New from Winds Measure

Number of new things that just came in and have been circulating into my daily listening, including one new and one new-ish title from Ian Holloway's Quiet World label, Jim Haynes' double disc version of Sever (which has somehow miraculously come back into print) along with a collab from '06 called Wrack Light in Copper Ruin by Coelacanth & Keith Evans. Finally, here's a new cassette and dvdr from the ever remarkable Winds Measure label that I just couldn't let idle.

*photos from windsmeasure.net

Andrew Hayleck 'Weekend' c24

Intriguing new cassette by Andrew Hayleck. As the title suggests, this was recorded entirely over the period of one weekend in late 2009, from Friday evening thru to Sunday evening. When I say recorded over the period of a weekend I don't mean a few hours a day of noodling, I mean 48 hours solid of "ambient sound recordings" as Hayleck puts it. The sounds were then sped up to 128 times their original, and condensed into just under 24 minutes.

There is more weight to these recordings than just ambient music sounding as if stuck in the fast forward position, and Hayleck does address this, particularly in his struggle to pin-point the origins of certain sounds after they had been sped up (was I playing that or was that the sound of a car idling outside?). Unintended sounds are likely to enter the mix using a method like this, and it's this blurring of intention and happenstance (or happy accidents as I like to call it) that the "composer" must embrace in order to accept the inevitable outcome. That outcome being something they can't control for.

These sounds were all recorded in a studio, but if Hayleck framed these as Amazonian insect recordings, I'd be hard pressed to call his bluff. It's all very organic sounding, though likely electronic in origin, unfolding in micro swarm-like tactility, and in a broad sense, unchanging over its duration. Largely, this is not dissimilar to much of the "small music" by the late Rolf Julius, or select recordings by Francisco Lopez or Matt Shoemaker. Weekend also comes with a download code for a 5 1/2 minute time lapse video of a single shot facing one wall in Hayleck's studio. The accompanying sounds seem slightly less sped up then the ones on the cassette, though it's hard to tell for sure, could just be me.

Still from Lacunae

mpld - 'Lacunae' dvdr

I love building up my obscure dvdr collection (going to have to have a screening soon). This one comes by way of Gill Arno under the nom de plume mpld. Like Hayleck, I've only encountered Arno's work through the v-p v-f is v-n cassette compilation, and that was just a tease as all the contributions were a minute or shorter in length, so it's nice have something longer from both artists.

Lacunae is broken up into two sections, part one being an introductory length of just under 5 minutes while part two clocks in at just over half an hour. It's difficult to even begin to describe Arno's processes in deriving at both the resulting sound and images of this work. The illustration on the insert depicts a symmetrical set-up involving contact mics, induction mics, mixer, midi controller, laptop and two projectors producing overlapping images. The work is a series of slides that flicker and fade into one another, and it's interesting that the flicker seems to be produced by physical obfuscation of the light – by fans because they are situated right in front of the projectors – and not by the degradation of film (though that could be a factor) or digital processes.

Watching and listening to this, it would appear that Arno was able to join sound and light at the hip, which reflects on the ingenuity of his set-up. If I understand it correctly, by adjusting the fan speed Arno could simultaneously intensify or calm the flicker rate and the sound. The result is a spell binding video capturing pulsating images of people and landscape coupled with a cacophonous soundtrack of sputtering electroacoustics, static fissures, and brief ambient passages. Fantastic.

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