Short Wave Fantasy James Bentley

Short Wave Fantasy is the third piece in the Cycle of Noise project. A short sample extracted from Bruit (the second piece from the Cycle of Noise), provided the starting point for the piece, which was then developed further; the sample was a radio blur, consisting of a pop song fragment and noise. Various techniques associated with pop music production (such as looping, sampling and periodic patterning) were exploited as the sonic material, which is mostly either tonal (harmonic) or noise-based, is magnified and amplified to extreme proportions.

Short Wave Fantasy was composed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham and was first performed by the composer during BEAST’s Aural Kinetics weekend at MAC Theatre, Birmingham (February 2000).

About the Cycle of Noise

The Cycle of Noise project is a series of works that explores the cultural phenomenon (through musical context), but primarily the sonic aspects of noise. By noise, I mean: distortion, feedback, glitch, white noise, hum, hiss and other derivatives usually associated with the ‘unwanted’ part of an audio signal. Central to each work is the discourse between noise and non-noise (real-world or concrète) sound-worlds through musical processes. As the cycle progresses, these processes become less rigorous, whilst noise accumulates over the course of the first half of the cycle before rapidly fading in the latter stages.

The cycle consists of six works (totalling around 80 minutes), which are divided into two sets of trilogies: the first three works form something of a ‘radio trilogy’, while the latter three have an environmental aspect to them (explored through location or space). The cycle is intended to form an evening concert, with an interval separating the trilogies.

James Bentley: Cycle of Noise (1995-2004)

1. Interference (1995-7/9) solo violin 7’
2. Bruit (1997/8) electroacoustic 10’
3. Short Wave Fantasy (1998/9) electroacoustic 17’ 06
4. Double Exposure (2001) electroacoustic 9’
5. In Broken Images (2004) electroacoustic 17’ 20
6. Trace Element (2003/4) electroacoustic installation 15-20’

  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration of the submitted work: 17:08
  • Production: University of Birmingham

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More works by James Bentley