Tape Study #1: 'Swampmusic 3'
'Swampmusic 3' is an experimental tape study which explores the timbral possibilities resulting from juxtapositions and simultaneities of unrelated sound sources. Although the composition adheres to a traditional European ABA' formal structural design in its use of material, the work is not goal-directed in the European sense, from the point of view of the composer. The composition is designed so that listeners can freely interpret the sounds and form their own relationships from the resultant texture.
Formal divisions of the composition are as follows: section A is 30 seconds in duration, section B is one minute in duration, with the recall of A materials lasting an additional 30 seconds. While section B begins abruptly 30 seconds into the work, the transition back into A' is achieved by a slight overlapping of the last two sections. Sections A and A' use thematic material composed from a piece of struck metal, contrasted with subordinate material from two coconut halves being scraped together. Background material consists of a ceramic canister being scraped with a spoon. Section B uses contrasting as well as previously introduced source material: foreground events are composed from the sound emitted from the axillary portion of the body when air is compressed between the body and the palm of one's hand, as well as the ceramic canister being scraped; background events are composed from the same scraped canister, popcorn being poured into a measuring cup, as well as the coconut sound.
The following techniques were used in the development of timbres and composition of the work: compositional splicing, speed variation, tape reversal, filtering, mixing, tape echo, and tape loop.