Wednesday 28 January 2015


Here is a really nice example of concrete music or musique concrete if you prefer it en français. It arrives to our ears from a Surrey, UK / Rome, Italy-based musicmaker called Max Bonar-Law, under the moniker Wrycroft.

If you don't know, because you don't have to know (it is not a sin), concrete music is the art of creating music wholly out of sound samples. Kind of like concrete poetry but a lot closer to found poetry, in which words are "found" in their natural environments and isolated into a poem form. If you google it, like I did, you'll see that it was first developed in 1948 by French composer Pierre Schaeffer.

Wrycroft's offering is called 'Where I Am' and described by its maker on SoundCloud thusly: "i made this piece out of audio samples i mainly collected with my phone. no effects were used in the making of this piece." On Bandcamp it is described similarly: "a piece i made out of recordings i collected over the years. no effects/vsts/plug-ins/bla bla/silly stuffs were used to make this."

Alternating between samples on the high and low register for a percussive, beat-like effect, the track judders onwards through chiptune-sounding fuzzy bleeps and stuttering slices of guitar chords, punctuated with a string of pulsing kicks and the slow tick of a hi-hat-sort-of-sound. The found sound/concrete music aesthetic is topped off with lo-fi samples of somebody speaking and, from what I can hear, the sound of a road or a train station with distant vehicles rattling on a backdrop of static, grey noise.

I don't know how much work it takes to go through these various samples and figure out not only what parts to use, but where to put them and how to progress the song – it feels like Wrycroft went through a pretty long process to get to this finished result. But fun, too – fun to create a musical collage.

If you'd like to support this producer, please head on over to Bandcamp and download 'Where I Am' on a name-your-price basis. It is also a free download.

Wrycroft Social Media Presence ☟

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