The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


The Real Office Ambience

June 2009

In April this year, Jez riley French spent a day recording the surfaces and ambiences of The Wire office. Here are the results.

Jez riley French
Pelure # 9 - Gathered Wire
Unprocessed recordings gathered around the office of The Wire, April 2009
10 minutes

The piece begins with a binaural recording made close to the subscription department desk then moves deeper into the fabric of the office via recordings of the electronic signals in the space, recorded with coil devices.

In addition to my other explorations of music / sound, including work with audible silence, extended field recording and improvisation, I have been recording certain buildings with a connection to the experimental arts for some time now. This has mostly been in terms of my own personal experiences with these forms of creativity but I am sure there are many people for whom The Wire has been a welcome source of connection to interesting discoveries. With that in mind I thought it would be fun to create some pieces using sounds from the current Wire offices. I ended up with two finished compositions: one featuring surface vibrations (not suitable for playback via computer speakers) and the piece available here. This second composition has both playful and intense elements – perhaps that can be said of the magazine too?

My audio and visual work seeks to capture an emotive impression of our surroundings, playfully seeking to restate elements that we filter out and overlook in our daily lives. Key to this process is a desire to retain the intimacy of detail and discovery. It is also vital that a compositional arc extends through any finished work, reflecting a personal response.

By using various extended field recording methods, from the placement of highly sensitive contact microphones to capture vibrations of surfaces, to the use of hydrophones to record in liquids, it is possible to reflect the unique choral voice of structures and environments. This audible silence and sonic architecture is linked directly to my own need for stillness and a sense of joyful, simple exploration.

- Jez riley French

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