Danger in the Air (2006) is an improvising space for a performer (or possibly more), interacting with the electronic component through a Soundfield microphone with the aid of objects of limited musical potential, known as ‘infra-instruments’ . Most often, I use infra-gongs in the form of track shelving brackets—along with direct handling of the microphone—as my central sound making means.
At work in this piece is a quite deliberate juxtaposition of technological strata, by building a performance around a combination of a high prestige microphone, advanced digital processing and quite purposefully limited sound making means. Part of the point is to insist on the contextual sensitivity of technological status—DIY equipment can be elevated, whilst precision sound recording equipment is, perhaps, debased. Certainly, the direct handling of the microphone performance is intended as a small heresy.
Meanwhile, the approach taken to the signal processing reflects my ambivalence about the extent to which imagining electronic systems to be ‘instruments’ or ‘performers’ can serve to reify particular ideals, with the possibility that musically interesting things fall between the cracks of these categories.