any one sample was recorded. That is, with the exception of the exterior captures: the presence of birdsong and the distant shouts and hollers of rugby players in a distant sports field are superimposed upon the sound.

The new sample sample was played and rerecorded as follows:

• Through a 5.5 cm speaker using a small microphone, with both placed in a closed metal box
• Through a 5.5 cm speaker using a small microphone, with both placed in a closed plastic box
• Through a 5.5 cm speaker using a microphone, with both placed in a closed shoebox
• Through a 3.5 cm speaker powered by small tube amplifier using a large microphone, recorded in open studio
• Through a 5.5 cm speaker powered by a tube amplifier, using a small microphone, with the speaker and microphone placed in a closed metal box
• Through a 3.5 cm speaker powered by a tube amplifier, using a small microphone, with the speaker and microphone placed in a closed metal box
• Through a 100-watt guitar amplifier, using a large microphone, recorded in open studio

credits

from Call & Response, released September 9, 2015
Personnel: John Harvey and Dafydd Roberts

Instrumentation: ART Tube microphone preamp, Fender 100 watt Twin Reverb amplifier, Yamaha THR10 amplifier, Apple iPod (5th generation), Sony ECM-MS957 microphone, Tascam Dr-2d Portable Digital Recorder, 3.5 cm and 5 cm acoustic speakers, metal box, shoe box, Adobe Audition CS6

Context: recorded in Aberystwyth, UK, 16 November 2014

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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

Harvey is a historian of art, visual culture, and sound art, and also a sound- and visual-art practitioner. His research field is the visual and sonic culture of religion, principally. He explores non-iconic attitudes to visualization and sonic articulations of religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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