Collapsing Orchestra cover art

For this album I established the premise that no traditional musical instruments, or synthesizers would be used, and there would be little to no audio effects employed. Mostly it is carefully arranged layers of what I thought were interesting sounds. I discovered that one difficulty was creating sustained tones using only these means that I'd allowed myself.

A limited edition cassette version was released by freedom from records. The original sounds were recorded by Brutum Fulmen in collaboration with Ninnuam

  1. Shedding Skin

    Cheap cassette squeaking in an old station wagon tape deck. Creaking gooseneck stand. Dumpster pounded by hand.

    I was sitting in a station wagon trying to play a Nurse With Wound album that I'd dubbed onto a really crummy cassette. The tape had gotten too tightly wound on the spools and the device began emitting hideous high pitched squeals. Luckily I had my DAT deck on hand, turned off the volume and captured the sound.

    I think this is the sound that caused Ron Lessard (RRRecords) to call it one of the most annoying things he'd heard.

  2. Ivy Covered Ruins

    Forks & spoons. Pneumatic screen door hinge. Garage door lock. Dumpster lid. Heap of rusted sheet metal. Water tricking through an underground pipe. Oven door & rack. Cinderblocks rubbed against pavement.

    The potential harsh sources come together in a relatively peaceful manner.

  3. (untitled)

    Large pipes pounded by hand in underground sewer pumping station.

    Ninnuam had access to a variety of military and construction sites where we recorded many of the sounds sources on this album, including an underground sewer pumping station which created beautiful natural echoes.

  4. Oblivion

    Squeaking merry-go-round. Metal pipe dragged across cement. Large crumpled mass of rusting sheet metal. Banging on metal pipe underground. Hinges of a creaky mens' room door in a Hoboken parking garage.

    The squeaking merry-go-round was found in a sad, abandoned playground on a military base. It had what I thought wsa a beautiful sound somewhere between an oboe and a trumpet.

  5. Subconscious

    Generators. Electric pipe bender. Sewer pumping station water pipe. Swimming pool filter.

    Layers of sounds used to make an atmospheric piece.

  6. Amputate

    Microphone windshear and other sounds gathered from large industrial fans and air conditioning units.

    More sounds recorded at a military base. Putting the mics directly into the fans created a lot of windshear, and to distort the sound further we recorded with the levels in the red.

    This track went on way to long for the amount of interesting content, so in later issues of the album, I cut it down from around 9 minutes to around 3. But this was a bit of a precursor to the harsh noise experiments of Spork.

  7. Symphony

    Pounding on large industrial dumpsters. Pounding on playground slides. Metal on metal friction. Dripping & hissing steam pipe. Smashing ceramic electric line insulators. Large wooden power cable spools dragged on concrete. Etc.

    This piece was originally recorded for the WKCR July 1997 noise festival, and was used to kick off the "Americans" section of the 72-hour festival. The 20 minute track ranges from the low atmospheric gonging sounds to the ear splitting violence. It is also the first actual Brutum Fulmen work.