Burkhard Beins

Structural Drift
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Conceived, created, recorded and mixed during a three-month residency in Worpswede Germany, sound artist Burkhard Beins’ aural landscape uses found sounds to reflect the verdant, isolated area while simultaneous altering these sounds with electronics, an e-bow and a synthesizer to create a notable audio collage.

Of varying lengths, each of Beins’ three “drifts” reflects different properties. Packed with motorized reverberations and bulky intonation that could come from a massed vocal choir, the longest track varies the sound field by alternating single chime strokes and wooden block pops with agitated timbres that variously resemble cutlery being shaken in a drawer, strident tea-kettles whistles and the rough cry of a smokestack whistle.

This antipodal game plan, which often interrupts the swelling and reverberating pedal-point wave forms with stop-start electrical buzzes, seeps into the other tracks as well. This is especially apparent when extended unchanging tones are layered with simultaneously undulating timbres that reflect back onto one another as the pieces advance and finally dissolve. Evidence of Beins’ skills at timbre-manipulation is most evident during the finale. Evolving in a parallel fashion, staccato synthesized signals chirp like wild bird songs while sharing space with rushing water tones which have been processed so that they resemble blurry mechanized drones.

— Ken Waxman

— For MusicWorks Issue #107