Andreas Bick – Fire and Frost Pattern (Gruenrekorder)

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Andreas Bick is a German composer and sound recording artist for radio, theatre, film and television.Fire and Frost Pattern is released as a stereo recorded CD or as a surround sound download. It was awarded the Phonurgia-Nova-Prize in 2008 and a mention at the 35th International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art in Bourges 2008.

Fire and Frost Pattern negotiates the ground between environmental sound recording art and composition. It is never at any time either explicitly and compositions of recordings are directed at questions such as: how do you record falling snow? How do you make flames sing? The techniques for such recordings are documented by Bick in the accompanying booklet and the experimental compositions are arranged with sound recordings from active volcanoes Mt. Yasur in Vanuatu, Vulcano Arenal in Costa Rica, and Mount Etna in Sicily. Similarly geyser sounds from Iceland are combined with “singing icebergs”, “dispersion of sound waves in Ice sheets”, “Ice sizzle”, “Creaking and Cracking Ice”, and “Ice Buckles”. Bick points to the technical difficulties in transposing sounds of ice from infrasound to an audible range and the difficulties associated with such transposition. Among other technical issues explored include the loud 205db source sound of the collision of icebergs, the incidental sounds of seals, the whoosh bottle effect of the ignition of alcohol and gas flames creating vibrating columns of air..

An important aspect of the release is the attempt to convey an unromantic depiction of nature, to steer clear of the passionate, metaphoric or allegoric renderings of nature. The difficulty in creating a piece where construction of sound merges with recording of sound encounters the problem of how constructions can covey objective information. That it could be objectively related to the listener outside frames that had no conditioning is no longer really a serious proposition, but to steer clear of overt entanglements with concepts associated with the perception of nature in the construction is more the goal of the recording. While it is impossible to avoid the sense of the compositional Bick notes that a good deal of such activity happens at the micro level imperceptible to the listener. In a more direct sense they are two tracks that are specifically renderings of fire and ice, renderings into patterns. They are collated into two tracks that mix constructed sounds of these natural phenomena with recorded sounds, in no sense is to be conceived as a scientific rendering but more product of scientific investigation and documentation into a descriptive work forged from numerous source inputs.

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