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The looped bazaar, Uzbekistan

Another new country for us at Cities and Memory today, as we travel to the Bukhara bazaar in Uzbekistan.

The original field recording by Mark Wilden is a demonstration of some traditional stringed instruments being played in the bazaar.

The reimagined version, echoing the physicality of the stringed instruments, uses physical media to create a loop-based recomposition, reminiscent of William Basinski visiting Bukhara bazaar.

Gavin Morrow, who created the piece, writes:

“First of all, a small musical section of the field recording was put onto a homemade cassette loop. The one I used was particularly battered, and the tape produced a soothing analogue hiss. This was then pitched right down, as I wanted to create a the whole new atmosphere – from jaunty and effervescent to something more reflective and sombre.

“I created layers of drones using tiny sections of instrumentation, which were time-stretched digitally, recorded onto audio cassette, then slowed down on a multi-track recorder.

“Once all the layers were recorded onto tape, they were fed through effects pedals, with plenty of reverb, and just a touch of distortion in places.

The original field recording is of a lively, bustling and thriving market. My re-imagined piece is of the same location, but suggests a different mood and time.

“Maybe the early hours of the morning, when the traders and shoppers have long gone home, with just the echoes of the day’s excitement swirling in the wind.”

City version:

Memory version: