As promised, my recordings of Munich, Germany have taken shape in the newest edition of Echolocation. The city has a million stories and facets to dive into, and despite having spent quite a bit of time here over the years I feel like I’m still barely scratching its surface.
The third largest city in Germany, it’s filled with a huge amount of urban and natural sounds. This tune pulls from that, using recordings of the Frauenkirche church bells, morning birds in the Englischer Garten (this one wild-man of a woodpecker in particular), stretched-out vocals from local singer Regina Graf, ditties on upright pianos found in friends’ houses, and even a string quartet recorded through a keyhole in a room that used to be Hitler’s office (eeew). Lots to unpack there.
As with anything, Echolocation evolves as I release each piece. I do the work of traveling to these locations, exploring and collecting field recordings, sifting through and editing hours of audio, then writing the music with the recordings that have made the cut. Through the course of this it can become easy to get lost in that audio, in all that raw sound, and to endlessly sculpt each piece by hyper-focusing on the macro details. And that attention to detail is kind of my thing. It’s a part of how I’ve always written music, but it often comes at a price. Sometime I find myself focusing on something that isn’t right, suddenly taking a step back and realizing that maaaaybe I should have been honing in on this rather than that. But it’s a process, and a fantastically fun one at that, so as I do it the process sharpens, takes shape, and evolves. I love the pieces I’ve written so far but am starting to realize that perhaps I should delve deeper into the recorded sounds and use them as the majority of material in each piece rather than writing instrumental parts around them. Use them as the bricks in the building rather than just the artwork hanging within it. So with that, expect the new pieces to have new characteristics based on how I’m experiencing the process, but also on what places I visit. As I write this I’m in Barcelona, Spain (or the new “Republic” of Catalonia, depending who you talk to), and it’s having a massive effect on me and how I consider both this project and composition as a whole. So much to chew on. I’m glad to have you all along for the ride. More soon!