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Dutch Dada sounds

westerkerk amsterdamTwo Dada-inspired pieces from Amsterdam today, as we continue our Dada-themed voyage around Europe. Both field recordings are by us, taken from our recent trip to Amsterdam, during which we worked up this piece from the sounds of traffic signals.

The first recording is the melody played by the Westerkerk church on a busy main road, tackled by new contributor Peter Barnard:

“In this work, I attempted to imitate the idiosyncrasies of assemblage and abstraction by editing the incidental sounds heard in the original recording into short samples and rejoining to form a fractured soundscape with sounds jump-cutting into each other fused with clustering atmospheric tones.”

City version:

Memory version:

The second field recording is from Amsterdam’s huge Schiphol airport, as we hear announcements in the terminal and the general thrum of an airport in its daily life. Long-time contributor Nick St. George developed this sound:

“Dada was (is?) many things. A cross-disciplinary phenomenon that embraced the visual arts, literature, the spoken word, journalism, music, film and dance.  It was a lot about fragmentation, collage, chance. It was anti-bourgeois, anti-war and maybe even anti-art…

“Airports can be quite Dadaesque places where fragments of lives collide, chance meetings occur, snatches of announcements and conversations are overheard. So I chose the C&M field recording of Schipol as the starting point – specifically a “gate change” announcement in Dutch and English; to the passenger, a seemingly random decision that can send you off in a totally different direction.
“I intercut some of Hugo Ball’s Dadaist poetry with the cut up and treated announcements, added some original music and a couple of manipulated Apple loops (including one of African drumming. The Dadaists were fond of this music  – untouched, as it was, by what they saw as Western bourgeois corruption – and choreographed dance performances to it). 
“I trust the finished piece has something of the spirit of Dada, though I doubt the Schipol PR department will be putting it up on their website any time soon.
“The poems are taken from the Penn Sound and Ubuweb sites who allow non-commercial and educational use of their audio. Thanks to them.”
City version:

Memory version: