“Into the Incubator Soil” is a live recording of a single performance in November 2021. The piece was part of a larger exhibition at the Visual Art Centre of Clarington exploring mycelial networks, community incubation, waste and growth…
In the centre of the gallery artist Sahar Te built a functional oyster mushroom incubator. On the opening night people from the community around the gallery participated in creating mushroom starters and hanging them in the incubator, at the end of the exhibition everyone was invited back to collect their growing mushrooms.
Within that context, Sahar asked me to create a new sound work as a response to the incubator and the surrounding ideas.
The resulting piece is a set of field recordings, a custom SuperCollider based performance instrument, and this recording of the performance in the gallery.
Thinking about sound, compost, networks, growth/fruiting, and community, I collected recordings of the spaces in and around the incubator and gallery, in the surrounding community and parks, and of the other events taking place as part of the exhibition. The SuperCollider program uses these recordings as a raw material to “compost” and then “sprout” or “fruit” … At the beginning of the piece I deconstruct and mix together all of the recordings in their sort of “raw” form, over time slowly introducing a tuned bank of resonators that turn the “mulch” of all the recordings into “fruit”–new harmonies and dissonances emerging from the mass of sounds.
The SuperCollider program is controlled as an instrument. Eight faders are mapped to the bank of sounds, letting me control the pitch and segment/duration (start position and length) in real time. Another bank of eight faders and eight encoders controls the tuned resonators… with the two combined I can play the recordings as both sound collage and exciters for the resonators… essentially strumming/plucking the resonators by scrubbing through the field recordings and honing in on different moments of percussive attack, or sustained tone.
I’m happy to share more about the code or process if anyone is interested!