“Below Zero” tells a story of infinite distance, inhuman scale and deep time. It ranks among Rich’s most foreboding and expansive works, with its vast surrealist soundscapes, clouds of shifting metallic overtones, indefinable mutations and sinuous threads of melting sonorities. It also represents a significant technical achievement, using sound design techniques that range from phase vocoding and granular synthesis, to open-loop feedback networks and chaotic electro-acoustic systems. Yet somehow within this isolated landscape of unfamiliar sounds, there shines the intense and melancholy sort of beauty that permeates Rich’s singular sonic universe.
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