Dial Tone Drone
For her telephone sound composition Dial Tone Drone(2014), Satz commissioned a conversation between two old friends, the sound pioneers Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) and Laurie Spiegel (born 1945). Carried out via iPhone and Skype and prompted by a series of questions from Satz, the pair congenially discuss aspects of drone sounds, which for years have been an important component of their unconventional electronic work, both audio and video. Their interest in drone sounds and use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters aligned with Satz’s own interest in alert signals, and the latter’s attempt to forge a new understanding of hypervigilance and emergency through sound as a perceptual trigger of high alert.
After recording the exchange between Oliveros and Spiegel, Satz orchestrated the conversation against a backdrop of a drone composition by each, which move from voice to analogue accordion and to electronic music and converge in the center of the fourteen-minute composition. The first half features excerpts from Horse Sings from Cloud(1975), an accordion score with voice by Oliveros, and the second half features the Expanding Universe(1974-76), a computerized composition by Spiegel.
In their conversation Oliveros and Siegel both agree that although a drone has only one tone, it isn’t static because the listener’s mind will always search for difference. By deciphering small deep patterns, the listener will construe some form of interesting counterpoint. Dial Tone Drone encourages its perambulatory audience to slow down and pay attention, to do more than simply hear.