Susurrus was my earliest fully integrated electroacoustic work. The tools of the electronic music studio allowed me to compose with a hands-on, sculptural approach that proved intensely creatively liberating. While noise had been a part of my aestehetic vocabulary for some time, I had often been dissatisfied with the level of nuance and specificity I was able to draw from extended instrumental techniques alone. Working on the computer with close-miked samples of chaotic acoustic phenomena, layers of minute sonic detail previously unavailable to my ear were opened up for compositional development.
'Noise’ and ‘pitch’ appear in my work not as opposing categories but rather as specific points along a fluidly progressing continuum. Not only are there high levels of frequency content in dense noise and elements of noise in the cleanest of instrumental timbres, there exist whole regions in between these supposed bookends that fuse chaotic timbral elements with more stable, pitch-centric sounds. Studio work allowed me to navigate this continuum with newfound agility, exposing fresh areas of overlap between the acoustic affordances of traditional instruments and raw, organic noise.
Susurrus was commisioned by eighth blackbird and premiered at the 2006 Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival in Richmond, Virginia.