Jonathan Pitkin

STUDY: BOOTS… (2022)

Duration: 11.5 mins

Boots… is a flexible surround-sound electronic composition, and essentially an exercise in making a lot out of a little: two 'borrowed' sounds – the bass drum and hi-hat that form the backbone of much electronic dance music – are taken as basic materials which are extensively varied and transformed. Patterns of beats accelerate to such extremes of tempo that they are only perceptible as continuous streams of sound; elsewhere, listeners find themselves bombarded with irregular clouds of pulses.

The music comes to consist not just of percussive sounds of indistinct pitch, but also of notes and chords – the result of freezing the source material in mid-gesture, speeding up repetitions until they reach a vibrating frequency, or even as side-effects of some extreme timestretching. At almost all times the various elements of the musical texture are in motion around the performance space, sweeping around its perimeter or shooting from one side to another.

All of these developments are intended to be fully ‘legible’ by the listener – there is even an ‘exposition’ section at the start, in which most of the principal transformations are gradually unveiled. ‘Performances’ of the piece are generated by custom-coded software; each will be slightly different, as a result of many of the finer-detailed compositional decisions being left to the computer to make in real time.

A recording of a stereo version of Boots… is available to stream for free (or purchase as a download) via bandcamp:

A recording of the surround version, in high-quality 5.1, is available to purchase via

The title refers to the well-known shorthand for a basic beatbox version of an EDM beat: boots and cats and boots and cats and…

Other works involving electronics

Playing Up
Con Spirito