steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

David Dunn

"Four Electroacoustic Compositions" CD

Pogus Productions

Genres: electroacoustic, experimental, avant-garde

Pogus Productions
50 Ayr Road
Chester, NY 10918

Oct 14 - 20 2002

Electroacoustic music, while one of the most diverse and interesting forms of sound, often goes unnoticed and ignored by listeners at large. While this isn't all that surprising, given the experimental nature of the genre, one would argue that such groundbreaking work is worthy of more recognition that it is given. David Dunn's latest effort, a collection of four electroacoustic compositions, is a stunningly intriguing work that will hopefully garner some attention from experimental music enthusiasts.

Knowing Dunn's past, it comes as no surprise that these four compositions are successful. In the early seventies, Dunn worked with Harry Partch and from there evolved into a respected experimental audio performer, composing various music installations and studying in the field of bioacoustics. These experiences have obviously affected his work as we hear it today.

"...with zitterings of flight released (in memoriam Kenneth Gaburo)," the first of the compositions, is a fourteen-minute piece of heavily-processed short audio fragments that were created by a unique analogue synth callled the Vividium MKII. This machine produced a number of extraordinarily complex sounds that were then digitally edited by an audio workstation. The result is an infinitely interesting and diverse sound sculpture that is made up of numerous electronic sounds and noises.

"Simulation 1: (Sonic Mirror)," on the other hand, is an electronic manipulation of various environmental sound samples captured in the Cuyamaca Mountains of California. Throughout the composition, you can hear both the digitalized audio reworkings of the noise and the original field recorded sources. The meeting of the two are what makes this such a wonderful, groundbreaking audio experiment.

"Wildflowers," the third work on this CD, is an exploration of analogue-based sounds, with Dunn attempting a "reclamation of the sounds of circuitry as material substance." While he admits such audio work is done more for nostalgic value than anything else, and that sounds of its type are now only relevant in the context of video games, "Wildflowers" remains an enjoyable, though blatantly quixotic look at the starts of "computer music."

The collection closes off with "Ennoia 2," a computer-generated piece that is based upon the algorithms created by Arun Chandra's waveform synthesizing Wigout program ( In the over ten-minute composition, the sound is left to evolve, with its waveform patterns being determined by the trends in the Fibonacci sequence (the naturally-occurring pattern that forms spirals when graphed geometrically.) The piece is given much depth by the fact that two different versions of the piece are played over each other, each one seperated by a few changes in the initial waveform state combinations. The track manages to be surprisingly relaxing, and the spiral patterns are very evident.

Altogether, David Dunn's four compositions are very powerful and thought-provoking. His attention to detail and audio precision proves that he is a very intelligent sound conceptualist, and these four pieces will appeal to both experimental music enthusiasts and electroacoustic researchers.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 53 min 55 sec; 4 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]