On Thursday, August 2 local musician Marc McNulty will be performing live on Rare Frequency. Marc has been creating electronic music and sound art since 1989. Inspired by everything from mid-century musique concrète to eighties industrial music, Marc mixes organic and synthetic elements using self-designed software tools and a variety of analog and digital sound sources. This will be Marc’s second appearance on RF. You can hear a podcast of his first performance here: Rare Frequency Podcast Special Ed. 9: Marc McNulty Live 10.26.06 In the week prior to the performance, Marc was kind enough to answer some questions by email.
Listen to a podcast of Marc’s live set here:
Podcast Special Ed. 18: Marc McNulty Live on Rare Frequency
Could you tell me a bit about your background and how you became interested in making music?
I’ve always been fascinated with sound. I was surrounded by shortwave radios when I was very young; these sounds of the ‘outside’ world and the ‘other’ world of atmospheric events became a vocabulary that I understood at times better than a spoken language. The odd science or methods of discovering these and other sounds formed a deep part of my psyche. When I first heard Musique Concrète and Acousmatique works I knew there was something more to my toying with electrostatic sounds. About making music, I cannot say it better than Edgard Varése: “Music is organized sound”.
What kind of tools (instruments, etc) do you use when composing?
I use a collection of recorders, primarily small digital recorders with some DIY microphones with odd shapes or extra resonators on them to make the captured sounds effected. I don’t always do this, I mainly collect sounds as cleanly as possible and work with them in a software editor with some effect (plugins) that I developed in MAX/MSP and some other tools. When I am composing, if it can be called that, I am listening for patterns and focus on them intently. When I am laying out a work I use Ableton Live because it is very visual and suits my methods, plus performing with it allows so many realtime options. I do use some synths, like a Waldorf Microwave XT, analog filters, and Reaktor to build complex sounds and interactions.
Your last three releases on Earphone have been quite varied. Is there a common thread that you see running through them?
I see the common thread as me exploring. I know that many times an artist is expected to have a specific ‘sound’; I think I do too, it is just more hidden in the small details. My works are made at a specific time and can only document my thoughts and reactions to the source material I am using. I think the sounds tell a far better story than I can. Maybe they are a ‘cinema for the ear’?Are there any artists, musicians, etc. who have especially influenced your work?
I won’t bore you with a long list, but right now the works of: Asmus Tietchens, Paul Virilio, Pierre Henry, Andrew Liles, Bronwyn, COH, Olaf Bender, Praveer Baijal, Hans Peter Kuhn, and Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson. But, I could rattle on….
What projects — records, live sets, etc. — are you currently working on?
I am working on a worldwide sound streaming project at www.locusonus.org, plus a project with Marcin Barski of Audiotong in Krakow,Poland. Plus, at the end of August I am doing some sound works in Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Berlin, plus a few places along the rail lines. There is always something to listen to at www.earphone.org.
Note: comments are closed after thirty days.
Other Featured Articles
- Telstar Cover Versions with Glenn Jones
- Strange Attractor on Rare Frequency
- 2011 Year-End List
10 Records I Liked A Lot
- Label Profile: Semata Productions
- Label Feature: Sedimental
- New England Phonographers Union
- Mike Shiflet
- Caroline Park
- Tumble (Andrea Belfi + Attila Faravelli)
- Blevin Blectum
- Luke Moldof
- Strotter Inst.
- Max Lord
- Label Profile: mAtter
- Greg Kelley
- Retribution Body
- Brandon Terzakis
- Ricardo Donoso
- Oneohtrix Point Never
- Benjamin Nelson Interview
- Nettle Gets Under Your Skin
- Nerve Net Noise
- Stephan Mathieu
- Area C
- Illusion of Safety
- More, Please! WZBC Fundraiser
- rise set twilight
- Keith Fullerton Whitman
- Howard Stelzer's Current Cassette Rotation
- Brendan Murray
- Ashley Paul
- The undr quartet Turns Ten: An Interview
- RF Top 30 Records of 2007
- DJ Dabu
- Forbes Graham
- DJ /rupture
- Marc McNulty
- An Interview with Ernst Karel
- Droning, Fast and Free:
An Interview with Eli Keszler
- Sonic Boom:
An Interview with DJ C
- Beyond Ones and Zeroes:
An Interview with Jay Sullivan
- Sound Resonance:
An Interview with Asher Thal-nir
- Happy Intransitive New Year:
An Interview with Howard Stelzer
- Sound Narratives:
An Interview with Philip Samartzis
- Interview: COH
S is for COH
- The Sound Migrations of Janek Schaefer:
- Everyday Sound Sculptor:
An Interview with Sawako
- Rise Set Twilight
- The Ghost in the Buddha Machine:
An Interview with Christiaan Virant of FM3
- Fe-mail: An Interview with the Pink Inferno
- Out in the Field with United States of Belt
- Lasse Marhaug: More is Better
- Brendan Murray: At Rest, Work, and Play
- Chloe Recordings