11'13" of improvisation
This was a very unusual recording session to manage. Iran ingeniously output the sounds produced by the circuit to a piezo speaker taped to a drum cymbal, creating amazingly bright resonances. The improvisation was a process of building and modifying the circuit during the recording. The sounds she created were imaginatively subtle and delicate.
The cymbal was miked up (see below for specs), but the resulting output was very quiet. Also, the rattles and rustles of the circuit being built had to be edited out (though some of the more subtle ones were retained for character). This worked well, as I cut off the attacks of many of these sounds, leaving mysterious sweeps of noise through the mix. I also kept a few short passages of knocks and rustles when there was no circuit noise, so I could use them to create rhythmic loops.
A noise reduction process in Adobe Audition was applied to the mixdown to remove the post-normalization room ambiance due to the quietness of the recording. This resulted in audible 'erosions' of the frequency spectrum, but these are to my ear quite a beautiful addition to the vibrant and playfully chirping circuit sounds.
Due to the nature of the circuitry, breathing space between musical gestures was not really a performative option for Iran. Thus, as was the case with the violin session, a different approach to sample processing and performance will have to be taken...and my mind further opened.
Absence of a tuning system in the circuit will also affect how these samples can be used alongside other instruments.
Elder Conservatorium -- EMU dead-room
Pro Tools HD
Adobe Audition CS6
circuitry -- see photos above
Rode NT5 Stereo pair -- 4 inches high, diagonally down and in towards cymbal
Rode NT2000 -- 4 inches high, diagonally down towards cymbal