Listen to a binaural mix of (the 4-channel) Cyclonic (9:30)


Taking its name from the rotational motion associated with powerful meteorological events, Cyclonic was inspired by the awesome power of the weather in east central Illinois and plays at the edges between events as recorded, events as experienced, events as remembered, and events as imagined.

Pitches were derived from the frequencies in the National Weather Service alert signal, and the concept of a Cycle is abstracted in various ways ranging from an endlessly accelerating pan to endless (cyclic) increases in the pitches of synthetically generated sirens and filterbanks processing synthetic wind.

Apart from some rain, thunder, and wind samples recorded in downtown Champaign, all other sounds are synthetic imitations and extensions of so-called natural sounds.


At GVA Sessions 2015, I had an opportunity to work with filmmaker Peter Mettler who improvised these images live as he listened to Cyclonic for the first time. It’s fascinating to look inside someone’s mind as they listen to the piece, and especially Peter’s mind; he has an amazing visual imagination! (You can only hear the front two channels in this video capture so the sound is a little sparse; you just have to imagine the additional rear channels).

This work was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration.