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paper, stones

by Nicholas Maloney

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Paper, stones is a quadrophonic sound installation that explores the unique relationship between the manmade and natural world through the sonic properties of stones, “paper stones,” and the environments from which they originated. Four speakers each emit a different audio track chosen at random with each speaker transitioning to a new track at a different time from the others. A pile of stones and paper stones is displayed in the center of the room.

The audio tracks that are selected originate from various sources related to the stones and paper stones. Eight tracks were created by rubbing, handling, and improvising with a pile of stones in various ways. The stones were collected from a beach near Castlefreke and a stream at the foot of Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. Field recordings were made at both of these locations on the day the stones were collected. The sounds include ocean waves crashing upon the seashore, recordings of Torc Waterfall and the stream at the foot of the waterfall, as well as hydrophone recordings of various segments of the stream. “Paper stones” were created by cutting, folding, and taping rectangular sheets of construction paper into shapes that roughly resembled the stones. This paper stone construction process was recorded via omni directional microphones and edited down into eight separate tracks. Four recordings were also made of the sound of large printers in a library to capture an environment related to paper. All of these recordings form the sonic basis for the installation.

*The piece presented here is a demonstration of how the installation sounds, recorded in my studio space via 2 omnidirectional microphones placed in the center of the room in the middle of the four speakers. This is an excerpt from a longer recording.


released September 3, 2021

Conceived / tested January - April 2021
Sound and cover by Nicholas Maloney


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Nicholas Maloney Portland, Oregon

Nicholas Maloney is a sound artist working with field recording and a variety of instruments and electronics to create an abstract world of immense complexity and range. Maloney's work expresses stillness and activity, lightness and dark, in order to provide a rich imaginative space for listeners to explore.

He also runs the label Asonu
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