Iso- is a universe of sound, created within the constraints of remote collaboration. The members include various electro-acoustic musicians, composers, and sound designers, each bringing a unique voice to the digital ensemble. Each movement is sourced from an activity, item, or concept explored during a pandemic and social isolation. These “cells” became the foundation of the work for fellow members to interweave, reinterpret, and expand upon the movements with their own sonic materials.
Video content was created by Erich Barganier, Raffi Dimoian, Thomas Echols, Joshua Fourney, Ford Fourqurean, Thomas Hamilton, Cristina Lord,Tim Poulin, Alex Tibbits, and Yiting Wang and was edited by Erich Barganier, Ford Fourqurean, and Alex Tibbits. The piece was mixed by Erich Barganier, Thomas Echols, Ford Fourqurean, Cristina Lord, and Alex Tibbits. The piece was mastered by Thomas Echols.
The first minute was based around a graphic score created by Erich Barganier. Each group member responded to the cell in their own way and the audio portions were collaged together to form a coherent whole.
The second movement germinated from the textural interactions between a metal tuning key the spine of the harp. Hushed gasps of breath, swells from granular noise, percussive clarinet strikes, and muted tremolo gestures from a guitar are interwoven to create an eerily pensive texture.
This movement found its beginnings with the sound of a century-old butter churner that Thomas Echols inherited from his grandmother. The circular, creaking, whistling sound of the churn was sampled and analyzed for its frequency content, which was then used to drive a complex filter through which a modular synthesizer was processed. Granular textures, oscillators, pitch drifting guitar lines, and a prelude of harp in duo with a granular synthesis patch (grafting the sounds of the harp with the glitched churning racket) all come together to explore the real life glitches that affect our experiences through the process of remembering, communicating, and also engaging with each other through the various digital means of conveyance.
The underlying current of this movement stems from a progression of harmonic tremolos and morphed air sounds from the clarinet created by Ford, then blended with layers of warped guitar, mandolin, harp and piano. The sparseness and reflections of wind lend this movement to open expanses.
The concept for this movement started with the recorded sounds of sautéing food on a stove, which was processed rhythmically by looping small segments in addition to running the sample through resonators to highlight a pitched chord. The pitched content unfolds into a harmonically rich extended cadenza.