Sonic Infestation

Bruce Arnold—Acoustic, Electric Guitar and SuperCollider
John Stowell—Acoustic, Electric Guitar and Percussion

Sonic Infestation is a duet record where all the sounds you hear were played on guitars or drums. What makes this recording different is either the overlaying of one piece of music over another or the processing of the guitar parts to make new sonic events.

The session consisted of a series of acoustic guitar duets and one multi layered electric guitar duet with John playing both guitar and percussion while Bruce did multiple layers of guitar processed through supercollider. In the case of the overlaying of two different piece of music this was done at random fashion with relevant material from both pieces being combined to make the whole. The acoustic guitar pieces were duplicated with those tracks being processed via protools or supercollider to create accompaniment or new musical sections of the relevant pieces.

“Sonic Infestation”: A combination of one acoustic guitar duet and another duet recorded later.

“Filtration”: Combines an acoustic duet with the acoustic tracks being also used as a rhythm element, by selecting key rhythmic moments within the original tracks and processing the sound.

“Exciter-Excitee”: Is an electric, multilayered duet with John playing an electric guitare and percussion. Bruce is playing electric guitar processed through supercollider. John and Bruce trade solos.

“Primal resonance”: is an acoustic guitar duet superimposed over the electric guitar duet, with relevant artifacts from both sources processed and selected to provide the sonic bed.

“Temporal Inversion”: Is the overlaying of an acoustic duet over the electric guitar duet with also the acoustic tracks being duplicated and then processed.

“Simultaneous Vectors”: is an electric guitar duet where multitracks were recorded in 4/4 and 5/4 time signatures. John’s sol is processed through a ring modulator.

“Segmenation”: is an acoustic guitar duet which superimposed over the electric guitar duet where the electric and acoustic track take the forefront at different times. The electric duet is highly processed so original content is hardly recognized.

“Mask” is both an acoustic duet and the electric duet superimposed and processed in SuperCollider and Protools, where you don;t hear an of the original tracks, only the new sounds created from the processing of these tracks.

“Temporal Crossing”: is the combination of prepared acoustic guitar duet with John’s chordal accompaniment from the electric guitar duet superimposed.

“Palendrama”: is an acoustic guitar duet where the tracks have been played backwards and were doubled and used as effects.

“Spectralab”: is a piece where the first gestures of track 1 were processed. Only the sound of a low E-String was processed by taking the upper partials of the sound and sustaining them using a reverb with an extremely long decay. The resulting sound was again processed through delay effects, to create the final result.

To hear or purchase music from this CD please visit the Sonic Infestation page at the record company Muse Eek Recordings

“In “Sonic Infestation” Bruce Arnold has literally deconstructed a free improv session he recorded with the wonderfully inventive John Stowell. Using parts of the improvs, whole sections or superimposed tracks and a gamut of processing, he has created some very unique and to my ear, abstract, music. When I tackled the graphics for this CD, I approximated the process Bruce had used by taking one of my own abstract collages and processing the colors, lines and overall composition using various Photoshop filters. Look and listen.”
—Michal Shapiro,

“Like some kind of overture to an epic krautrock adventure, the first track of this album brandishes some prime chiming acoustic guitar all a-pickin’ and a-riffin’, surrounded by strange swooshing and twittering sounds. But, on track two a few moments later, the proceedings quickly descend into a quirky, experimental sound world. That’s when you find out that the while, I mean whole album is comprised of a set of freely improvised guitar duos that have been electronically transformed post-mortem, in whole or in part, by one of the players. On most of the tracks, one guitar is left mostly intact while the other is run through the sonic cheese grater. What it all amounts to is a prickly yet atmospheric album of attention-holding guitar improv that is sure to please fans of this genre. And clocking in at just 33:49, this Sonic Infestation of your ears won’t eat up too much of your life.”
—Arcane Candy,

“A fine album of treated guitars. Following a studio improvisation session with John Stowell, Bruce Arnold used the tapes and coaxed out of them 11 short tracks, through creative editing, treatment and recomposition. These guitar redesigned guitar duos range from pastorales (the disc’s intro and outro) to faux-gamelan prepared guitar pieces (“Simultaneous Vector”), by way of more abstract things, though always easy to listen to and get into. Nice concise work.”

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