Machine's Song

Digital or visual media

Stillman, R. 2011. Machine's Song.
CreatorsStillman, R.

Machine’s Song is a sound recording that explores the notion of autonomous musical creation. The album uses a ‘one-man band’ of piano and foot-operated percussion as the basis for large-scale, layered studio productions that incorporate a wide variety of overdubbed instrumental recordings. The project seeks to foreground the way in which the ‘ensemble of one’, whether performed as one-man band, or constructed through multi-track recording, can create a uniquely focused expression of musical identity.

The music of Machine’s Song explores characteristics that arise when one creative will controls multiple musical forces, including elasticity of tempo, coordination of rhythmic nuance, and close synchronization of expression and dynamics. In these recordings, as in one-man band performance, these aspects of interpretation, mapped across multiple instruments, are inscribed as integrated aspects of the composition.

To expose the composite nature of the multi-track process, each piece on Machine’s Song is presented in two versions: the ‘Song’, which uses overdub recordings to create a narrative composition, and the ‘Collage’, which fractures the same multi-track material into an abstract deconstruction of the composition, highlighting the studio’s compositional capacity to repurpose the same sonic material twice, with strikingly different results.

The production utilizes a process of tracking directly to a cassette four-track recorder, and manually re-synching digital conversions of this audio in a software sequencer. This method seeks to engage more directly with the process of overdub-based composition. The subtle desynchronization that results from this approach functions to expose a studio process that is traditionally made transparent. The ‘lo-fi’ tape-hiss of the tape recordings seeks to underscore the materiality of the recorded form, and, when juxtaposed with more contemporary digital textures, disrupts the listener’s ability to sonically ‘date’ the work.

Machine’s Song’s sleeve design is based upon a letterpress-printed, limited edition release of the CD, featuring text and imagery contextualizing the project.

Web address (URL)
Related URL
FunderOne Inch Badge
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Jan 2016
Output statusPublished
Permalink -

  • 5
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Stillman, R. 2016. Rainbow.
One-man band
Stillman, R. 2013. One-man band. UK Robert Stillman.
Station wagon interior perspective (requiem for John Fahey)
Stillman, R. 2012. Station wagon interior perspective (requiem for John Fahey). Archaic Future Recordings/Apohadion Records.
Leap of Death
Stillman, R. and Fewster, A. 2014. Leap of Death.
Machine's Song
Stillman, R. 2009. Machine's Song. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA Aug 2009
The Films of Emile Cohl
Stillman, R. 2009. The Films of Emile Cohl. Brighton, East Sussex, UK Oct 2009
Films of Emile Cohl
Stillman, R. 2009. Films of Emile Cohl.
Master Box
Stillman, R. 2009. Master Box. Archaic Future Recordings.
New works
Stillman, R. 2009. New works. Brighton, UK Apr 2009
Stillman, R. 2009. Grass. Komedia Group, Brighton May 2009
Station wagon interior perspective
Stillman, R. 2009. Station wagon interior perspective. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA Aug 2009
Fishing in Rangeley Lakes
Stillman, R. 2009. Fishing in Rangeley Lakes. Brighton, UK Oct 2009
Film score: Films of Emile Cohl - 'Black n White' series at Rag n Bone Co
Stillman, R. 2009. Film score: Films of Emile Cohl - 'Black n White' series at Rag n Bone Co.
Stillman, R. 2009. Masterbox. Archaic Future Recordings.