review – 29 Palms (der) 2010 – by Fabrice Allard – EtherReal

29 Palms, i8u on Dragon’s Eye Recordings

i8u est le projet de France Jobin, plasticienne et musicienne canadienne qui collabore assez régulièrement avec Tomas Phillips que l’on a déjà croisé chez Dragon’s Eye Recordings. 29 Palms est une petite ville de Californie, connue pour sa situation, en plein désert des Mojaves, à proximité du parc national de Joshua Tree. C’est justement ce parc qui a servi d’inspiration à l’artiste qui y capté des sons qu’elle a ensuite sculpter de manière à créer une version sonore des lieux.

L’album est constitué d’une seule piste de 41 minutes, d’une ambient faussement linéaire, minimaliste et d’une finesse incroyable. Alors que le disque commence à tourner sur la platine, on n’entend rien. Il faut bien une dizaine de secondes pour commencer à deviner un souffle, 30 secondes pour se rendre compte que celui-ci va de pair avec un drone linéaire, l’ensemble envahissant l’auditeur d’une douceur cotonneuse. L’album possède un niveau sonore assez bas, certainement pour coller au mieux à la notion d’ambient, à une musique que l’on entend sans vraiment l’écouter, qui se fait oublier, et se rapprocher de l’ambiance de ce désert, vide et silencieux, seulement parcouru d’un brise légère.

On aura donc tendance à mettre le volume un peu plus fort que d’accoutumé afin de capter toutes les subtilités de la musique de i8u, un sifflement suraigu, de micros craquements et frétillements, ou encore l’apparition régulière de nouvelles strates sonores, un drone tantôt plat, tantôt ondulant, impliquant un certain rythme alors que d’autres éléments s’effacent. Faussement linéaire donc, donnant l’impression d’une succession de plans finalement très semblables, à l’image des horizons océaniques du photographe Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Au bout de 29mn, on entend distinctement le tintement d’un triangle dont l’artiste joue avec le résonance, à la manière d’une pulsation régulière et suraiguës. Les nappes oscillantes se font alors plus puissantes, plus denses, enveloppantes, mais on ne parlera pas pour autant de tension. Tout juste une présence affirmée, envahissante. Le désert s’est imposé.

Plages minimalistes et déserts sonores font de cet album un petit bijou pour les amateurs d’une ambient façon microsound. On conseillera tout particulièrement ce travail aux fans de Richard Chartier ou William Basinski, en attendant d’en écouter un peu plus.

Fabrice Allard
le 20/02/2011

EtherREAL

immersound

Stéphane Claude, France Jobin, Yann Novak

Thursday, February 24 and Friday, February 25, 2011, at 6 pm, limited seating!

Two “consuming” evenings of minimal sound art with Yann Novak, Stéphane Claude and i8u in which both artists and audience are mutually drawn into the same heights and depths of the sonic/emotional spectrum.

This sound art will be felt as well as heard.

Tickets on sale at OBORO for $10 (cash only), from Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 5 pm.
You can also dial 514 844-3250 to hold tickets for 24 hours.

Oboro, 4001, rue Berri, local 301, Montréal (Québec) Canada H2L 4H2

The Artists :

Stéphane Claude is an electronic_acoustic composer and sound engineer.

His research is based on integrating a conceptual and physiological framework of audio recording and sound installation for different diffusion contexts in the electronic arts. His interests gravitate around the communication of a formal aesthetic, of a transductive experience of the electronic medium, an exploration of digital signal processing, the parameters of acoustic and sound in spaces.

His work has been published by ATAK(JP), LINE (US), ORAL (CA), among others.

He is the co-founder of the art research unit Ælab with artist and professor Gisèle Trudel. The work of Ælab has been shown internationally. Upcoming projects include a workshop and performance in New-Zealand at the SCANZ Eco Sapiens residency and an exhibition at Fonderie Darling in march 2011.

http://www.intercreate.org/
http://www.intercreate.org/category/scanz-2011/workshops-and-events/
 www.aelab.com

As an audio consultant, he participates in the conception, production and integration of presentation spaces, of specialized analog and digital creation and production studios for artist run centers, institutions and independant sites.

http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/st%C3%A9phane-claude/7/481/B83

France Jobin  is an audio / installation artist, composer and curator. Her audio art, qualified as “sound sculpture”, distinguishes itself in a minimalist approach of complex sound environments at the intersection of analog and digital. She participates in festivals, as well as presents installations and events internationally. Jobin has produced numerous solo albums with renowned labels such as ROOM40 (AU), LINE (US), popmuzik records and ATAK (JP).  France Jobin was a Sonic Arts Awards 2014 finalist in the category Sonic Research.

 

Yann Novak (b. 1979 Madison, WI) is a sound, video and installation artist living and working in Los Angeles. His work utilizes different forms of digital documentation as a point of departure. Through the digital manipulation of these sound and image files, his works serve as a translation from documents of personal experiences into an open ended autobiographical narrative. By choosing subject matter that is also relatable to the audience, Novak’s work creates a hybrid state, balancing between his own personal history and that of the audience.

