Impressions of Alice

A 5.1 Surround sound work by Garry Havrillay created in August 2015 after using PVA wood glue to clean a vinyl LP of Illuminations with Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana.

I was intrigued by the inverse nature of the peeled layer and immediately wanted to 'play' it. As it happens, the stylus seems to bounce between relatively widely-spaced adjacent 'mountain ranges' of musical information, playing backwards as it works its way from the centre to the outside. The stylus only gleans musical information as jittery fragments and familiar tonality.

I found myself using this audio as collage material in a surround-sound landscape, using variations like changing the playback speed while preserving the pitch. I also played the peeling a second time slightly off centre, so that the small pitch variations while the tonearm swings from side-to-side (aka 'wow') could be set in sync with a more pitch-stable reading, to create a large and rather wild soundfield.

With the original record including harp, sitar, tabla, orchestra and electric guitar, it seemed only right that I should frame the result with some string and harp samples for added interest (and a tongue planted in my cheek). The finishing touch was a few splashes of guitar noise and sitar.

For details of the cleaning process that led to this, see the Blog post ...
Cleaning LPs with PVA wood glue: "Impressions of Alice" is born

You can play the Stereo mix in the Audio player below (AAC,  17MB).
This mix is free to download from  in multiple formats (WAV, ALAC, AAC, MP3 etc.).

The Video frame will play the 5.1 Surround mix. You need a multi-channel audio interface to take advantage of this.  (MP4,  45.3MB)

Audio Player