Music: Sun Hammer – Silent Ballot

Here’s how I know that the world is better off with me writing about music than creating it: On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a Future Sequence Records showcase, and caught some incredible performances by label head Radere, Marcus Fischer and Widesky (collaborating in an all-improvisational fashion), and Sun Hammer aka Jay Bodley.

I spoke with Bodley after his set to get some sense of how he pieced it together and he spoke of using the individual pieces/tracks from his most recent album, but reconfiguring them and adding effects; in essence, creating an entirely new album every time he plays a live set. I marveled at this, telling him that I just do not have the mental acuity to pull something like that off. I could never remember which piece was which and would tend to fall back on my punk/rock training and want to repeat it exactly as I recorded it.

Listening to this piece from Bodley — his contribution to Disquiet’s Silent Ballot project wherein a number artists took on the assignment to “investigate a recording of the voting process for its ‘sonic fingerprint.’ — that conversation came back to me. Particularly when I read the description Bodley wrote of it for his SoundCloud upload:

First, the original recording was cut into nine pieces of equal length. These were each looped, and triggered to start playing at their original order and time. They ended in the same order, resulting in a tapestry of 9 loops of equal length beginning and ending at different points in time. These were then treated with some light equalization effects and linked to the volume of the original recording, which had been stretched to the full length of the piece, and silenced in the final mix. Two additional copies of this were used, one tuned down an octave and the other up an octave, both of which were also processed with light delay and EQ effects, as well as gating linked to the stretched version of the original.

I understand it all, but am still boggled by how someone conceives of something like that. And it makes me even happier that artists like Bodley, or all the performers that I saw on Saturday, or all the other musicians who were with me in the basement of Townsend’s Tea for the show are out in the world creating this confounding and amazing sounds for us plebeians to enjoy and pontificate on. Keep up the good work, lads and lasses.


One thought on “Music: Sun Hammer – Silent Ballot

  1. thanks so much for coming out, it was a really nice evening.

    on a side note, please don’t let the signal path of others discourage you from working on your own art. 🙂

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