Shimmerance of Ether WW
Rob Scorah - 1998

The origins of this piece are found in the strange world thrown up as one tunes between radio stations on any portable radio. It is as if, with the aid of the machine. one has become clairaudient, able to dip into the thoughts and dreams of the world at will.

Two main characteristics of this sonic wasteland are the ever-present biting and spitting interference, and the floating, glass-like tones which rise and fall, singing their own strange melodies, sometimes in tune with the other music that overlays them.

To recreate this world, the obvious first task was to record the static chaos itself. Once the tiny electronic songs were caught, the best means of replicating and developing them turned out to be an old Roland analogue, modular synthesiser. This could produce almost identical sounds itself, which could be further explored by the synthesiser, or put through the processing units of the computer. The hiss and crackles attendant to the Roland were left in the sounds and indeed added to those that had been made by 'cleaner', more modern digital synths, and also to the voice and singing samples used in the composition of the piece.

Shimmerance of Ether is meant to reflect that electro-magnetic clairaudience: the hearing of all things together, of things far off and far away in both time and space. It is an alembic of such things, distilled and refined by some alchemist, and put in a bottle.