Before The sounds of ideas forming | Experimental sound works 2003-7 | Alan Dunn

Before The sounds of ideas forming are sound sketches created on the move, somewhere between Liverpool and Kiev, Odessa, Bergen, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Helsinki, Malmo and Valletta. Some were shared with a select few at the time on very limited CDRs, but most remain unheard until now. The loose thread running through them is what I called anticipated sound. That is, constructing a patina of what I thought certain landmark compositions may sound like, based on only reading about them before actually hearing them. Examples in the series include Helikopter String Quartet, Gloomy Sunday/Sunday Morning, Amazing Grace, Love will tear us apart, Christine, Satisfaction, The End, Metal Machine Music and The Lord's Prayer.

Heavily influenced by Guided By Voices' DIY output and Jon Oswald's Plunderphonics, these experimental works began the cantaudio series (full listing below) and form the foundations for the 10xCD opus The sounds of ideas forming (2008-12).

This page includes five short selections made from the experiments and links to the original cantaudio pages.

Before The sounds of ideas forming | AAA

In AAA, we hear Springsteen singing will tear us apart over a (backwards version of) New Order's first live rendition of the track; the word 'cant' removed from Satisfaction, recordings of the Loch Ness Monster, a reworking of Scotland-Lithuania commentary and the furious excitement of early Rooney over Melt Banana, Ricky Nelson singing the Hungarian suicide song banned by the BBC, the only existing recording of The Lord's Prayer by Siouxsie, Marco Pironi and Sid Vicious (heard again in Volume 5), a slowed Neil Diamond and a series of one-second compositions (yesyesno) that were later exhibited in greatestbits alongside Kraftwerk's Karl Bartos.

Before The sounds of ideas forming | BBB

In BBB, the influence of Revolution 9 is heavy; we hear the artist's dad emptying the living room with his guitar playing, Jello Biafra, Nico and Patti Smith on Jim Morrison, a slowed Brigitte Bardot, David Sylvian, the medical condition in which only the beginning and end of a sentence is heard (intros/outros), Cassetteboy, Dead Kennedys, cut up cassette experiments, John Peel, a collection of deleted sound files, Dorsey Burnette, a school production of War of the worlds, Paul & Yoko, Jose Mourinho, Zappa on Jesus, Sinatra, Arts Council workers recorded on a train, Kate Bush vs Halloween, Robert Wyatt & The Gonads' slowing revolution and Pantera meets Nina Simone. Volume 2 concludes with an exclusive 8-minute remix created for the series by Philip Jeck.

Before The sounds of ideas forming | CCC

In CCC, we hear a series of fifteen short collages exploring place and accents, radio and revolution, oration and rhythm, children singing and scratches, compression and commercials; it may feature Septic Death, Billy Connolly, DJ Screw, Satisfaction, Heidi & Zak, Louie Louie and Marie Laforet.

Before The sounds of ideas forming | DDD

In DDD we hear selections from Returning the screw, slowed down versions of slowed down cover versions. We hear Jimmy Witherspoon slowly becoming Nick Cave becoming Tom Jones becoming Elvis Presley. Witherspoon's version of the Hungarian suicide song Gloomy Sunday is slowed to 90%; between seventy and ninety percent is arrived at as a speed that opens up the original to new areas, walking the margins of vinyl played at the wrong speed and Hüsker Dü's Green Eyes (Jon Auer at 70%) and The Jam's Going Underground (Buffalo Tom at 80%) receive similar treatment (with occasional live applause added to pose a question of veracity) before Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown wraps up the proceedings (Ryan Adams at 80%).

Before The sounds of ideas forming | EEE

In EEE, we hear some oddities and rarities including more of the original Siouxsie The Lord's Prayer and Johnny Rotten looped over the National Anthem. When Johnny Cash sang 25 minutes to go in Folsom Prison in 1968, he sang only 20 of the 25 lines. I created new lyrics for the missing verses and invited a Cash soundalike to perform them. Kurt Cobain is spliced (on cassette) to sing about the Loch Ness Monster and Spurling & Wilson, creators of the 1934 surgeon's photograph (it looks so good, it's made out of wood). Mistribution was a series of recordings of asking for Guided By Voices material in HMV shops and the various reasons for not stocking them. From the cutting room floor, old horse racing commentary is sequenced backwards over grumpy Lou Reed interviews, a treated Metal Machine Music, local radio phone-ins and slowabilly from Dorsey Burnette and we end with reports of Diego Maradona signing for Dundee as it falls apart in The End.

cantaudio | 2003-date

03.03, edition 31

06.03, edition 25

08.03, edition18

11.03, edition18

01.04, edition 18

02.04, edition 200

03.04, edition 13

05.04, edition 22

08.04, edition 13

09.04, edition 100

10.04, edition 20

01.05, edition 18

03.05, edition 500

07.05, edition 15

07.05, edition 10

01.06, edition 11

02.06, edition 19

05.06, edition 19

05.06, edition 19

10.06, edition 16

01.07, edition 12

06.07, edition 15

07.07, edition 20

09.07, edition 25

11.07, edition n/a

02.08, edition 433

06.08, edition 12

06.08, edition 12

09.08, edition 1000

06.09, edition 1000

04.10, edition 1000

09.10, edition 1000

03.11, edition 1000

03.12, edition 1000

06.13, edition 100

04.13, download