David Tudor-Rainforest

August 19, 2008

David Tudor

Rainforest (1968 Mode)


This is my favorite work of Tudor’s as it emulates the sounds of a natural habitat, but the end result is alien to any environment on this planet. Originally commissioned for the influential Merce Cunningham Dance Troupe, Tudor avoids the usage of field recordings and ambient frills in favor of utilizing the vibrations of hanging objects through a contact mic and loudspeaker. This setup creates a variety of electro-acoustic phenomena that results in a hopelessly complex pastiche of chattering, beeps, chirping and rich textures that create a bizarro rainforest. It is easy to get lost in the weaving patterns of sounds during these 74 minutes of ambient sound. There is something alternately soothing and jagged about these two compositions that keeps me returning to them. Depending on my mood, it either soothes me into a slumber or agitates me to no end. I would love to see a video of Cunningham’s dance troupe navigating their way through such abstract territory. If anyone can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.