This sound collage was created during the week before the tragic shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona on the 8th of January, 2011. While creating this collage I could feel the violence in the air… My condolences go out to the victims of this senseless violence and to their families, indeed, to all Americans who feel the loss caused by this terrible action.
Making Sound Collages
Most of my sound collages contain stories (actually, the same story told over and over again) told in vague and ambiguous ways with lots of blurry edges between the ideas.
I am telling this story and presenting these visions which can only be completed by the listener. Every listener brings their own mental filters to the listening experience.
My hope is each listener will develop their own view of the stories I am telling, understanding that there are many layers of thoughts embedded in these collages
Sometimes the UFOverdriver finds itself in the midst of a strange story – like some vision of sound or an audio dream of somewhere and somewhat familiar… and this is one of those times.
WARNING: This sound collage contains the sounds of gunfire and simulated war, as well as 1970’s era rock and roll music. It’s heavy man.
Track 1 (0:34) Station Identification (this is a universal frequency broadcast)
Track 2 (0:30) Sweet Belief (yes you can)
Track 3 (1:08)Billion Dollar Babies (spray cans join the hype machine)
Track 4 (1:54)In The Middle Without Any Plans (machines are machines are machines)
Track 5 (2:03)I’m Going Through Changes (I’m a boy and I’m a man)
Track 6 (0:53)The War Pigs In The Wings (plans? we’ve got plans)
Track 7 (1:41)The War Pig Machine Keeps Turning (one ring to rule them all)
Track 8 (1:30)Overwhelming Mayhem Pig Feed (the spray can jams the machine)
Track 9 (2:46)The Hand of God Has Struck The Hour (the little hand is on the twelve, and the big hand is around your vote)
Track 10 (3:51)You Won’t Fool The Children of the Revolution (the spray can army)
Track 11 (3:49)Waiting For Mr. Blue Skies (I, Jon, heard and saw these things; visions of the brothership)
Track 12 (1:28)War For The Sake of Peace (what are we fighting for?)
Track 13 (0:59)Thirteen O’Clock (the hour of harvest)
Flying Into The Vision: the story told as a prose poem
This sound collage unfolds like a dream revealing the story of a revolution, of spray cans fighting the war pigs machine in a fury of mayhem, where war is waged in the name of peace, and of a moment in time when the Blue Katchina arrives to dance and City of God arrives for the great harvest hour.
In this dream I woke up aboard the UFOverdriver, as it was levitating towards cruising altitude, preparing to send out it’s audio transmissions.
The UFOverdriver is filled with sweet leaf and sweet belief – pipe dreams of smoke and hope – a dream within the dream begins…
I looked around me and saw armies of the new generation selling out their lives to the big machines, the money machines, the hype machines… shook-up and used up like so many discarded spray cans.
I looked and I saw a massive a life-like vision of endlessly recycled attempts to re-live that long lost moment of something important.
At the top the President recycles his advisers and begins to make his prearranged run for re-election, and I see a man in the grips of middle-age flounder without any plans.
From somewhere, the UFOverdriver picks up the following signal:
“Is it possible that the story can actually end very badly? I mean, who knew?
Who knew that the reigns of power were held by so many and yet so few? Who knew that all of this actually matters? Who knew that boys had to finally become men? I’m going through changes, and fighting it tooth and nail.
But plans – heck, I don’t even have a clue.”
And then I heard the sounds of grunting pigs, the voices of the war pigs speaking;
“Hey kid – need a plan? How about another hit of massive mayhem – right in the main line. Makes the daily grind of running the world a bit easier. No really – the first one is on me…”
And they continued, “what – that first hit wasn’t enough? Sure kid, I got what you need. Guns, missiles, bombs, tear gas, helicopters, drone planes – just what you need. Yeah, that’s the stuff. I’ll give it to you straight – and in large doses. You’re a man, you can handle it.”
Meanwhile, a generation of spray cans turns it’s back on the machines and begins to shut them down in simple ways, with spray paint on walls and numerous acts of jamming the machine system.
