Saturday, 1 June 2013


My contribution to the 73rd Disquiet Junto project, which involves reading a map of the San Andreas Fault as if it were a graphic notation score.

When opening my slice of the map I smiled to myself as I saw the big, empty pale yellow area to the right, and the two pale grey parallel lines running almost vertically down the middle. Then I spotted a distinct dotted line ending up in emptiness, and finally some lovely pink and orange fields, and thought to myself: this will be fun! I would have liked some 'strike slip faults' on my slice, the look cool, but at least I got a massive 'thrust fault' and a little bit of 'concealed fault' (love those names).

First I spent some time researching the word 'fault', its synonyms and its uses. Then I looked up the San Andreas Fault, photos and maps, and read about the San Francisco Earthquake 18 April 1906. 'Fault'? Is the world at fault? Isn't this what the earth does? Constantly changing and moving; without faults there would be no movement, no changes - it would be stagnation. So my music will contain 'faults'.

I started with an old field recording of mine, of a humming transformer station. The transformer station is big and solid, and within it are huge powers. I slowed it down, tuned it down, and it lies as a big heavy foundation throughout the piece, encompassing the whole map, the mountain, the earth. Ambient sounds with occasional erratic ripples illustrate both the mountain, the winds, the dust, the shapes and colours of the mountain and of the manmade map. Meanwhile there is a mumble and a creaking going on underground. Along the lines we travel, lines come with us for a while and disappear, other lines come and follow for a while and then fade off. The piece is in constant motion, not linear, more like circular movement; wind, waves, earth, time.

I used a field recording made with my iPhone, an Elektron MonoMachine in tandem with a Roland Model 101, all recorded and transformed in Logic Pro.

Quote from Geoff Manaugh on BLDGBLOG:
"As the National Park Service reminds us, “Although the very mention of the San Andreas Fault instils concerns about great earthquakes, perhaps less thought is given to the glorious and scenic landscapes the fault has been responsible for creating.”"


More on this 73rd Disquiet Junto project, which involves reading a map of the San Andreas Fault as if it were a graphic notation score, at:
This project was conducted as part of a course of study led by Geoff Manaugh (BLDG BLOG). More on his research at:
More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

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