The Transatlantic Half-Pipe Rick Nance

My interest in skating dates back many (many) years. My interest in the sound of the board was piqued one summer morning on the way to work. I was riding a one piece, oak “Bama Boogie” board wearing headphones and listening to The Who. This is NOT advised, by the way. Anyhow, I noticed that my coordination was a bit off. I assumed it was some inner ear balance smear from over-rocking out . I took the headphones off and noticed that the real problem was, unknown to me, I had been listening to the board to give me my position on it. I spent the rest of the trip to work walking back and forth across the board listening to the sound of wood, speed, asphalt and PVC wheels. The field samples in this piece are recorded from skaters in Birmingham, Alabama, Berlin (thanks Pete Batchelor), Bangor Wales, Berlin, and Birmingham UK. The studio samples were recorded in the studios of the University of Wales, Bangor. Some of the skaters were me, Jimmy Tracy, and some of the guys that hang at Faith Skates and down at the Slab. There’s also a “yaa-hoo!” from Furnace Fest at Sloss Furnace in Alabama. If this piece is about anything, it really is about the sound and the ride. I began this in my MPhil year at Bangor intending to try and hone my ear and ideas as an acousmatic. I think I succeeded in getting some of the feel of moving on the board and the in-studio feel of feeling through the sound. If I succeeded in getting across something about the burgeoning skate culture, then so much the better. They’re all out there, riding, making noise, and pushing each other higher.

Source: 2019

  • Year of composition: 2001
  • Genre: Acousmatics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Hardware used: ATC ASL20, and 150, ProTools TDM, Neumann km184, OKM binaural mics, Tascam DAP1, Sony minidisk, Various skateboards
  • Software used: Soundhack, ArgeiphontesLyre, Soundspectral
  • Duration of the submitted work: 7:33

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