The Transatlantic Half-Pipe (2001) 7'30"
My interest in skating dates back many (many) years. My interest in
the sound of the board was piqued one summer morning on the way to work.
I was riding a one piece, oak "Bama Boogie" board wearing headphones and
listening to The Who. This is NOT advised, by the way. Anyhow, I noticed
that my coordination was a bit off. I assumed it was some inner ear
balance smear from over-rocking out . I took the headphones off and
noticed that the real problem was, unknown to me, I had been listening
to the board to give me my position on it. I spent the rest of the trip
to work walking back and forth across the board listening to the sound
of wood, speed, asphalt and PVC wheels.
The field samples in this piece are recorded from skaters in
Birmingham, Alabama, Berlin (thanks Pete Batchelor), Bangor Wales,
Berlin, and Birmingham UK. The studio samples were recorded in the
studios of the University of Wales, Bangor. Some of the skaters were me,
Jimmy Tracy, and some of the guys that hang at Faith Skates and down at
the Slab. There's also a "yaa-hoo!" from Furnace Fest at Sloss Furnace
If this piece is about anything, it really is about the sound and the
ride. I began this in my MPhil year at Bangor intending to try and hone
my ear and ideas as an acousmatic. I think I succeeded in getting some
of the feel of moving on the board and the in-studio feel of feeling
through the sound. If I succeeded in getting across something about the
burgeoning skate culture, then so much the better. They're all out
there, riding, making noise, and pushing each other higher.
Rick Nance (Bangor, Wales)
is a post-graduate student at the University of Wales,
Bangor, studying under Dr. Andrew Lewis. He is from the southeastern
United States, and lived more than half his life in Birmingham, Alabama.
There he studied with composition with Michael Angell, Dorothy Hindman
and Charles Norman Mason.
While living in Birmingham he was introduced to free improvisation by
Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith. His first public gig organized by
Wally Shoup, and playing with Glenn Engstrand and Keith Collins.
His primary focus in study and practice is listening. Acousmatic
composition is the inevitable result. He did a residency at BEAST with
Jonty Harrison in 1997. He went on to pursue independant research in
acousmatics and free improv at his own studios in Alabama. As a free
improvisational trumpet player and guitarist, he has performed (and
listened) with Trans Museq, Davey Williams, LaDonna Smith, Craig
Hultgren, Susan Heffner, and PhantomLimb. As a composer, he has written
scores for modern dance, animation, video and multi-speaker diffusion.
Performances of his acousmatic work have been in Birmingham AL, Berlin,
New York, Portland Oregon, New Mexico, Bangor, Wales, and Pisa, Italy.