There There, Here is Here
recent single released by my “pop” project Astra Forward
as of yet untitled
as of yet untitled microphones (x4) loudpsakers (x4) sound (∞ or there abouts), 2020
as of yet untitled is a piece which utilises the ambience of its exhibiting space as a tool to coax participants into a state of listening / present moment focus.
The work is comprised of four microphones and four loudspeakers. Each microphone records the ambience of each day onto disk which is then played back through its corresponding loudspeaker ( they come in pairs ) the day following. The process then repeats resulting in a layering of successive ambiences and a present day soundscape that contains ( audibly ) the soundscapes of all the days past.
Nothing is lost.
Through the severance of a sound from its source, it ( the sound ) is granted objecthood; no longer just a product of some-thing in the physical, the sound anachronized is an object in its own right. This act of temporal displacement along with the mild qualitative abstraction that occurs through the process of recording / resounding alters the mundane, rendering it other to the everyday. Through this process one is coaxed into attending to the sounds / moments which during their time were deemed too negligible / unimportant to be attended to. From this is born a reactivation of dormant experience.
The piece invites initially an interaction; the audience are performers who, wittingly or otherwise give instead of receive. The loudspeakers are big black and silent and, along with the microphones ( dangling unassumingly from their ceiling hooks ) elicit ( and audit ) utterances; questions such as “why isn’t it doing anything?” ( this question repeats itself the next day, coupled with the footsteps of the dejected couple leaving in a huff and stumbling down the stairs … as is observed by the couple ( two days later … another couple ) who’ve come to hear the
sound as was advertised in the exhibition brochure … rattles and clatters, phantom voices and ringtones without phones belonging to all the ghosts who have come in, curious to listen to the non-sound as was advertised in the exhibition brochure and are all wondering ( audibly ) “why isn’t it doing anything?” until ( days later … ) traffic rumble stimulates the walls to shake out the roomtone which grows ( doing a Lucier ) more and more present with every repetition of the same lorry pass which stimulates the walls to shake out the roomtone, growing larger and larger until subsonic swells engulf all past activity; space takes time and all the footsteps and the questions ( “why isn’t it doing anything?” ) dissolve into a sea of
resounded into nothing but
This is a composite of each speaker’s sounding of the 4:20 – 4:21 of every day within the period 18.09.20 – 11.10.20. This does not reflect the experience of the piece had in the space but does rather allude to, sonically where the process arrives.
Aside from the phantom / phantasmagorical ( Matt being called down the stairs to answer the phone … to which he begins to do only to be stopped by the sound of his own voice answering “who is it?” … the disembodied footsteps sounding through the floor of the floor above that seem to shake the ceiling with the weight of their ( non-existent ) stepper ) the piece proposes a disquieting reflection on our current communication technology augmented existence where every action undertaken leaves a digital shadow, an afterimage; data eternally stacking up to be stored on some server somewhere.
Nothing is lost.
The self-consciousness brought about by one’s awareness of their being recorded influences how one acts, thinks and feels; every gesture undertaken becomes performance.
For me, the slightly sinister character that emerged developed as the process ran on. i began to read the piece less as a whimsical exercise of making the unheard heard and much more as a reflection on the processing of those ( us ) existing in our social media saturated “age of anxiety”; an age where the divisions between the virtual and the physical are blurred, an age where not only are we responsible for our being but are responsible for our virtual being which exists spatially and temporally displaced from us. In terms of as of yet untitled, the retention of everyday gone being made part of our present evokes the present day dystopia in which nothing’s real, nothing ever dies and almost analogous with the sweeping swells of room tone which, having been triggered by a truck passing two weeks prior are now unfixed from their source and growing exponentially to aggressively dominate the smaller sounds sounding in the present, the piece creates a scenario where, if left running the past will overwhelm the present and ( to put a George A. Romero kind of spin on it ) the dead will overwhelm the living.
a straight field recording of church bells in Berlin.
Pinna improvising what was to become the piece Morning Moon from 2018’s Pinna Was Ear featuring Astra Forward, Pascal Colman and Christopher Richardson ( and also Jimena Garcia Álvarez-Buylla but she won’t be playing with us on account of her being in Mexico ).
A free improvised LP released by myself and sound artist / instrument builder / longtime collaborator Chase Coley.
released on Lumen Lake 2020
– what is feels like when i improvisewhat it feels like when i improvise
– untitled maple moon improvisation
a rough recording of me and Montreal based artist / musician Gabrielle Harnois Blouin imrovising (unreleased)
Presence (Not Present)
presence (not present) cassette players (x30) sound (∞ or there abouts), 2015
‘Presence (not present)’ is an environmental sound sculpture sculpted from musical sound that explores the inner space experienced in practices such as meditation.
The piece consists of a drone based sonic atmosphere (composed in the key of D to one up Terry Riley) which is being invoked from a grid of 30 C46 cassette players. The effect is a cloud of harmony that the auditor can perceptually alter by navigating themselves to a different physical location within it.
Instructions being left to both patrons and invigilators to “please turn tape over when side has finished” guarantee that none of the 30 components will be playing at the same position within the composition any time after the initial sounding. The atmosphere is subject to an evolution and decomposition over its course making the resultant experience one of an immersive, interactive, constantly shifting and indeterminate sonic landscape.
This is an excerpt of the piece’s running at the Under Control exhibition in 2017. The finite / temporal nature of this audio recording, the fixed position of the stereo pair and also the conversation running consistently throughout do not well reflect the nature of the piece. But, with that said
nothing is perfect.