L’oreille voit Randall Smith

… approches the art form with innocence and the intention to have fun. AllMusic, USA

Smith’s work is an electroacoustic wonder. Incursion Music Review, Canada


  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

••• Mastering: Ernest Cholakis, Numerical Sound


  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

••• Mastering: Ernest Cholakis, Numerical Sound • MP3 • OGG • FLAC

L’oreille voit

[The Ear Sees]

Compact-compact 4

Randall Smith


The Ears Sees, the Disc

The imagination is not, as its etymology suggests, the faculty for forming images of reality; it is the faculty for forming images which go beyond reality, which ‘sing’ reality.

Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams

Special acknowledgement to my brother Chuck for introducing me to the world of electroacoustic music at the right age, and to Bernard Parmegiani for his great music.

Randall Smith, Toronto [iv-94]

On Hearing and Seeing Randall Smith’s Music

In Randall Smith’s music I hear mini-histories of sound, personal histories which resonate with the force of an archetype and the subtlety of a sound pun for an ear tuned to the thick and seemingly chaotic sonic environment around him… I hear music unfolding in a soundscape of dynamic dialectics of power and sensitivity, the delicate and the explosive, often building strong rhythms, mixing polyrhythmically, erupting them into the tinkle of tiny sound particles… I’m plunged into a seductive sound meditation, like a chant, only to be electronically zapped or cut into a new reality, a disjuncture that puts my senses on edge, makes me question what I’ve just experienced and makes me question notions of predictability, even while I know I’m in a tightly constructed world of sound… I’m moved through a constantly changing soundscape, never returning to the same place, but through recontextualizations and transformations of the sounds my imagination guides me through a place it’s been before… the place of the chant… the chant of voices, mainly the voices of things, like the chant of curled metal springs, lightbulbs and other objects… as if chanting a song about their own existence, put to work in a new way, to be enjoyed for attributes not put into the service of our needs but of our pleasures, and to draw attention to a new critical listening of their beauty and power… for instance, in The Face of the Waters sound metaphors trace trajectories from metaphysical to physical as a light bulb revolves circularly creating for me an image of an orb of light swirling wavelengths of energy, a spiritual ecstatic chant that then transforms to the step of a human rhythm… or the closing door symphony of metal clangs of the latch and frame vibrations near the end of The Black Museum which is both metaphor for leading in/out and opening/closing (in this case leading out of the piece and into the world of our own sound), but also an opening of my aural and visual senses to a sound image of a door, or doorness, that I don’t experience in visual representations… in fact I see a lot when I hear Randall’s music… he creates a space for my imagination where sound relations inspire visual relations, where humor derives from both sound and image… the rush of a train flushing into the toilet of sound oblivion… the roar of jets and war across a landscape… the bells of hope and history… the elements — fire, water, earth and air — twisting, flanging, bending in fantastic shapes and rhythms like dancing bodies in a hall of mirrors… or the more meditative feeling one gets when staring into a fire where the imagination takes over the senses and finds patterns, codes and messages… I also see juxtapositions that rattle my senses… like roaring rockets and singing birds, like a barefoot walker moving over the crackling bare ends of electronic glass, then zapped into space to hear from far away the history of all music… I take off with this walker, drawing my ear to see the aura around sounds and their relations… in fact to see a set of relations that become social in a meeting of technology and natural environment created metaphorically through the sound of imagination… where my body is implicated, his music affecting me viscerally, striking the body, sculpting it with sound waves, sculpting the store house of images and sounds I already carry, into a temporary ordered choreography set beside the chaotic and fascinating sound environment that exists all around us… as if in discourse… I also feel the curious mind of this choreographer, Randall Smith, a sound spirit wandering through the sound possibilities he’s constructed… someone in love with sound, showing and sharing with me a way to love sound.

Gary Popovich, Toronto [x-93]

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