Stollery, “What you will not see are performers”.
“The diffusers are in the centre of the room”.
“The speaker system consists of stereo pairs, and will diffuse sound from all around the room, and also give the appearance of sound coming from outside the room”.
Pete Stollery | ‘scenes /rendez-vous’
The first piece presented ‘scenes /rendez-vous’ by Stollery is introduced by a film by Claude le Louche. The film was an attempt by the filmmaker to travel a certain route through Paris in a speeding Mercedes with a short period of time. As Stollery’s father was dying, father and son repeatedly watched the film. Following the death of his father Stollery visited Paris and made recordings along the route taken by LeLouche; these recordings formed the basis of the composition. It seemed anomalous, in an acousmatic presentation, to connect the work with the visual domain.
Sketches made during performance.
Washhhhhhhm of white noise sound.
Beep (car horn)
Traffic sounds moving left to right and right
Car horn modified into thematic material.
Car horn filtered from all other noise acting as anchoring drone.
Very low bass hum.
Digital scrapes – like bottles being tapped by coins.
A coin spinning on a table – eternal. This is a heavily treated section.
Raw street sound. Mopeds, other vehicles. Slight treatment enhancing spativality.
Little granular chimes – unidentifiable source.
Play on the stereo field.
Something being shaken or pushed.
Passing traffic spatialised.
Squeak of child or cat.
Treated background washed out texture.
Water being poured onto some different surface.
James Wyness | “Metallurgy”
He is working from a score. His piece is much more spatial, the sounds seem much more separated. He is mixing manually on an old analog mixing desk, riding the faders of the multiple stereo pairs.
For this work, the Scottish artist gained entry to a small metal working factory. During his time there he made a series of recordings of working men and machines. In addition to this he obtained off cuts of metal which he then used to create instruments, also heard in the piece.
An immersion in sculpted sound.
A fading in and out of raw source material and abstracted inner processes.
A poetic work operating on a number of levels:
An exploration of this particular room.
An exploration of a specific local context and work environment.
An investigation into the sonic properties of the material used in that workplace (various metals) – he created instruments constructed from waste obtained from the metal factory.
A investigation into the electro-acoustic techniques of transformation.
Further to this, an unexpected spontaneity of performance.
An audience member utters a small moan of appreciation.
I am unable to describe my experience of sound in this context. The material is too rich, too dynamic, too changing, too spatial and shifting to be represented by writing.
A small bat type sound flicks from the left to the right of the room, pricking my awareness, forming connections between underdeveloped synapses.
There is consummate control of sound in a positive sense.
Nothing over the past few days comes close to the sheer poetics of these pieces. What might airlines, bus companies, architects learn from these artists?
Each composer has announced themselves acoustically and succinctly proving just enough to provide an intriguing entry point into the work.
Chimes, gongs, rain.
Wind or a travelling train.
Again the physical impression of natural sound.
Modified water – which becomes more so, like a scribbling pen on paper.
Ke – binng.
CHoin – choing – choing
Bloop – bloop woopa wooopa
Wopple – whoople bloip bloip blop blop
Woip-woip woip woip-woip bubble-bubble
Dzzz Dzzz zeeerr
Creak-creak Creak-creak Creak-creak Creak-creak
Dup-dup Dup-dup Dup-dup Dup-dup
Scribble scrubble scribble
D-zee- de-ze, d’ze
Something is now squeaking rhythmically, a mechanism turning. Not loud.
Café sounds. Birdsong. A canary?
Pans being gonged.
Indistinct conversation – male and female.
A click. (Billiard balls?)
Passing traffic, very spatialised.
An aeroplane passes overhead.
An opera singer from a radio in some kind of distance.
Sudden extreme processing. Washes of sounds – source unidentified.
Car horn type sound, very abstracted becomes a choral chant.
It is now fading a w a y.
Whistling. Broken snatches of conversation.
Claking footsteps. A crowd of people. A touch of flute. A touch of fiddle music.
Jonty Harrison | Unsound Objects
I am watching his fingers flicker over the faders of the mixing desk. It is so beautiful. Detailed. Defined. Dangerous.
Running water. So much ‘waterness’.
He rides the array of stereo pairs as a thunderclap enters. What beautiful power. Powerful beauty.
To see Jonty, clearly enjoying himself in the throes of live acousmatic performance is to understand his problems with academia. This music is intuitive. He is using no score, and he anticipates each sound object, moving them around the room. He is placed in the middle of the audience, the position of best audition. An interaction between composer-player-space-technology-representation.
He twists his head around to map the audio levels front and rear.
Ocean waves. Walking on shingle. Children’s voices. A fade to a bell-like electric tone.
To near silence.
He grins, nods his appreciation.