phonography + electroacoustic music by marc mcnulty

--:--   --:--
marc mcnulty

Were the Barrons, of Forbidden Planet soundtrack fame, still alive and working today, they might very well sound like Marc McNulty, the musician and sound artist whose explorations of small sonic spaces result in squiggling effects that suggest an otherworldly aura. His is a characteristically internecine journey through microscopic dank pockets of slomo whirligigs, melting tonal affect, and tantalizing garbles. Which is to say, it sounds both like a modern use of digital audio tools to explore audio objects, and like the special effects from an ancient science fiction film. Tomorrow's music is yesteryear's foley sounds.(

Q&A by Susanna Bolle:

(sb) Could you tell me a bit about your background and how you became interested in making music?

(mm) I’ve always been fascinated with sound. I was surrounded by shortwave radios when I was very young; these sounds of the ‘outside’ world and the ‘other’ world of atmospheric events became a vocabulary that I understood at times better than a spoken language. The odd science or methods of discovering these and other sounds formed a deep part of my psyche. When I first heard Musique Concrète and Acousmatique works I knew there was something more to my toying with electrostatic sounds. About making music, I cannot say it better than Edgard Varése: “Music is organized sound”.

(sb) What kind of tools (instruments, etc) do you use when composing?

(mm) I use a collection of recorders, primarily small digital recorders with some DIY microphones with odd shapes or extra resonators on them to make the captured sounds effected. I don’t always do this, I mainly collect sounds as cleanly as possible and work with them in a software editor with some effect (plugins) that I develop in PD and some other tools. When I am composing, if it can be called that, I am listening for patterns and focus on them intently. When I am designing and editing a work I use Puredata, AudioMulch, Fscape, and Plogue Bidule as they are visual and impose no traditional musical structure to the sound or time, plus performing with them allows a flexibility that is not found with tools that endlessly quantise. I do use analogue filters, communications receivers, scanners, to build complex sounds, interactions, and to keep things unstable.

(sb) Your last three releases on Earphone have been quite varied. Is there a common thread that you see running through them?

(mm) I see the common thread as me exploring. I know that many times an artist is expected to have a specific ‘sound’; I think I do too, it is just more hidden in the small details. My works are made at a specific time and can only document my thoughts and reactions to the source material I am using. I think the sounds tell a far better story than I can. Maybe they are a ‘cinema for the ear’.


Every Noise At Once

Live on Rare Frequency

Above Within Below @ Jane Deering Gallery

Green Dream @ Kijidome

Shaping Sound @ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Live @ Cafe Fixe

Illuminus w/ Kevin Clancy

platelunch       tiln


de - channels of radiophonics and more...

framework radio - phonography :field recording

radius - experimental radio broadcast from chicago

soundfjord - a nomadic space dedicated to sound art

vital weekly - music reviews from Frans de Waard

seamus - society for electro-acoustic music in the united states

substrat radio with Martin Howse

micro_research - Martin Howse exploring psychogeophysics

ernst karel - electroacoustic music and experimental nonfiction sound works

rare frequency - radio show devoted to unusual musics with Susanna Bolle - dedicated to field recordings

audiomulch -software- performance and sound design by Ross Bencina

lines - a place for discussion about sound and technology

marc mcnulty  marc mcnulty 2  marc mcnulty 3  marc mcnulty 4  marc mcnulty 5  marc mcnulty at Palais de Tokyo, Paris  marc mcnulty 6  marc mcnulty playing fluorescent tube instrument

all works composed + recorded by marc mcnulty | contact: [email protected]