A sound collage dealing with mysticism, utopian desire, and resistance, both for and against change. It includes manipulated samples of composer and Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen’s (1098-1179) choral piece Canticles of Ecstasy, fragments of an original field recording in London at the G20 rallies, and a sample and slightly pitched detail of a voice of dissent, ironically protesting against protest. Back To Work is about raising one’s voice, about the utopian mindset that often runs parallel to activism as its mystical counterpart, it is about a gathering of voices as a sonic ritual and the joy, melancholy, and weirdness of it all.
It was created as part of the call for field-recording re-apropriation and reconfiguration Protest & Politics, a global sound map of protest that is part of Cities and Memory, a collaborative “global field recording & sound art work that presents both the present reality of a place, but also its imagined, alternative counterpart – remixing the world, one sound at at time”.
Back To Work, among others, was programmed and broadcasted for the first time on August 7th 2017 by London-based Resonance FM.
Titled in a oblique reference to a “genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the Latin word cirrus, meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair” (quote retrieved from the never unreliable Wiki), this piece is the first of a collection of compositions built upon live voice processing and manipulation. It might also seek inspiration from a meteor fragment framed on the wall – a white cirrus navigator of sorts, cutting a cooling burning trail across the sky under which we happen to live through our days.
Few things expose one more intensely to scrutiny and self-awareness than opening one’s mouth. Speaking in public, speaking to oneself, doubting one’s sanity or singing in the shower, our voice (if we have it) is the truest multi-tool. In the worlds of sound, voice is a borderless kingdom of vast property – it is also the only instrument that can die. White Cirrus is part of Tungedrevet (“Tongue-driven”) a series of compositions where the mouth pushes the sound waves into an processing array, sometimes loosing its recognizability altogether. Onto the listener, the one who lingers on the other side, it emerges as a metamorphic presence. Hopefully.
(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)
Lava And Dishwater – 3# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016.
A meditation on the shattering of domesticity through the need to create. Lava and Dishwater experiments with spoken/sung word as sheer acoustic physicality. Two vocal samples – Sylvia Plath reading “Fever 103” and Etta James warming up to “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” – combine with a heavy, moist rainy weather drone. Entwined, they bring up the dual potential of voice for both disembodiment and self-revelation.
(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)
Deader Than Dada – 2# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Copenhagen, February 2016.
A sample of meaning stretched between contrasting contexts. Deader Than Dada is a dialogue between two sound memories, and the rhythmic field of expectation connecting them both. Treasuring mood and physicality, it carries the double meaning of the vital need to leave something behind. It is not a song, but it is a pact made between a listener, a singer and a window opener.
(drawing and photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)