Drum, Warble, Hum, Buzz, Trill

Drum, Warble, Hum, Buzz, Trill, 2023, Wood, metal, plastic, cloth, plaster, resin, paper clay, cotton paper, magnets, electronics, sound, approximately 4′ x 8′ x 4′

Drum, Warble, Hum, Buzz, Trill is a sound installation that produces a synthetic soundscape with physical sounds. It is inspired by plants and animals found along the coast of Southern Massachusetts. It employs a combination of wood resonances and electronic components that work in tandem to create a rhythmic and unpredictable experience that challenges conventional perceptions of what sounds natural versus artificial.

Through research and observation, I identified the unique vocalizations and rhythms of various species and incorporated them into the work. For example, the drumming of woodpeckers, the warbling of songbirds, and the buzzing of insects are all represented.

The musical composition for the installation operates within a computer program that perpetuates constant change within a set repetitive structure. To simulate a soundscape, the program uses probability-based algorithms to remix patterns, creating an ever-changing performance.

The percussion instruments are produced by attaching motors and electromagnets to wooden structures, which actuate found wooden objects but also contain the resonance of the wood in themselves as part of its complete timbre. The acoustic performance is controlled by electronics to create a dynamic rhythmic approach, a hybrid of organic-like patterns and human-centered musical forms.

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Commissioned by the New Bedford Whaling District National Park Service as part of their 2023 Visiting Artist Residency.