Revolutions always have so many innocents, so many people that find themselves in the middle – Who knew the pig machines ran so many things and provided so much stuff? Do I really have to give that up? Can I half-revolution? Like, maybe on the weekends…?
And by the next day everyone had moved on to something else.
Meanwhile the spray can army is making up slogans to paint on walls;
“Don’t trust anyone who makes over $30,000 a year.”
“Your bump and grind isn’t fooling the children of the revelation.”
“This spray can fires bullets.”
And then I had a dream of a vision within a vision – and I saw the Brothership landing like a Blue Katchina dream… and then we were gone.
Meanwhile on earth the Great War rages on towards it’s endless futility.
And then I heard a clock strike thirteen times, and the great harvest began.
Material Used and Sample Credits
Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Baby (from Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits)
Alice Cooper – I’m Eighteen (from Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits)
Black Sabbath – Changes (from Black Sabbath, Vol. 4)
Black Sabbath – War Pigs (from We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N’ Roll)
Marc Bolan and T-Rex – Children of the Revolution (from Twentieth Century Boy; The Ultimate Collection)
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) – Mr. Blue Skies (from Out of the Blue)
Johnny Cash – Excerpts from Revelation 10, 21 and 22 (from Johnny Cash Reads The New Testament)
Paranoid Films – Intro Logo Sounds (from Exit Through The Gift Shop)
Sound Effects CDs – Various Sound FX (from Fun With Sound Effects Vol. 1-4)
Our journey begins with a three track group of collages composed of original recorded material by UFOverdriver mixed alongside a loop from the classic Sheep by Pink Floyd, which is joined in track three with a loop from Aztec Camera’s version of Jump.
Overlaid on the tracks are recordings from various Apollo missions, a speech by Sen. Barack Obama on the campaign trail, short clips from Wall Street and Star WarsEpisode III – Revenge of the Sith and other stuff…
The overall direction of The Launch is to reflect on the promises that were presented to us, the voters, by Senator Barack Obama while on the campaign trail in early 2008.
Part II – The Space Odyssey
12 Minutes and 44 seconds into the collage The Space Odyssey begins…
The next 6 tracks were constructed using the audio from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I downloaded from YouTube in thirteen parts of approximately ten and a half minutes each.
I took the audio from selected parts (tracks 4 through 6 used parts 12, 11 , 9, 13, and 1 – while tracks 7 through 9 used parts 10, 5, 6, 8, and 7 – see graphic below) and stacked them in layers in my mixer. Then I played around with the volume of the various layers while applying various effects to create “chance” loops of sounds.
Graphic Below: The “mix view” from Adobe Audition 3, the program I use to create my sound collages. The area displayed shows the two “stacks” of 2001: A Space Odyssey audio clips, with the volume control levels for each clip.
Included in The Space Odyssey is several extensive sound clips from philosopher Alan Watts. I offer no opinion at this point on Alan Watts ideas and concepts, I just liked the sound of his voice and the pacing of his speech. You can find out more about Alan Watts here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts.
Part II – The Space Odyssey is deliberately and delightfully trippy – for best results try listening to this mix with headphones on…
PART I – The Launch
Track 1 (1:22) T Minus 20 Seconds And Counting
Track 2 (4:20) This Time Must Be Different
Track 3 (3:54)Dreams From The Promise Of 2008
PART II – The Space Odyssey
Track 4 (1:21)Please Stop / I Saw A Bright Star Falling
Track 5 (6:22)Alan Watts Explains The Ceramic Model
Track 6 (2:24)Do You Read Me H.A.L. ?
Track 7 (3:00)I Feel Much Better Now, I Really Do…
Track 8 (6:01)The Space Time Discontinuum
Track 9 (4:08)The Creation Of Evolution: A Space Odyssey
Included Sound Collage Materials
N.A.S.A. – Apollo Mission (8,11,14 and 17) Recordings (from Various Online Sources including N.A.S.A.)
Barack Obama – A Speech from the Winter of 2008 on Campaign Trail (from Source Unknown)
Pink Floyd – Sheep (from Animals)
Aztec Camera – Jump (from The Best of Aztec Camera)