Sound Collage Final Proposal (Water)

  1. Inspiration:

    An inspiration as far as the way that I’d like the sounds to actually sound in terms of mixing, placement, etc. is the song “the woods” by the producer Sabzi.  The generally organic and sampled sounds are all treated to sound very coherent and connected.


    An inspiration as far as the story I’d like to tell can be seen within Deadmau5’s “take care of the proper paperwork.”  The complex form and evolution of the song is something I’d aspire to.


    My final inspiration is actually from a sound cloud account I had trouble identifying.  The effect applied to the water sounds used are great, and I’d love to try and affect my own samples in the same way.

  2. Conceptual framework: 

    I’ve been obsessed with water lately, not so much drinking it as just interacting with it as much as I can.  Everything about it-the way things look when you put a glass of water in front of them, the sounds make by splashes, the way that water moves when it is spilled- it all seems a bit too beautiful to occur so naturally.  In this project I hope to hone in one one aspect (the sonic aspect) of water and truly explore all of the ways that it can be manipulated and arranged in a musical context.

  3. Content: 

    Splashes, Droplets, Interactions with Metal, Waves, Faucets, Water Balloons, and more.  I think that all of these sounds can ultimately be associated with a certain kind of mood, or at least be put on a scale of intensity.  A dramatic splash might interrupt a calm atmosphere achieved by wave sounds, and individual droplets falling might sound lonelier than the sound of kids splashing around a pool.  I hope to use these contrasts to tell stories.  Specifically, I want the entire first half of the composition to only involve layering sounds on top of each other, with the idea that each sound that enters will be a distinct voice.  The second half will see the sounds start to be affected, and eventually become less recognizable with time.

  4. Time/Structure: 

    I’d like people to listen to the collage as a piece of music.  I’m very interested in trying to achieve a narrative of sorts, by creating a clear form and organizing the sounds as much as possible.  To do this I plan on using sounds with shorter envelopes (dripping sounds) as more rhythmic, percussive elements, and sounds with any sort of a pitch (or general sense of continuity) to be used to play “melodies.”  What makes water an interesting instrument to use is the fact that it’s generally recognizable-I think that the sound of someone walking through puddles would be easily identified, or at least the sense of walking would be.  Because of this creating a sense of time and distance over the course of the piece will be a very real option, which is hope to employ as much as possible.

  5. Effect: 

    Because I’m ultimately trying to create a piece of music, I want the audience to be listening with that in mind.  Phrasing, articulation, form, dynamics, and other words generally associated with classical composition are high priorities for me with regards to writing this piece, so I hope that it’s clear to the audience that these elements are traits to look out for.  Ultimately I want the audience to experience a journey that feels very wet.


2 thoughts on “Sound Collage Final Proposal (Water)

  1. Hi Jake,

    Interesting ideas and inspirations! The piece you should check out (in it’s entirety, if you haven’t already) is Xenakis’ La Legende d’Eer. It’s not the same on headphones as full surround but it is pretty amazing. And conceptually relevant, as well.


  2. Also on another note:

    It is worth considering in more depth the many different ways in which we experience water.

    You mention children playing, and of course there are other recreational contexts – rowing, diving, snorkeling, etc – but also less pleasant and downright scary situations: natural disasters, like tsunamis, or droughts, lack of access to clean drinking water (both from a thirst/dehydration perspective, and a more political perspective).

    I mention these not because I think you should necessarily try to recreate any of these situations, sonically, but because water plays lots of different roles in our lives. Since you’ll be dealing with the sound in so much depth, its worth thinking through the different ways in which humans experience water in different contexts.


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