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Electric Sweepers and Vacuum Creepers

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Published on Apr 21, 2015

Annie Gosfield, sampling keyboard: Billy Martin, drums and percussion; Roger Kleier, electric guitar; Steven Bernstein, slide trumpet: Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Brian Drye, trombone (not visible in the video)
Electric Sweepers and Vacuum Creepers focuses on the sounds of my one childhood sonic phobia, the buzzy roar of a vacuum. I tuned, edited, and layered many sounds of vacuums that were recorded in Hoover’s labs in Glenwillow, Ohio, ranging from their 110 year old original “electric vacuum sweeper” through their newest model. Tuning is an important part of the process of developing a new vacuum; recordings are made in house in order to “strike a balance between the sense of quiet and the sound of power.” I was given access to recordings of vacuums being turned on and off; cheerios, beads, and other items being vacuumed on a variety of surfaces; and the vacuums being emptied. Thanks to Hoover for providing the sounds and letting me explore the not so dark recesses of my childhood fears. We all developed this one together, with the horns (like the vacuums) striking “a balance between the sense of quiet and the sound of power.” The piece starts with a recording of a vacuum being turned on, and ends (not coincidentally) with the sound of a vacuum being turned off.

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