Tomorrow at 4 p.m. you can join 184 of your fellow experimental music lovers—-although some may just be experimental-curious—-in a tunnel off the Capital Crescent Trail to record noise that will be mixed into 1.8 second sound loops. The loops will be included on a compilation that will benefit the annual Sonic Circuits music festival.
Washington City Paper: Tell me what it is that you’re doing on Sunday.
Layne Garrett: I am organizing a large group recording session in a tunnel off the Capital Crescent Trail, to record sound that will then be translated into 1.8 second loops that will go onto an LP of lock grooves.
WCP: Why 1.8 seconds?
LG: The lock grooves are 1.8 seconds long. That’s basically how long it takes the needle to get around the record.
WCP: So they’re always 1.8 seconds long?
LG: If it’s an LP, a 12-inch, it’ll be 1.8 seconds.
WCP: Why a tunnel?
LG: Just for the reverb. And, like, having a lot of people in a compact space and just interesting possibilities.
WCP: What are you going to have people do in the tunnel?
LG: Some vocal sounds. I’m asking everyone to bring a metal object which we’re going to drop at the same time. We’ll probably do some scraping of the metal stuff against the tunnel. We’ll probably do some stomping and other body noises. But probably mostly vocal stuff.
WCP: And then you’re going to choose the best of what comes out of the recording?
LG: Yeah. We’re going to record straight through, and then edit out what I think will make the most interesting loops.
WCP: Have you done anything like this before?
LG: Did you come to the thing in Rock Creek Park last April?
WCP: Yeah. That was amazing.
LG: That was sort of similar, I guess. It was getting a lot of people together with sound as the main focus. Other than that, I’ve not done anything like this before. I don’t think.
WCP: Where is the tunnel?
LG: It’s off of the Capital Crescent Trail, just outside of Georgetown. Like, a quarter mile up the trail the tunnel is right there on the right. The tunnel actually goes under the C&O Canal.
WCP: And what time should people be there?
LG: Four o’clock.
WCP: And they should bring something metal and a dollar?