I did some preliminary listening yesterday before my CMC lecture. I was very busy over the weekend and had intended to sit down and listen to some of Chris Watson’s music sooner but I just didn’t have the time to do it properly.
I went to his website and listened to several compositions which were on the ‘downloads’ page (http://www.chriswatson.net/downloads.html). I listened to “The Dawn Chorus from BBC Tyne” twice and “Wild Song at Dawn” once. One of the things I was struck by (this is also true of the performance last Thursday) was the attention to detail: the recordings are pristine! They are so clear that it’s almost as if there’s some birds in the room with you!
I then decided to listen to some of Barry Traux’s work, as his name was mentioned a few times and, to be honest, I wasn’t quite prepared. I listened to a piece on his website called “Pacific Fanfare” (more info http://www.sfu.ca/~truax/fanfare.html) and it was very unusual. The sounds were manipulated quite obviously and it did not appear to be trying to create a real landscape in the way that Chris Watson’s work does but rather a more abstract one, with a focus on changing time. I found it interesting that such a wide range work can be all called ‘soundscape’.