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kagbeni variations ( 2004 )

2xCDR available, $108 or barter.

Disk one: one twenty-one minute field recording made in Nepal.
isc two: variations composed from the source recording.

Please listen to the source recording first.

An exercise in listening and process. Each variation is the result of the application, by hand, of a specific procedure to an excerpt from the source recording. Book I, basic processes, variations 1-22; Book II, combination processes, variations 24-31.

source recording 29 MB Twenty-one minute unprocessed field recording documenting a festival celebrating the Buddha's birthday. Made on May 7, 2001, in Kagbeni, a medieval village at the top of the Jomson valley in the Annapurna region of Nepal, situated on a major historical trade route with Tibet.

The town's Tibetan Buddhism shows the heavy influence of animist religion; on either end of the warren of Kagbeni's cobbled streets stand overtly anatomically correct male and female effigies. Much of this recording captures a procession of townspeople bearing scripture on their backs as they process before the large male effigy; during the ceremony the figure was supplicated with tossed offerings and attended by a a smoldering juniper fire, which you can hear crackling at the end of the recording as I approach.




variation 1 1.6 MBConverging revelation: frequencies restored successively to a looped sample from above and below, beginning with silence.
variation 2 1.1 MBSample punctuated by interrupting delays of regularly oscillating length.
variation 31.1 MBOscillating duty cycle varying the cross-fade point between two superimposed samples of equal length.
variation 4 3.4 MBForward translation of in and out points across a sample, at fixed relative offset.
variation 5 6.9 MBBackward translation of in and out points across a sample, at fixed relative offset.
variation 6 1.1 MBRecursive translation backward of sample in and out points (recursion depth two).
variation 7 3.1 MBProgressive translation of in and out points (of fixed offset) forward and backward, alternating each direction six successive times, progressively increasing translation distance from origin.
variation 8 1.9 MBTranslation by fixed offset of alternating sample in and out points forward and backward from a common origin, overlaid with the same procedure applied to the same sample, but converging rather than diverging.
variation 9 1.6 MBRecursive bisection of a sample swapping halves' positions, resulting in perfect time reversal (some iterations omitted).
variation 103.1 MBTwo centerpoint-aligned layers superimposed, both generated at different offsets with the following procedure: sample length first increased by translating sample out point forward, then decreased by translating sample in point forward.
variation 11870KBSimple retriggering: regularly repeating but arbitrary pattern of progressive in and out point pairs, always moving forward across a sample.
variation 123.9 MBInterleaved retriggering: progressive retriggering as in Variation 11, but alternating with samples progressing backwards across a reversed copy of the source loop following an inverse pattern.
variation 132.7 MBReversal of the ordering of contiguous samples of equal length, through successive simultaneous regular relative offset translations, momentarily creating a moment of perfect juxtaposition of all samples.
variation 143.2 MBVarispeed bifurcation: superimposition of two copies of the same sample simultaneously slowly speeding up and slowing down.
variation 15 1.7 MBPhase cancellation progressively offset: one phase-inverted copy of a sample initially aligned with another translated out of a phase with it one physical sample at a time.
variation 162.3 MBProgressive translation by fixed increments forward and backward of equidistant in and out points in two superimposed stereo-reversed layers, palindromically originating in and returning to origin, with resultant recurring perfect stereo cancellation.
variation 17 3.2 MBAccreting superimposition of contiguous successive samples of fixed length, adding each successive sample after four repetitions, evolving from depth one to three, then one to four; twice successively,
variation 182.8 MBRecurrent pattern of contracting then expanding progressive retriggered excerpts of a single sample, result superimposed with a stereo-reversed and offset copy of itself.
variation 191.9 MBSeven mutually-exclusive descending frequency band filters applied successively to seven repetitions each of fifteen contiguous samples of equal length, compressed so as to superimpose every fourth sample.
variation 20 2.2 MBStereo cancellation phasing: superimposition of stereo-reversed duplicate loops, one slightly accelerated, beginning and ending in perfect stereo cancellation.
variation 21 1.5 MBSubdivision with mutually-exclusive frequency band filters of seven slightly relatively stretched copies of a loop, arrayed so the original sample is reconstituted perfectly when all layers simultaneously reach phase alignment.
variation 22 2.3 MBProgressive hard gating at increasing thresholds of a loop until silence remains.
variation 23 2.3 MBSummation: superimposition of equal-length contiguous excerpts from source recording juxtaposed.


variation 242.2 MBProgressive gapping, offset: two identical but stereo-reversed copies of a sample, subdivided into segments of constant length N by gaps increasing in length from zero to N, offset relative to each other by length N.
variation 253.4 MBJuxtaposition of eight slightly relatively varisped copies of Variation 4, half of them stereo-reversed.
variation 263.2 MBBifurcation of convergence: juxtaposition of Variation 14 with the application of the same procedure in reverse to the same sample.
variation 271.6 MBAlternating excerpts of fixed length from the slow increase to, and slow decrease from, normal playback speed of two copies of the same sample, with resultant logarithmic progression forward and backward of relative in and out points at fixed offset from origin; result subject to forward-translating in and out points as in Variation 4.
variation 282.4 MBSuperimposition of duplicate layers produced by forward translation of in and out points at fixed relative offset across the same sample, one layer's translation offset oscillating symmetrically faster and slower than the other's; result superimposed with looped copies of itself varisped up and down an octave and stereo-reversed; and the result reversed.
variation 292.2 MBFour layers of progressive restoration of a single loop by decreasing scope of frequency filtering, superimposed with four layers of the reverse procedure (the progressive occlusion of the same loop by increasing the scope of frequency filtering), with six layers subsequently filtered selectively to emphasize frequencies found in the C Major chord, half of the layers stereo-reversed, and four of the layers subsequently pitch shifted by a Major Third or Perfect Fifth.
variation 309.2 MBTwo slightly relatively varispeed sets of eight superimposed frequency-band filtered copies of a derivative of Variation 4, filters for each layer chosen to emphasize frequencies found in one note of the C Major scale; derivatives produced by superimposing slightly varispeed offset copies of Variation 4.
variation 315.4 MBProgressive excerpts from a single sample, retriggering and lengthening by a factor of two four times before progressing; result superimposed on an offset duplicate of itself; three copies of result layered, with one copy varisped up a Major Fifth and stereo-reversed, and one copy varisped up an Octave.
variation 327.7 MBSummation: successive presentation of the samples from which all of other variations were made.