New Music
07.01.2013, Words by Aimee Cliff

Found sound: Beat Connection

In our brand new regular feature, we get artists to mine their immediate environment for some inspirational found sounds, and send us the field recordings they find the most striking or inspiring. This week, Seattle-based tropical pop group Beat Connection treat us to a slice of the spirited University of Washington campus, which happens to be where they first began making music together. Scroll down to stream or download the clip, and read what they had to say about it when we caught up with them.

Hi, Beat Connection! Can you tell us a bit about your found sound?

I recorded this bit in the main square of the University of Washington called Red Square. It’s a line of girls marching through, holding each other and singing a chant. I find much of the UW campus to be a great place to get sounds because there is always so much happening, especially in Red Square. Lots of speeches and singing and dancing and it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery as well.

Have you ever used found sound in your music, either directly as a sample or indirectly as an inspiration?

Definitely both. At the end of the song En Route, which is also the end of the album, there is a good 2 minutes of a bunch of found sounds involving trains and slamming doors. We love using found sounds whenever possible. In another song there is a clip of a beer can getting opened and we meshed it with a snare.

Do you do much writing in or around the UW campus?

Well we wrote both The Palace Garden and Surf Noir in our house that we lived in for most of college. It was a 10 minute walk to the university so I’d say UW probably had a huge influence on what we wrote.

Do you think the sounds you hear around the campus feed into the sonic environment you create in your music?

I think that the environment of campus is a bit different than the one we try to create with our music. UW, especially during the winter, is a pretty cold and rainy environment, and that’s very different than the warm sunny and tropical vibe we try to create with our music. That said, we like to use the sounds and present them in a different context and create escapist music.

Tender Age Records released Beat Connection’s debut LP ‘The Palace Garden’ in 2012.

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