You know that roommate who is really loud in the mornings and you think, “How on earth can anyone make so much noise?” Ever record it and play it back to them so that they know exactly what kind of racket that 3-egg omelet and green smoothie breakfast makes? Of course not, that’s crazy. But maybe you should and then sample it. Why? Because houses are a musical smorgasbord.
For example, Pierre Henry, one of the foremost musique concrète artists made an entire album (Variations pour une porte et un soupir) out of one creaking door in a French cottage, and it’s good. It’s a bit esoteric and abstract, but as far as esoteric and abstract music goes, it’s pretty listen-to-able and awe-inspiring, especially when you consider how he made it (one reel-to-reel tape recorder). Even now 53 years later, its relevance and high quality production makes it it sound like an album that could have been made yesterday.
So that’s where we’re at with this RE:VIVE Sample Pack, “Around the House”. We got creaky floors, washing machines, the actual sounds of someone preparing breakfast, all types of coffee grinders etc. from archival collections across Europe.
There’s a rich range of sounds that just occupy the space where we spend the most of our lives. The appliances we use, the floors we pace, the doors we open and the doors we close are musical instruments. They go ignored by those not daring (or weird) enough to turn them into the multi-purpose tools they really are.
Sounds like these are worth saving in archives. One would think that they serve no purpose sitting next to something like a Beatles record but as technology improves silence becomes something we value most and the sounds we live with today will soon fade out. Already washing machines and telephone ringers have gone from violent and alarming to soft and dull. One day our dinners will be made by robots and the simple ambient sound of someone setting a table will become retro. Archives preserve the way life is for us to remember later on, but who’s to say we can’t celebrate the sounds now?
You can download the whole sample pack here. And be sure to share any tracks you make with us.
Licenses included in the sample pack
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Creative Commons Attribution
Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial
Material provided by the Arbetes Museum, Sweden, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, British Library.
Image provided by Gooi en Vecht Historisch CC BY-SA