There is a new digital album for download at http://stuartrussell.bandcamp.com . This is the result of revising some electronic pieces that have been around for a while and I’ve finally found time to rework some of the ideas and engineering behind them. The first track “Burning the Fields” originally dated from 2007 and I have now revised it with both a stereo mix for the album and an 8 channel surround diffusion for electroacoustic concerts next year. The last track on the album is the 19 minute track “Transition/ Change” which was conceived as purely a live electronics piece for an event at the Slackspace gallery last year. I was given the task of writing and performing a piece that expressed transition/ change/ modify etc so I came up with this three movement piece which consists of small modules which repeat and mutate but also are confronted by different, opposing sections which then mutate the already repeating sections, the idea being that in this piece one can hear a process or a progression continuum without it sounding or being process music as such. I also included sections of live improvisation against pre-scored parts and pre-scored live parts, some of which I abandoned and changed live. I re-created the live piece in the studio, re-edited and revised the bits I ‘ think worked and recorded it live as if it was the same live event.
The track “Burning the fields” also has a programme note which I’ve included here :-
Burning the fields is an exploration of FM synthesis over 8 channel diffusion. The title comes from an experience I had whilst out walking 25 years ago in the East Anglican countryside not far from where I live, when I came very close to some fields which had been set on fire to burn the stubble. My experience of this had a lasting effect on me which I wanted to express musically; it started with the smell of burning which became more intense as I progressed down this country path. The wind had changed direction and was now blowing all the smoke and heat in my direction! The intense section of the music represents a point when I was completely enveloped in smoke and heat, and the 8 channel diffusion reflects this, finally leading to a calming coda, at which point I had passed through the cloud and back into relatively clean air, though still retaining some of the pungent burning smells. All the sounds of this piece had been generated with FM synthesis.