His recorded works have been published by Dragon’s Eye Recordings (US), The Henry Art Gallery (US), Infrequency Editions (CA), Koyuki (IT), LINE (US), Mandorla (MX), smlEditions (US), White_Line Editions (UK) and others.

Novak’s installations and performances have been presented internationally at prestigious events and venues including American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy), Blim (Vancouver, BC), Decibel Festival (WA), Ersta Konsthall (Stokholm, Sweden), Fiske Planetarium (CO), Henry Art Gallery (WA), Hit Art Space (Gothenburg, Sweden), Kasini House (VT), Las Cienegas Project (CA), Lawrimore Project (WA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (CA), Mutek Festival (Montreal, QB), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (WA), Soundfjord (London, UK), Soundwalk (CA), Suyama Space (WA), TBA Festival (OR), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Western Bridge (WA) and others.

As a result of these endeavors, Novak had been invited to numerous Residencies including the Environmental Aesthetics Residency (WA), the Espy Foundation Residency (WA), the Jental Artist Residency (WY) and the Kasini House Studio A Residency (VT).

In 2005, Novak re-launched his father’s Dragon’s Eye Recordings imprint with a new focus on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-carrier sound artists, composers and producers. Since its re-launch, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has published over 25 releases and has received critical acclaim. In 2009, Infrequency Editions, curated by Jamie Drouin, was integrated into Dragon’s Eye’s operations and distribution.

In recent years Novak has collaborated through select installation, performance and recorded work with Gretchen Bennett, the Crispin Spaeth Dance Group, Robert Crouch, Jamie Drouin, Will Long, Marc Manning, Alex Schweder and others.

Artist Statement

My work is an exploration of incident, process, and narrative. Central to my practice is the capture and manipulation of audio recordings and photographs. Through various types of digital media, I collect material from a range of sources, initially selected because of the subject matter’s emotional content. The content of these documents is used as a point of departure and a catalyst to recall the experiences; it is never used or excluded because of aesthetics. These documents then become highly charged fragments of an ongoing autobiographical text. Dramatic events like relocating from one city to another, or simple day-to-day incidents like being trapped inside during a strong rain, can be equally compelling. I am interested in reconfiguring documents of moments such as these into abstract, open-ended narratives. My intent is to create experiences that give the audience a window into my own personal experiences, but leave enough to the imagination that the viewer has room to relate their own experiences.

By subjecting these selected recordings to a series of erasures and treatments, a delicate palette of textures, drones, and subtle melodies emerges. When photographs are incorporated into my work, similar treatments and erasures are used to shape them into videos of slow moving or static color fields intended to tint the listening experience. Each piece is then composed from numerous variations from a single source, meticulously sculpted to highlight some aspect of the original document. Although significant details and artifacts are deliberately eliminated, the narrative and structural elements of the source material are left intact. The final form of my work may be realized as sound installation, sound performance, large-scale projection, video work or recorded work.

Each of my works is an investigation into presentation, composition and perception, not just to be heard, but to be felt. By creating situations the audience can relate to, a hybrid state is created, existing somewhere between my own personal history and that of the audience.

Recorded Work Description

My recorded work functions in a number of ways, all with the final goal of re-presenting my work in a format that is more easily accessible to a larger audience. One way I take advantage of the recorded format is to explore and further expand on themes and ideas present in installation or performance work. In these instances, fragments of, or source material from previous installations or performance works are reworked to further explore the idea expressed in the original.

I also use recorded works as a way to catalogue and document my installation or performance work. When I use recordings for this purpose, each work is treated differently depending on its origin. Generally, the goal is to preserve as much of the original experience as possible or to simplify the piece to not detract from the original experience.

The final way I use the recorded format is to free my process from the dependence on an exhibition or performance space in order to explore concepts or techniques not suitable for those venues. In this final form, recorded works serve as a platform to sketch, experiment or collaborate with other artists and affords me more freedom while getting exposure and feedback from an audience. Publishing recorded work allows me to breathe new life and longevity into pieces that would otherwise not allow it due to their ephemeral nature.

Sound Performance Description

My sound performances utilize the same techniques as my recorded or installation work: transforming a simple environmental recording into a richly layered, and emotionally tense composition. Since each of my works is constructed out of numerous variations on a single recording, my performances are composed from a library, unique to that piece, of altered sounds. Through this process my performances can take on aspects of my recorded or installation works, while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to unique venues, situations, environments and the audience.

My performances are also adaptable through their presentation. Generally I will perform in stereo, but when possible, my performances can be expanded to up to 6-channel surround. My performances utilize darkness as a visual cue to draw the audience into a deeper listening experience. However, in some cases, video will be utilized as a focal point if the piece was originally conceived with a video element. The video paired with my performances is similar to my installation works, slow moving or static color fields projected behind me on stage or in multiple around the audience. Both of these elements can be discussed with the organizer and are expansions on the basic elements of my performance.

