Virtual attempts to convey the idea of an illusory soundscape set in vibrant motion by the wind — an invisible and capricious source of energy for the ‘virtual’ objects in the space, the exact nature of which we are left to imagine. This idea extended partly out of my fascination with the process of making field recordings in the natural environment, where the wind is typically regarded as a pervasive and problematic intruder. But, in fact, the wind is often a part of the sonic signature of a place (especially in the notoriously windy city I was living in when I composed this piece). So I set out to record wind ‘noise’ trying to take advantage of the very active stereo play it produces across a pair of microphones (just as it does across our ear canals). Other sound identities were designed around this idea, mostly derived from turbulent air streams and tube resonances. I also attempted to give some of these complex sound shapes something of the spectral coloration of human vocal resonance, in an attempt to set up a sense of inanimate sounds taking on more animate behaviour. Linked to this are some characteristic patterns of spatial morphology within which these sounds evolve and transform.
Citation:Young, J. (1997) Virtual, on La Limite du Bruit, Montreal: Empreintes Digitales,IMED 0261
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