[AR14]: Self Portrait Through Process

September 5, 2011

[AR14]: Self Portrait Through Process – Massimo Magee

SELF PORTRAIT THROUGH PROCESS – Massimo Magee

1: Self Portrait Through Process 17:15
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Massimo Magee: Cassette/Analogue Synthesiser/Laptop feedback loop acted upon in parts by Sopranino Saxophone and Whistling

Cover Photograph – Self Portrait Through Process by Massimo Magee

This piece started when I had an idea for a particular instrumental set-up involving a cassette/analogue synthesiser/laptop feedback loop, recording directly to tape. When the time came (when there was time) I put this idea into practice and put together the set-up. I then pushed the ‘record’ button on the tape recorder, and set the instrument in motion. At this point, I had no idea how to control the instrument at all, no idea how to impose my improvisational impulses on the sounds emanating from it. Then, over the course of the piece recorded here, I developed a relationship with the instrument gradually, developing ways to improvise with it, and impose my improvisational impulses on the sounds, over the course of the 17 minutes and 15 seconds heard here. At some point, when I decided the piece was over, I pushed ‘stop’.

The piece is a self portrait in as much as it is a portrait of anyone. The process described above could be an apt metaphor for life in general. We are not generally born knowing how to impose our designs on the world around us, and instead must gradually develop a relationship with this world as we live. Some people say life is an improvisation. The piece is also an improvisation, and as such is a microcosm of existence. It is an exploration of existence in a particular moment, limited to the field of sound. The interaction of a consciousness with the array of possibilities available to it in the given moment, and the willingness of that consciousness to enter into that moment and to respect it.

The cover photograph is more of a true self portrait in that to create it, I took a photograph of myself, then took a photograph of that photograph, then took a photograph of that photograph of that photograph, then took a photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph, then took a of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph, then took a photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph, then took a photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph of that photograph, and so on.

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