198.3 Ashcroft Subdivision Dan Nyborg, Andrew Watson

The Ashcroft Subdivision is a stretch of track which comprises the main artery of all Western bound train traffic travelling down the Fraser River valley in British Columbia. A particularly dangerous subdivision due to an often unpredictable mountain climate and raging river, trains usually over a mile in length carry their cargo downhill over a vast network of bridges in the valley towards port in Vancouver. On a calm night, the pounding of the diesel engines coupled with the numerous freight cars and singing rail can be heard for miles echoing down the valley, constantly building and morphing with the natural surroundings until all one hears is the massive train passing.

This piece is composed entirely of feedback generated through various outboard units. The evolving contours and textures of the individual feedback loops are used to compose the flow of the soundscape. Recorded as a live stereo take, improvisation plays a large part in the final output.

  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Duration of the submitted work: 8:05

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