Room with sky
John Hudak
60' 00"


Room with sky

text by John Hudak

Room with sky began as a recording of my speaking voice in my bedroom, which is very sunny on sunny days. My bedroom has Bauhaus style casement windows with views in the Southern direction (towards New York city), and the Western direction (towards the Hudson River and the Palisades cliffs of New Jersey on the opposite side of the river). The words that I spoke came directly out of my mouth in a stream-of-consciousness style, with the actual text having been lost through destructive editing within my computer.

The idea behind this piece was for me to convey in the listener the feeling of being in this sunny room, on a sunny day. I took the recording of my voice and put it through many permutations before finally arriving at this ending point.

Room with sky was mastered by Stephan Mathieu consisting partly of a process of digital to analog to digital conversion...for warmth.

John Hudak interview ( interviewed by Dale Lloyd @ and/OAR )

1. Can you identify your work from the 1980s to the present as going through "periods" or shifts in regard to approach?

Over the years, I have refined the idea of what I am striving for in my sound work. I have always had a clear idea of what kind of sounds interest me, and time has made it easier to make my choices. If there was any shift in approach, it happened with the progression from analog to digital recording and manipulation. It took a little while for me to translate my working methods with analog tape to solely using the computer, but now there is less of a delay between a compositional idea and it's realization.

2. Your work is often created from a minimal amount of sound sources and is largely based upon repetition, yet you manage to create sound work that doesn't feel monotonous; even after 45 minutes. How do you accomplish this sense of endless variance while using a very limited amount of sound sources?

Some of my favorite sounds are the ones made by birds and crickets; and while these sounds are repetitious, I don't find them monotonous. I think gertrude stein said it wasn't so much repetition, but insistence that makes bird song interesting. Monotony or boredom is mostly a matter of the listener's frame of mind and expectations. With the advent of digital culture, people expect things instantly...attention spans have been shortened to the length of a soundbite. If you approach listening without expectation, you allow things to happen...and sometimes these things are interesting.

3. Stephan Mathieu remastered RoomWith Sky, which was originally self-released as a very limited edition CDR, and you've also done collaboration work with him. How did you meet Stephan and what inspired you to ask him to remaster your work?

I met stephan in the fall of last year when he visited new york city and my house. After hearing some of his recordings, I thought we shared a common aesthetic; which turned out to be true. I had talked to stephan about the technique of audio mastering a number of months before I asked him to remaster "room with sky." After the limited edition sold out, and nao, of spekk recordings, agreed to release it, I thought it could use some clarification; which is what stephan did in his remastering...all the sounds became clearer and warmer.

4. Please tell us the actual technical process of making the "Room with sky". How was your voice recorded and the ways of transforming it to reach the final version etc..?

The audio was recorded directly into my laptop through OKMII binaural microphones. The process of transformation followed a number of choices I made in filtering out certain frequencies, and then changing the characteristics of the resulting sounds, to make my voice take on the characteristics of a musical instrument, minus the actual meaning of the words. I'd like to think that the essence of the meaning of the words still exists in the final piece.