Steve Peters
Filtered Light (Chamber Music 4)

Chamber Music is a series of site-specific sound installations derived from recordings of the empty rooms in which the work is exhibited. No people are present, so the only sounds recorded are those that are incidental to the building itself, or those that leak in from outside. These recordings of ambient room tone are processed to isolate subtle resonant frequencies that become the only materials of the piece. Aside from equalization and gating, no other electronic treatments or instruments of any kind are used. Every version of the piece is different, due to the acoustic and architectural characteristics of each venue.

Filtered Light was made in 2008 for the University of New Mexico Art Museum, in conjunction with the annual UNM Composers’ Symposium. Fourteen frequencies between 70 Hz and 3 kHz were extracted from an unedited hour-long recording made in the empty gallery. That hour was divided into thirty-two segments of varying length that recombined randomly in the continuous four-channel installation. The mix heard here represents one set of possible combinations. A low playback volume is recommended.

Thanks to Yann Novak, Manny Rettinger, Chris Shultis.