Sonic Collage


'Collage' was originally a technique in the visual arts, derived from the French word for 'glue' coller. Artists would literally stick 'found objects' (bus tickets, cigarette ends, whatever) to the canvas. A sonic collage, then, will use no 'original' material at all, but only sounds and samples gathered from elsewhere. Important note: extreme care should be taken in this project to avoid breaching copyright law, and copyrighted material should only be used with prior permission.

The Project

Make a sonic collage lasting two minutes.


The compositional decisions in this project are therefore: what material to use and why? How to combine the materials? When to start and stop materials? Warning: collage can be a perfectly effective way of making music, but in order to achieve its effects it needs to show an awareness of its own dramaturgy. This means conveying a sense of what it would be like not to be a collage. In other words, the formal juxtapositions of collage need to be clearly heard as such, if the listener is to understand that a collage is taking place. To avoid a problem in this area is really up to the composer's own critical faculties. The act of making a random collage in itself does not guarantee interesting results.