UK composer creates single entirely from car sounds

Nobody will argue with the musically-loping idle of a cammy V8 or the coluratura shriek of Italian exotics, but cars are rhythm players, at best. Yorkshire, England composer Mark Marrington sees it differently. Marrington has created a new single built entirely from sampled automotive sounds. We've all heard those novelty songs like dogs singing "Jingle Bells," and Pink Floyd indulged themselves by creating an album using everyday objects as instruments, all of which generally come off like a parlor trick.
Marrington sees it differently, and with "Cars" he's gone past the irritation most of us have with the noises we tend to filter out of our daily experience and found the underlying music. The composer calls it "dance music with a vehicular twist." We call it entertaining. Give a listen after the jump.

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MONDAY 19 MARCH 2012: Yorkshire based composer/producer, Mark Marrington, has released a new single, 'Cars', which is unique in its being constructed entirely from recordings of car sounds and other familiar traffic noises using music software.

Marrington describes 'Cars' as essentially 'dance music with a vehicular twist' and explains that the piece reflects our ongoing desire to tame our nature and organize it in a way which renders impotent its capacity to disturb us'. This way of thinking about music can be traced back to the beginning of the last century when the Italian Futurists declared that 'the roaring motor car is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace', and demanded that composers source their sounds from the urban environment (the new 'nature') rather than the concert hall orchestra. In doing so they anticipated a pre-occupation of many composers with the need to find a music appropriate to the age of the machine at a time when recording technology was opening up radical new possibilities for capturing and manipulating sound.

The idea of arranging a collection of car noises into a concentrated listening experience might at first come across as a joke, given that these are potentially among the most intrusive and irritating sounds in our environment. Viewed another way, however, it could be claimed that t rack serves to remind us that even now we exclude a considerable amount of sonic information from our definition of music and in doing so we may be missing something interesting. 'Having worked on the track for about three months' says Marrington, 'I now find that as I walk around the city, any random encounters I have with car horns, squealing brakes and car alarms can amount to a surprisingly rewarding musical experience. Making this piece in fact seems to have broadened my ability to hear and process sound.' This may be a far-fetched claim, but Marrington is adamant - 'I simply don't find these sounds to be annoying any more. In fact, I'm more likely to consider the piped music we hear everywhere blaring from radios, supermarket speakers, etc to be the real noise'.

For more information about 'Cars', and to hear the single online, visit . To schedule an interview with Mark Marrington (by Skype or in person) email or call +44 7532 266440

'Cars' release background:

The track has been composed, arranged and produced by Mark Marrington, and released via MadeinMIDI, a production label he set up in 2009. The track 'Cars' first appeared as an internet release in early February 2012 on Soundcloud. It is now available to listen to for free/read about at and is also available to buy via and iTunes.

Mark Marrington Biography:

Mark was born in Coventry in 1971, and studied Music at the University of Leeds. He is a composer and producer of 'off the wall' pop and electronic music for his Made in MIDI label. He also specializes in classical style composition for orchestra and is a published arranger of classical guitar music (Mel Bay). He initially became known for his 'Fugue on the Final Countdown', an orchestral composition which uses Swedish rock band Europe's famous 1986 'glam' Metal theme as its musical subject matter. The work was first performed at the Scarborough 'Beached' Festival in 2005 by the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra (when Mark was interviewed about the piece for Look North) and recently received a second performance at Leeds College of Music in 2009. Mark lectured in musical composition, history and theory for many years at Leeds College of Music on the latter's Classical, Popular Music and Music Production degrees. He is presently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering where he manages a BSc in Music, Multimedia and Electronics and undertakes research into music technology and its effect on creativity. He is also a freelance composer, writer, producer and guitarist. Mark has always insisted that music should be fun!

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