Atelier Expérimental, Clans, France, September 2020
Atelier Expérimental is a residency programme organised and run by artist Isabelle Sordage (http://www.isabelle-sordage.fr/) and I was one of four artists selected in 2020 to work there for a period of two weeks.
Full sound and video documentation of the composed piece with live sound manipulation, using water recordings. Watch on YouTube (26'42")
Edited documentation of the composed piece on Vimeo (11'35')
With video documentation now complete, links to both a full length version and an edited version are available for viewing, as can be seen above.
As mentioned before, my aim for the residency was to work further with the double cassette player mechanism salvaged in Marseille, which has already featured on the Interiorities radio show curated by Kate Carr.
"Double Deck", a further composition of sounds from the device features on a recent cassette release by the Alcôve label based in Paris.
I wished to make further recordings of the device, as I feel there is a rich sonic palette held within, but also had the idea to return to an approach I have used a few times over the years whereby I play sounds through motors to activate them.
During one of my exploratory walks, I also began recording the channel of water that runs under the village and down the hill. I had noticed some odd rhythms in the flow in places and decided to chart my walk from the fountain where the road joins another, back up to the village, in opposition to the flow.
From previous experience I know that running water contains a wide bandwidth of frequencies and some quite powerful low frequencies can be used to create movement in speakers, and indeed motors.
Initial tests with water sounds were worryingly unsuccessful, with the motors seeming to be trying to run in both directions... but once I brought up the volume level, sure enough they started running. However I returned to this stuttering motion as it can create some interesting rhythms, and sounds from the various styluses I have crafted from guitar strings - it is an instrument after all!
The current version of the piece still has no definite title, but the working title for an upcoming performance (at Data, Marseille) is "Hydro-electro-acoustique".
But as can be seen, and is mentioned above, the full piece now has an accompanying video - and it's important to consider the work this way. The visuals demonstrate and illustrate the process but this is a project about the sounds gleaned from the device as much as the device itself.
This is one reason for my choice of macro footage - to abstract the device and concentrate on the movement, the choreography of various parts, and the way the device has been adapted to generate further sounds.
Having worked on the piece further in this way, I feel it needs recomposing and in different ways for both live performance and possible future publishing...
Updates will appear here as they happen!