download : Space Dust by Amie Slavin
Spacedust was commissioned by Sound Fjord, as part of the Exquisite Corpse show, where a chain of artists were invited to respond to each other’s work, in the manner of a game of consequences.
I began by listening to the piece which precedes mine in the chain of consequences. Some of the crackly sounds in that piece made me think of either crisps scrunching or the sweet I remember as ‘spacedust’, from my childhood, in the seventies. I considered both avenues for possible exploration, but decided against making a piece about crisps; our current national obsession with health and nutrition etc makes me think we’ve all heard enough about crisps, on the average day. Spacedust, on the other hand... Whatever happened to spacedust? Well, I went to our local olde sweetie shoppe, and bought some. Ok, they (the ’12-year-olds’ as Ed Reardon has so beautifully characterised them for us) now call it “popping candy”, but it’s the same stuff. I bought 10 sachets! Wondering why they changed the name...? Bet they thought ‘spacedust’ sounded druggy, but is ‘popping candy’ so much better...?
Anyway, from then on it was reasonably plain sailing: I got my friends to eat spacedust for me, and also recorded them whispering some descriptively onamatapaeic words; added some recorded words with my own voice, then hit the studio. I followed the meanings of the portmanteaux elements of the word spacedust, thinking about space, inner and outer, and about dust, especially dust as it moves and shimmers (or scintillates) in space. I thought about sunshine, sparkling a cloud of dust particles. The result is a small and light reflection on the experience of eating spacedust, or popping candy, if you prefer. I invite the listener to imagine themselves inside a mouth, surrounded by the sweet, or they might prefer to keep the experience at a distance, simply allowing the words to illustrate the sound of the dust being eaten. The making of this piece involved digital delay, reverb’, chorus, use of channel pan, a high pass filter, a bit of looping, and that’s the lot. I’m pleased to say that the friends in question, being super-talented as well as excellent sports, enable me to bill this piece as ‘SpaceDust’, featuring Damo Waters and Daz Disley on spacedust and beat box. Big big thanks to them both for being ace. Enjoy!