The Anthropocene is defined as the “age of man”. It is the modern epoch, where humanity is so enmeshed in the global ecosystem, it has the ability to define the way it functions. I felt that this concept was distinctly similar to the motives of the Futurist, and demonstrated their desire to control nature and be immersed in a world governed by man made technology. The piece that I created is intended to portray the transition in which the natural and the artificial become indistinguishable from each other, thereby extending the palate in what would define Futurist instrumentation. It consists of field recording that I collected while walking throughout Seward Park; an environment in which I would consider to be “mechanically natural”.
The timeline of the piece consists of two distinct aspects of human industrialization. In the first section, the listener hears more brutal and overt industrial noise, which sound akin to excavation or construction. This is meant to demonstrate unabashed power over natural resources, where the crude and oblique sounds emote a more ballistic manifestation of the environment. At the end of this section, a series of convoluted sounding voices emerge through the mechanized noise. This is meant to depict the communicative technologies that arise from the industrial foundation, further solidifying the human species as a unified entity overtaking the biosphere.
Following this transition is the cumulative amalgamation of the mechanical and the natural world, which eventually elevates into the modern era, as well as the consequential aftermath. This period is defined by the addition of more biomechanical elements, which still have similar tonal qualities to the sounds of construction, but come across as more organic. The piece peaks at the rise of an ominous rhythmic melody, which signifies the symbiosis our species has with the world as it appears today. However, this part is constantly being disrupted by the increasingly disjointed mechanical crashing sound - which lingers, literally and figuratively, from the era of the first section. Eventually this dissipates, with only the echoing sounds of the
communicative elements remaining. I chose to end with this aspect because it portrays a haunting image of the constructive aspects declining into absence, leaving only the sounds of the human element resting on a void.
Anthropocene is predominantly a narrative reflection on the evolution of the natural world, through the emergence of cohabitation-based technology. It could also be interpreted as a social commentary on the excess of industrialization; however, this is not the original intention. It elicits the way in which the environment inadvertently becomes a cyborg-like entity, based on the systematic control that humanity has integrated into its stasis. The piece almost has a homogenous quality, and tends to ebb and flow like a collective organism - this is in spite of the fact each of the source components are extremely diverse. I felt that this was quite appropriate, in that the structure of the piece alone was a mirror to the original concept.