Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We begin bombing in 10 minutes

That Steve Reich box I picked up a few weeks ago has provided many hours of enjoyment; there's nothing like driving around at night with one of his marimba-driven compositions providing an ambiguous soundtrack of anticipation. Still, I'm a little sad the box houses only one of Reich's two landmark found-audio loops from the 1960s, namely this one:



Because, as trippy as that one is, I've always preferred the gospel-sermon energy of the other one (not on the box):



In both cases, it's interesting to listen to the pieces 40 years (holy crap!) down the line, after Byrne/Eno and Negativland, after a couple decades of hiphop and electronic dance music turning appropriation into a clich├ę. They feel slower, more sedate, and way too long, to be sure, but they also possess a depth and singularity of focus that later experiments/ripoffs/cash-ins don't. They also sound awesome when you crank them up.

I bring up Reich mainly as an excuse to share two far more recent finds:

1)The Freesound Project, described as
a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. The Freesound Project provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to ...
•browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a "sounds-like" type of browsing and more
•up and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license
•interact with fellow sound-artists!

A virtuous goal, to be sure, but to hell with virtue. Let's get to the juicy stuff:

2)Handy audio clips of Bill O'Reilly reading the naughty bits of his 2001 audiobook version of Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Television and Murder. (First came to my attention here.) Trust me, you'll have Bill's unforgettable voice ringing in your ears for weeks, ordering you to "Cup your hands under your breasts and hold them for ten seconds" in a tone that suggests a workout instructor.

For added fun, play all of the above simultaneously. While cupping your hands under your breasts and holding them for ten seconds, of course.

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