Orb Jam Series: Trace Bloom

Embracing spontaneous auditory imperfection in a captivating Orb Jam Series session by Brian Alexander.

“The emotive inspiration for this session is that of being ‘Pattern Aware’ in daily life. Auditory order seems to arise when you’re not necessarily looking for it. It’s somewhat of a sequential experience where we suddenly wake up to or notice some form of ambient order, we become immersed and grapple with it at which point our attention shifts elsewhere. My daily sessions are exactly this; not knowing is engagement while recognition is release.

In this effort, ‘Polymitas,’ I tried to be much more intentional in framing out time, though the underlying premise is the same. It is roughly equal thirds comprised of probability, rhythmic structure, and dealing with not knowing what’s coming next.

The chance elements, short wave, data traffic, etc. are primarily live feeds through a pair of ADDAC sequential switches, which are fed to four 2HP loopers followed by another switch which is clocked and selects what bits to expose and for how long. The one-off Synescope (center) functions as a drone using just two colors to manage folding, timbre, and feedback which changes over the course of the piece as the paint dries and loses its reflectance and saturation. The more legible elements are primarily studio/Foley work done on-site with porcelain bells, tempered steel rods, and traditional acoustic instruments. The elongated textures and sense of space are enabled by a Strymon Starlab, 4ms DLD, and a Qu-Bit Aurora while the rhythmic structure is held together by a pair of ALM PNW’s, 4ms QCD, and the Earth Seq. There’s a bit of compression out of the main rack then mixed down via a Tascam 24 and finally to a Zoom F6.” — Brian Alexander (aka Trace Bloom)