San Francisco-based composer
Jim Haynes performed a blurred form of musique concrete in
the four-movement suite of Magnetic North (2003),
and especially in
the 56-minute piece of Telegraphy By The Sea (The Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2006).
The first part of the latter is aggressive and hyper-active,
a crescendo of dizzying, screaming glissandoes,
the digital soundpainting equivalent of heavy metal music.
It implodes in a slowly-mutating drone that populates the soundscape
with other harsh industrial drones, a swarm of poisonous radiations
that grows into
a dense maelstrom of crackling, thudding noises.
The scene suddenly turns to an apocalyptic sci-fi soundtrack
ominous vibrations and distant astronaut-like voices roaming the
The two pieces of Eraldus/ Eravaldus (Elevator Bath, 2008)
Eraldus begins with the rumble of an approaching storm but soon
an alien object appears, a screeching grinding noise that detroys any
other presence. When it dissipates, what is left is just metallic echoes of
The ear-splitting drones of Eravaldus (one of his emotional peaks)
creates extreme tension,
like a million crickets attacking a carrion, and then, almost like a
Doppler effect, the sound shifts into a no less disturbing massive hiss,
although a strange celestial quality emerges at the end.
By the time the double-disc Sever (Intransitive, 2009) came
out, his soundscapes had become gloomy and incoherent as in the last moments
of a dying person.
The 18-minute bonus track Severed was originally the soundtrack to
the installation from which the four pieces of Sever evolved.
The Decline Effect (The Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2011) contains
the film soundtrack Ashes,
the musique concrete of Terminal (that employs geysers as raw material),
the white noise of Half Life,
and Cold for plucked buzzing wires.
Kamchatka (Contour Editions, 2012) contains a suite inspired by
the landscape of Kamchatka,
the 21-minute Lilith, one of his most dynamic symphonies of
loose cryptic noise, alien industrial drone and found sounds splattered
all over the place,
and the 30-minute ambient glitch poem Rocks Hills Plains (2008), originally
a film soundtrack, evoking, yet again, the suspended silence of a dying person
as well as, yet again, the barren landscape of a post-apocalyptic planet.
The Wires Cracked (Mego, 2013) contains three pieces
for fields recordings:
"the desolate howl of a metal screen activated by a
desert wind, the hissing air compression from the cooling apparatus for a
laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operated by Stanford
University, and the tremolo rhythms from a thin wire".
The 14-minute X-Ray and the 18-minute November (a lugubrious,
funereal, angst-filled cinematic score) rank among his most successful collages.
By comparison with his previous works, the relaxed
The Incident With A Ghost (Hooker Vision, 2013) was user-friendly
The Shudder Of Velocity (Noisendo, 2014)
and Scarlet (Helen Scarsdale, 2015)
were both sponsored by the Helen Scarsdale Agency of New York,
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