The source material for this assignment was any spoken passage (I recorded a short excerpt from “I Get a Hit“), from which only the unvoiced consonants were allowed. The only processing allowed for this project was cut, copy, paste, and changing the amplitude. With these processes, a somewhat surprising variety of effects are possible.

At first, I experimented mostly with pasting whole consonant sounds, and ordering them to make rhythmic motives. However, I quickly realized that, by taking a very small section of any given sound and pasting it repeatedly, it would make a buzzing tone with a perceptible pitch. In my third draft, I used mainly this effect, and I also began experimenting with both creating the illusion of movement through space by passing the sounds around the speakers and the effects caused by removing the middle of a sound, leaving the beginning and ending.

In the final version of the composition, I created pulse waveforms by repeatedly copying and pasting single samples. These shapes are both very easy to tune to specific pitches, and also add variety to the pallet available within the piece. I began to use changes in amplitude to dynamically shape the sounds; this gave them a slightly more natural, gestural quality. Finally, I experimented with the boundary between tone and impulses. I did this by stretching out a sound until it stopped sounding like a tone and morphed into something more like a series of ticks. Using all the effects I discovered in the previous three drafts, as well as the illusive “silence”, I created the piece above.

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