Critical Mass by Ben Carey published on 2010/08/05 07:43:23 +0000 From within dense masses of sound, sonic entities emerge and interact, exploring the space and surrounds of their environments. As they chart their own unique trajectories, they gain in momentum, coalescing and redefining the environments in which they reside. Reaching a Critical Mass, sonic materials shift and divide, transfer their energy to newly formed materials, and give rise to unexpected sounds and structures. This work is comprised of a variety of sound materials from the purely synthetic, to household items and field recordings, as well as recordings of some extended techniques of the alto saxophone. The main premise of the work was to explore a variety of ways in which sound materials – be they of synthetic or acoustic origin – could be combined, altered and contrasted with each other, whilst maintaining a cohesive sonic and structural whole. On the micro-level, algorithmic processes were often used to generate, manipulate and sequence various sonic trajectories. An interplay between slowly evolving textures and restlessly active surface materials is heard throughout the work, with these vastly contrasting materials often sharing the same acoustic origin.