Volca is a 10-minute fixed, stereo electroacoustic work designed around the exploration of the small Korg analog drum machine, the ‘Volca Beats’. Entirely all sounds were created from the source material of the analog kick drum, snare drum, tom and hi-hat engines, as well as from the machine noise of the unit itself. The compositional process involved the creation of a set processing patches created in Ableton Live and Bitwig, that involved rhythmically controlled randomisation the parameters of various audio effects, of which the output was recorded. The idea of this process was to create a sound design situation with a high chance of stumbling on happy accidents that could then be used in the creation of micro sound units and longer structures. The piece also explores a reductive exploration of the sounds of the Volca Beats by avoiding the dance music rhythmic structures that the unit is designed to sequence and focussing on the more unexpected sonic possibilities of the machine. However, many sounds and sections do reference the unit’s close association with rhythm and popular electronic music.
Patrick Carroll is a composer from Sydney, and a current PhD candidate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying the intersection of traditional acousmatic theory and popular genres of electronic music. While completing his Bachelor of Music (Composition) with Honours in 2015, Carroll began releasing and publishing dance music and electronica under the alias Piecey, amassing over a million plays on Spotify to date. In 2018, Carroll began releasing music under his own name (Pat Carroll), aiming the project at more of an experimental sound, and putting the concepts at the centre of his studies to practice.