nicholas cline | music

grainstream (2013)

surround and stereo mixes

2nd Prize, #wildsound competition, 2015


  • Arts&Nature on the River, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon, IL - 06/17/2017
  • SEAMUS, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA - 03/26-28/2015
  • N_SEME, Bowling Green University, Bowling Green, OH - 03/06-07/2015
  • High Concept Laboratoires @ MANA Contemporary, Chicago, IL - 09/20/2014
  • Sound in the Land, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada - 06/07/2014
  • Symposium on Acoustic Ecology, University of Kent, Kent, UK - 11/8-9/2013
  • CECM Recital, Auer Hall Indiana University, Bloomington, IN - 04/15/2013

Program Note:

I started grainstream by recording the sound of seeds and grains pouring into mixing bowls. The many discrete attacks of individual grains and the resonance from the vessels fuse into granular textures. From the simple gesture of pouring, I sculpted these sounds into evolving streams and scattered them across the multichannel sound-field. The first streams appear very close (hyper-real) and begin to accumulate in density. Gradually, processed (unreal) streams emerge with more aggressive characters and overtake the 'natural' sounds. Suddenly, a hail storm (real) interrupts with percussive, rhythmic character that is then washed over by swirling, ritualistic bells. grainstream is a meditation on the centuries old practice of seed-saving and the threats imposed by patenting seed DNA. My aim is to create a music that embraces the need for balancing variety and repetition in rich, sustainable systems (both musical and agricultural).