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Kevin Springer » Sound

Composer Quest Interview

Composer QuestA few weeks ago Charlie McCarron interviewed me for his new project Composer Quest. In the episode we talk a bit about theater sound design, but mostly focus on compositions that I’ve written in the past few years including Summer and Smoke at Theatre in the Round last Fall. The Disquiet Junto compositions also get a fair shake.  I have to admit that I didn’t know that I had so much to say.  So have a listen here.

Also have a listen to the earlier episodes which feature among others Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Smith of Spencer McGillicutty.


Audio Journal 2012

Here is a 60 sec. recap of my music and sound designs from 2012. 5 seconds per month.

Jan- ‘Slasher’, Urban Samurai Productions
Feb- Untitled, remix: Jews for Jesus tape
Mar- ‘What’s the Word For’, Illusion Theater, sample: All About Eve
April- ‘The Mill’, Workhaus Collective
May- ‘MPLS MPLS’, Bedlam Theatre 2012 10Fest, remix: jónsi ‘Brambles’
June- “RVSR”, Disquiet Junto 0023 Palindrone
July- “It Hz”, Disquiet Junto 0027 Texting
Aug- “Living-breathing”, Disquiet Junto 0034 Radius Joint
Sept- “At the Window” from ‘Summer & Smoke’, Theatre in the Round
Oct- ‘2012: The Musical’, New Native Theatre/Bedlam Theatre
Nov- “Sidetracked”, Disquiet Junto 0046 Silent Ballot
Dec- unreleased demo, remix: Beat Happening ‘Tiger Trap’

Especially excited for the final track from to be completed…keep an eye out for it.


Cassette Artifice [disquiet0049-deckduet]

Just finished a new piece for the Disquiet Junto. There were quite a few steps in creating this piece. First off I recorded the sound of the cassette recorder by itself. It made an interesting rubbing sound which I decided to use as the rhythmic base. I also recorded the cassette recorded turning on-off, fast-forwarding etc. Then I created a simple modulated guitar drone based on that original rhythm which I afterward recorded onto the cassette recorder. Then I rerecorded the guitar drone onto the computer and mixed it with the cassette recorder sounds creating a kind of fake story of playing back the audio and fast-forwarding.

Kit: Guitar, Mac Pro, Abelton Live 8, Radioshack Microcassette Recorder, Oktava MK-012

More on this 49th Disquiet Junto project at:


More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


Disquiet Junto recaps

Here are some of my most recent entries for the Disquiet Junto.  Well, some not so recent given how infrequently I’ve updated.  So let’s begin…

First off is “RVSR” for week 23 assignment “Palindrone”.  Using the given samples create to a drone that has the structure of a palindrome (the same written backwards as forwards).  I took the easy way out by simply reversing the actual first half and then stitching them together in the center. The original samples lie here

Next up is “It Hz” which was created for week 27 project “Texting”.  The process for this one was quite interesting.  The idea was to take a text file of the instructions and then open the file in audio program.  That outcome was to be the source material.  Quite a few participants had the idea to use a text to audio program which didn’t occur to me.  I opened the .txt file of the instructions in audacity at varying sample rates including 1 Hz which gave a deep wobbly bass tone.  From those sources I created percussion and other tonal sounds.

“Living-breating” was the result of a pretty straightforward remix in week 34s “Radius Joint”.  The source audio for this project comes from the Radius broadcast series at: http://theradius.us/ I am particularly happy with outcome of this clip for whatever reason.

“.recovered” from week 36 “Still Life” was an attempt to recreate the look of Cifford Still’s paintings with sound by remixing J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, II. Andante.  Because my project crashed halfway through and I lost part of the work I had done… the recovered version (hence the title) took a denser, darker, more difficult turn.  Not sure if I was entirely successful.

And lastly and most recently from week 46’s “Silent Ballot” project was the piece “Side-track” in which audio from a polling place on election day was to be examined and remixed in order to make comment on the process of voting in America.  I used a combination of layers and gating to create the effect of loud noises breaking through a lower layer. There is some vague idea floating around in that creation…and I don’t think it is completely negative.


….whew…that was a lot.  Hope you all enjoy.  Till later.



A Memory [disquiet0018-3×3]

Another Disquiet Junto piece. I made use of an old field-recording from high school and wrote a little piece on guitar. I really like how it turned out. See below for instructions.

This project is about how a simple matter of sequence can provide a sense of development and compositional momentum.

First step: Construct three simple, self-contained sounds (or sonic elements) that are distinct from each other. For example, don’t use three similar drones, or three tones that are the same note value, or three interchangeable percussives. Use one of each, or some other assortment of three distinct sonic elements: a snippet of a field recording, a bit of static, a short melodic segment, a spoken word or phrase.

Second step: Make a three-minute track out of these sounds, based on the following rules. For each of the three minutes, one of the three sounds should be prominent, and the other two should be less prominent. By the end of the complete three minutes of your track, each of the three sounds, thus, will have been prominent for one full minute and will have served a background purpose for two full minutes.

You can transform the individual sounds, certainly, but they should still be somewhat recognizable even in their transformed state.

Length: By definition, your piece will be three minutes long.


Home-like [disquiet0017-transition]

My latest in the Disquiet Junto. This project involved making a field recording transition fluidly to one of two other sounds. I chose “The Day Love Came In The Mail” by Lee Rosevere. I was planning on walking out to the park last evening to record, but since it was raining I ended up sitting on my porch trying to pick up the sound of the tiny raindrops hitting the landscaping. I picked up a good deal of city bustle and a plane flying overhead as well. Check it


Arcade [disquiet0016-backforeground]

This is a quiet one. Utilizing two tracks (sandpaper, dice) to create the fore and background.


Getting Up Early [disquiet0011-motoring]

A new track for the Disquiet Junto–quite a playful one this time. Had to use a household object for the rhythm track. Have a listen.


Winter Comes and Goes [disquiet0010-reflect]

Here is my entry to the Junto from last weekend.  The idea was to remix any track made for any of the previous challenges. The title of buy piece says it all I guess. A play off of noiseflowr’s track from last week, which you can find/download here: http://soundcloud.com/noiseflowr/its-not-quite-spring-yet

Winter wasn’t terribly awful this year, but looking back at all of the days waiting at the bus stop in the bitter cold makes me feel so happy that it has come and gone.

Protools + basic plugins, Soundhack PVOC Kit

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


Birdie [disquiet0009-avian]

Newest track for the Disquiet Junto, this involved using only two samples, one of a guitar and one of a nightingale. A human and a bird. Hence the title Cross-Species Collaboration check it out: