Song of an Average City
In Song of an Average City I have sought a collision of elements: the natural sounds on tape are always in conflict with one another and with the orchestral part. There is no conciliation between them in the form of gradual sound-transformation. Nevertheless there is a close rhythmic structure governing the natural sounds and the way they relate to the the orchestral music.
Everyone will recognise the sounds on tape: footsteps, breathing, writing, machines, gun-fire, traffic, cash-registers, amusement-hall games – sounds typical in fact of our experience as individuals, as members of groups and as members of a mass – sounds of any average city. But these familiar sounds are used to articulate new structures. A guillotine becomes a road-leveller, a violin cadenza is punctuated by a cash-register, orchestral passages are caused to travel through various changing environments.
Through this kind of ‘concrete’ music I have tried to show the inter-relatedness of all aspects of our experience, but an experience which, because of the basic contradictions of the society in which we live, is turned against iteslf.
© 1974 Tim Souster