Andrea Porcu’s latest is an engaging hour-long ambient piece that combines a variety of water recordings with deeply resonant drones. The album’s notes describe experiments with “the dilatation of sound,” a phrase I hadn’t heard before. (It has to do with the way sound waves pass through the air.)
Porcu and I connected by email.
What is the dilatation effect, and how have you incorporated it?
Most of Music For Sleep compositions are based on the dilatation of the sound. If you pay attention to the detail, near the middle of the track you can hear a total dilatation. For about 20 minutes, you’ll hear the synthesizers and water take another shape.
That 20-minute section is just 10 minutes of real-sound processing. I take a sample of the composition and reprocess it through a customized tool. I never know in advance what will come out of the process. Some things will change or take another direction. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On Waterforms, it worked better than expected.
What sparked your interest in the process?
I’ve used it on other long-form compositions, like Schorre (Extended Version) and Migration. I’ve been working on electronic music since I was 12. I learned a lot about experimentation, synthesis, modular synthesis and tape manipulation.
Was it important that this be such a long piece?
Long-form composition means freedom. I really don’t remember the last time I sat in the studio to work on an album with single tracks. At the moment, I feel more comfortable taking a full day in the studio and working on a long-form composition. It usually takes that long – 90% of the time is spent on the material and the rest on mixing and adding elements. This was a one-day effort.
Tell me about the phrase “music for sleep.” How do the two connect for you?
After years of releasing dub/reggae music under my real name, this is my first ambient project. I started Music For Sleep for self-meditation; to help myself sleep. I suffer from insomnia. Don’t take the name too literally though. Like any artist alias, listeners can interpret it as they wish.