The Alien Landscapes are a series of pieces of approximately 30 minutes duration, created at random intervals and reflecting the different recording and editing techniques I was using at the time.
The original sounds include some music, but mostly long and short samples of natural and man-made sounds.
Numerous real-time and non-real-time processes were used to create the finished pieces, including time- and pitch-stretching, spectral mutation and other products of granular synthesis and re-synthesis, using programs such as sonicWORX studio, thOnk, TimeToy3xtreme, SoundHack and MarcoHack.
Final sound files were edited with Audacity or Logic, then assembled and layered in Logic using EQ, reverb and other plug-ins.
Alien Landscape I [30:26], created in 2006 and released on the GENRE album Ambient III (FORG03, 2007), is the most varied piece, dynamically, with a steady, almost machine-like drone building up, but fading away towards the end.
Alien Landscape 2 [30:58], also created in 2006 and released on Ambient III, had the working title of 'Oceanscape'. Derived from Southern Ocean Swell, the opening track of the album Return to Devil's Island (FORT07, 2005), the piece evokes a watery planet of wind and waves.
Alien Landscape 3 [38:49], created in 2007 and originally released on the album Ambient IV (FORG04, 2007), begins and ends with a metallic-sounding drone, giving way in the middle section to slow, musically-derived chordal tones.
Alien Landscape 4, Part A [29:17]. The original Alien Landscape 4, also from 2007 and released on Ambient V (FORG05, 2007) is an exception in being over an hour long. For this compilation I had to decide between changing the order of the pieces or dividing Alien Landscape 4 into two separate pieces. Surprisingly, when I did divide it, I found that the two halves had different characters, so Part A concludes Disc Two and Part B begins Disc Three.
Much of Part A is electro-mechanical - almost industrial - in nature, with a section of gong-like tones towards the end followed by what sounds like welding or electrical arcing.
Alien Landscape 4, Part B [33:39] moves from sharper industrial sounds at the beginning to more muted tones at the end.
Alien Landscape 5 [31:13] was created in 2009, originally released on the album Spectrum (FORG14, 2009) and then on Ambient VI (FORG20, 2015). All the sounds in the SPECTRUM project pieces were derived from an audio recording of a data casssette. Based on prominent drones at low, medium and high pitch throughout most of its length, this track has a similar, but shifting sound from beginning to end.
Alien Landscape 6 [30:06] was created in 2015 and first released on Ambient VI (FORG20, 2015). A constant drone, like a motor or acoustic feedback, is added to in the second half of this piece by short, rhythmical sounds. The sounds were all produced by the process of 'databending' - editing and manipulating the sound files in non-music programs, principally Photoshop and BBEdit Lite.
Alien Landscape 7 [29:46] was created in 2016 and is previously unreleased. The sounds used are all from my own field recordings, in this case principally from wildfowl recorded for the currently in-progress Ouse Washes Project.
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