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Published on Jul 7, 2011
American Air: The Sound of the 20th Century, is a sound collage assembled for a poetry workshop I took at the University of Albany while working on my master's degree in the Spring of 2000. The concept behind this piece is to create an aural expression of the social anxieties and pressures of existence in the Western world growing up and living during the Cold War.
It is very much influenced by Ken Nordine's work, to a degree. I wanted to experiment with sound by using sound clips from pop culture, film, TV shows, old news broadcast,s documentaries, to be my "voice."
The sound clips were taken from a variety of sources and media. I used Sound Forge and DDClip to record, edit, and mix the final project, which represents over 100 hours of work.
I never intended to produce this piece with images, however, when moving it to YouTube, I wanted to provide the visitor with a visual hook, something to ponder while listening. So, I added the floating eye; the all-seeing eye on our American one dollar bills. If there is any one concept more responsible than any other for the anxieties and pressures on the individual during the Cold War, it is the almighty dollar. I am producing a further version of this piece with period-appropriate pictures and images synced with the sound track to further explore these concepts.