Time’s Affect

Time’s Affect (the verb) (meaning on me) as musical material continues as I record more tracks at home in contrast to the cold, windy time-space of that old truck, that memory from November. It occurs to me now that the truck, or any object, so static or still, is playable. Sound is the decoration– a verb. Or is it sound as substrate rather than time, not music? I can’t decide. Sound as the decoration or maybe the canvas; I go back and forth on all this. Do I animate the inanimate object onto a time-substrate, also using pixels (if it’s photos) to create a comment on the effects of time?

I’ve already determined that it is lovely and was surprised to play trombone into the back window of the truck. Another compositional scheme could have involved headphones and a contact mic. Another idea was to virtually place a truck piece (maybe just the truck bumper) in the hands of more than one person and in more than one place.

I could have done something much more ephemeral such as the kind of scheme Alvin Lucier would aim for. A tiny bit I’ve already tried this by  walking around inside; the truck was my musical piece— the playing of the floor by shoes, let’s say. The leaves (it’s all snowed over now) made music as I walked.

Capt. LaPointe (a sea captain) feels that modern steel vibrates differently, not as well, compared older steel; I was stunned by the phone call. Dan talked about how steel is made and the differing temperatures. “Electric changed the way steel is made,” he explains over the phone. Dan is the owner of the savage yard in Orono and wants to show me an empty, steel tank that he has. As a former ship captain he loves the way steel reverberates. I do, too. Yet, Dan makes no claim of being a musician but reminisces to me about the resonant sound of a 5” thick ship’s hull being activated or “played” by ocean water and ships’ engines.

Maybe environments can be instrument ensembles?; i.e., the frog pond in summer or city square in fall, fairs, auctions, the city’s traffic, public cafes, a forest, the ocean, radio noise, dirt, plants, insects, even junk steel.