Metallurgy takes its name from the raw material of the piece; metal, in its fabrication, production and eventual sublimation as an array of home made metallophones.
I walked through Starrett’s metal factory in Jedburgh, recording the sounds of the ambience and vibrating surfaces of ‘quiet’ rooms and the sounds of the large machine shops. Of particular interest were the spitting rivet machines and the large and wide tension device for stretching bandsaw blade prior to the teeth being cut.
Instrumental sounds can be heard as a discrete layer in several polyphonic passages. Many of these instruments were made using offcuts of metal plundered from the factory’s recycle bin.
Conceptually the piece explores the relationship between metallurgy and alchemy, the relationship between the nature of substances and processes carried out on the substances, the transmutation of matter.
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