Here are some very rough recordings. I used around 40 clocks, placed in irregular rows to form a horseshoe-shaped semicircle (the shape I think I would like to set them in for the final piece). I placed an Edirol in the middle and started recording.
Playing with the alarms:
These are just very rough tests. I merely switched all the clocks on and manually activated/stopped some of them, so my handling of the clocks can be heard in the recording, as well as ambient noise. I was very curious to hear what the alarms would sound like out of context, but in stereo sadly it’s hard to convey their sound. Maybe I will try making some binaural recordings, once I have more clocks and can then begin structuring the alarms into more of a composition.
As you can hear, most alarm clocks, though of different makes and age, seem to possess the same type of alarm, which causes some interesting interactions as these alarms go on and off. A strange auditory hallucination also seems to take place: no matter how many of these alarms are added to the mix, the volume never seems to increase much. The mechanical bells & beater alarms are the loudest. It would be interesting if I could get my hands on more of these clocks as well as finding clocks that have a different bell sound (seemingly a near-impossible feat!).
in the next post, I will talk about the visual/physical layout of the work, as a plan has been slowly coming together in my mind (and on scraps of paper that seem to be sprouting up everywhere), but I have not talked of it on here so far.