David Hahn

CORPORATE COITUS

[mp3]

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CORPORATE COITUS was composed while I was working as an audio technician at a company which produced background music for businesses. The Marking Department of this company, as part of their raison d'etre, filled their files with all publicity materials relating to the company. Consequently, when the company CEO was interviewed by the Internet business journal WallStreetReporter.com, I was given the task of downloading the interview and burning to a CD to give to the Marketing Department for their files. This was a laborious task because the interview was done in RealPlayer format which is not only poor audio quality, but is impossible to download and save as a .wav or any other type of usable digital audio file. I had to record the interview in real time on a cassette and then to record that cassette—again in real time—back into the digital editor.

This time consuming task ended up being quite a promising one. Listening to the interview, I thought about the John Cage piece Points in Space (1987) which he created for Merce Cunningham's dance of the same name. In his piece, Cage uses a spoken text, but the consonant sounds have been isolated; all the vowel sounds from the words were removed. Using Cage's piece as an inspiration, I began to extract and collect all of the voiced, extra-verbal sounds—the "ah"s and "um"s and intakes of breath—for use in a new piece. Collecting and organizing this material took several days, but already I was getting ideas about how to put the piece together. The title came about as I felt that sex and business are always somehow connected, either metaphorically or otherwise. I heard the piece as an imaginary sex act gathering intensity to a climax followed by a gradual de-tumescence.