Freida Abtan

listen to a soundsample of Freida Abtan

Freida AbtanFreida Abtan is a multi-disciplinary artist and composer living in Providence, Rhode Island. She has played with, and created visual shows for bands such as Nurse with Wound, and has presented her sound and visual work at festivals across Canada. Having completed Bachelor’s degrees in both Computer Science and Fine Art, she is currently completing her Master’s degree in Electroacoustic Composition at the Université de Montréal. Her first album subtle movements is available on United Dairies.

Subtle Movements
> Live Audiovisual Performance
Performed at the Closing Event @ National Monument

My audio work focuses on the transformation of recorded sounds through successive layers
of digital processing. I begin with simple source material such as the sound of a bell or that of
water being poured and transform it using techniques derived from musique concrète. While
the origin of a particular sample may be lost in this process, whole families of related sounds
are created that I can then sequence according to their aesthetic properties.

There is a very real magic in the manipulation of sound. Hidden intricacies that might not be
perceptible when a sound is ingested raw are rendered audible through processing. Samples
take on the characteristics of the methods by which they are treated and become
indistinguishable from others only to regain their separate identities after careful filtering. My
compositions follow the path forged by visual collagists: a unified beast created from shards
of the mundane.

I often integrate samples of my own voice in my work as a way to re-establish a sense
of proportion between manipulated abstract sound and human presence. This relationship
emphasizes the subjective qualities of the senses and is meant to evoke a dreamscape
through which a subject naturally emerges. In live performance I try to allow this to take
place spontaneously. I combine composed and improvised material to investigate the
nature of a select group of sounds in real time against a prepared framework.

photo: Simon Lawphoto: Simon Law