Primary Locations

by Darren McClure

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The concept behind this 'Primary Locations' began with an investigation into the relationship between sound and light. Specifically, the conversion of the color centre wavelengths along the visible light spectrum into audio frequencies. The unit used to measure light is the Angstrom, and the visible spectrum of light runs from about 7000A (deep red) to about 4000A (deep violet). The audio humans are able to perceive runs roughly between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, so these two scales can be converted. For Primary Locations the light range from red to orange have been converted to an audio range from 397 Hz to 431 Hz respectively. Yellow to lemon has been converted to 464 Hz to 497 Hz and blue to violet to 598 Hz to 665 Hz. These primary colors provided three sets of audio frequency ranges that would become the first components in the creation of new music.

The next step in creating 'Primary Locations' was to find three locations, each containing one of these primary colors. The “red location” was the main bridge at Matsumoto Castle, the “yellow location” was a metal overpass supporting train lines and the “blue location” was a tarp-covered shed situated among farmland and rice fields. Various recordings were made at each place: natural ambience and tones; contact microphone and hydrophonic recordings; and in the case of the metal overpass, impulse responses.

The basis of each track contained these field recordings and sine waves, the frequency of which correlated to the color/Hz range as stated earlier. Then as other sounds and layers were added, the direction of the pieces took shape. Each piece unfolds slowly, and is a sonic snapshot of three sites, their ambience and the sound of their colors.


released June 9, 2015



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Dragon's Eye Recordings Los Angeles, California

Dragon’s Eye Recordings is an imprint based in Los Angeles and curated by artist and composer Yann Novak. Since 2005, Dragon’s Eye has published over 80 works in the fields of sound art and experimental music with a focus on ambient, field recording, drone, electroacoustic, and acousmatic music. ... more

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