When I was 16 and first writing music, I described the process to a friend as being the poking, pulling, and molding of a sphere. Each song I wrote was an airy sphere of sounds, melodies and rhythms I threw into space, and my primary job was to shape and organize all those contents within that sphere.
Noise is a material. Invisible, but just as malleable as any tangible form. I am fascinated by the process of structuring of noise to create a musical experience: hearing noise, deconstructing it, knowing it, building it, juxtaposing it, shaping it, organizing it, composing it.... Similar to the ordering of words to express an idea. Or the molding of clay to represent a figure. Noise may exist outside of ourselves, but we can collect it and use it as any tool, as any extension of ourselves. And unlike words, noise is inherently abstract in its expressive power. Noise is a physical entity we may be surrounded by and fall into, literally pushing and pulling us emotionally far beyond the flatness of words. Noise digs trenches of meaning that words can never touch. Noise is what shapes words in the first place.
Sculpting sound is awareness of form, scale, and context of noise. Form being the structure: the lined and layered sentencing of melody, rhythm, repetition. The narrative in time. Scale being the amplification: the magnifying or the dampening of that which is formed. The narrative in density. Context being the form and scale woven into a space: the caring about instrumentation, telling and listening. The narrative in meaning.
There is the collecting and creation of sounds from outside our bodies. The finessing of noise in the world. But I wonder, what does it mean that our own bodies make noise? What does it mean that we can spit, pound, blurt, scream, whisper out sound, and shape it? Voice, it is our most direct and immediate instrument. In both presence and absence, functionality and disfunctionality, honesty and dishonesty, a voice carries.