In this ongoing project I create abstract music using automated machines. The output is a series of recordings, a live set and a performance installation.
Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio was a founding member of the Situationist International, and created Industrial Painting, or artworks created by machines which would automatically create abstract expressionist paintings on large rolls of paper. Music By The Metre is an homage to the techniques and ideas of Pinot-Gallizio.
The recordings were made using looping record players, synth drone, live environmental sound and tape loops; sounds that would play continuously once started. The results were recorded to whole spools of tape, edits from which form the recordings. An example can be heard here:
The live set consists of bass-heavy drone and rhythm, made with the same input sources but mixed live giving more dynamic changes. A recording of a live performance can be heard here:
The performance installation is a temporary market stall set up to sell metres of tape either singly or in multiples, literally music by the metre. This video explains the process of making a recording and the stall itself.
Some information on the thinking behind the project: “The Music by the Metre recordings are authentic (by which I mean sincere) compositions and pieces of music, and simultaneously a comment on the commodification of avant-garde and leftfield musics and sound art. The input sources I use for the compositions – looping turntables, live environmental sound, looping cassette tapes, analogue synthesizer drone – are those which I use in both live performance and composition. The fact that the duration of the pieces was determined only by the length of the tape spools onto which they were recorded (filling both sides) and their repetitive, rhtymical nature are references to the hypnotic, psychedelic nature of dance music culture, and the idea of ‘ambient music’ (whatever the term now means) as some sort of irrelevant, background silence-destroyer.”