Quotes

Novak does not waste his chance to make a first impression. In fact, with remarkable economy he transforms the three rooms he’s been given to work with into chambers where you can be transported into states of mind that feel both personal and familiar. Using digitally altered field recordings (in which the sounds are heightened but the time is real) and snapshots digitally stitched together and abstracted into gleaming videos, Novak both fills the work up with his subjective experience and empties it out to make room for you. There’s just enough specificity and just enough blankness.

I know, technically, how Novak made this work, but I don’t quite know how it works. The closest I can get to describing his approach is that it’s a combination of generosity and restraint. Each detail being so firmly in place means that the rest is open.
– Jen Graves , The Stranger (From “Yann Novak’s ‘Relocation’: All Kinds of Movings On” May 13, 2009)

The work is distinguished by its clean design, with its constituent parts meticulously woven into a seamless flow without a superfluous element in sight.
– Textura (CA)

Essentially, this is a drone workout, but in the hands of one of its most proficient exponents, becomes a glistening, precious sound work, unrivalled but by a handful of contemporaries. Novak has seemingly taken an obvious source sound, and with an exploratory and majestic treatment transmuted it into sonic gold. Masterful.
–BG Nichols
, WHITE_LINE (UK)

Novak creates a sense of distance by abstracting his source materials beyond recognition – whatever is going in is obscure, and far away. Hence the vague, rotorblading, respiratory effects of the first of these three tracks – the sound of systems ticking over, yet whose undulating motions are curiously involving.
–David Stubbs , The Wire (UK)

(1)

immersound is a concert event/philosophy initiated by France Jobin (i8u) which proposes to create a dedicated listening environment by focusing on the physical comfort of the audience through a specifically designed space. The premise for immersound is to seek out/explore new perceptions and experiences of the listening process by pushing the notion of “immersion” to its possible limits.

SoundFjord.Hlysnan: i8u Feb.13.11

SoundFjord.Hlysnan: i8u

Hlysnan is SoundFjord’s monthly deep listening event. Bring your ears to the gallery to explore the world of sound is all its facets, guises and surprises! Experience new works from renowned and experienced artists as well as new blood. (Hear their works contextualized next to the sound art
work and experiments that informed their practice). An intense session of listening with the chance for questions and answers afterwards.

SoundFjord.Hlysnan: i8u
Audio Screening
Date:  Sunday 13 February 2011 | 6-8pm
Unit 3b – Studio 28 | 28 Lawrence Road | London | N15 4ER | UK
Doors: 5:40pm
Entry:  £2 | www.wegottickets.com

During the two-hour screening, the playlist you will hear is the result of four-month’s research though the i8u musical archive. The purpose of the research was simply to weave together a series of tracks to create a fitting atmosphere for immerson1: “two “consuming” evenings of minimal sound art… in which both artists and audience are mutually drawn into the same heights and depths of the sonic/emotional spectrum.” as i8u eloquently states.

The works you will hear are to be felt as well as heard.

The criteria for i8u’s choices are based on the sensitivity of the music, the unique identity of each artist and the immersion quality of each track. The order is designed to set the stage – sounds utilized as an introduction to the event that follow – whilst the conclusion to the evening is faded out elegantly, leaving room for the heart and mind to drift and dream into infinity.

By preparing the piece – stitching together works by various artists – i8u has discovered that although each work selected for her list may be appreciated independently, the entirety of the lengthy piece may be considered a work in its own right!

Along with the conceptual rigor and fine ear i8u has honed over the years, not only does she wish to stimulate the mind, the emotions and the body, she simply hopes you enjoy the work!

SoundFjord | London for contemporary sonic art and its research is a new gallery with research facilities, exhibition and intimate event space.

SoundFjord’s core activities are to act as a hub for practitioners and researchers, to provide a research and collaboration network for practitioners, and to deliver an exhibition and event programm rich in research-based, investigative and experimental sonic art from UK -based and international artists.

Using private initiative and funding, SoundFjord was primarily instigated to address the lack of exhibiting space exclusively for works of Sound Art. Now the gallery not only organizes exhibitions, but also documents all works for its Contemporary Sonic Art Archive (CSAA), assists with the development of
artists within their practice, and ultimately, promotes and disseminates awareness of its innovative and thought provoking exhibitions and events to art lovers, practitioners, researchers, and to the general public at large. SoundFjord actively invites participation between artists and encourages combined
activity through its events and collaborative projects.

SoundFjord mounts up to ten exhibitions annually, with an emphasis on sound and audio arts.  In order to encourage the widest possible access to and participation with and in its exhibition programm, SoundFjord provides information in a number of formats to assist those with specific sensory needs and
does not charge an admission fee to visitors nor charge artist fee’s for exhibition calls.

1
immerson, is a concert event and philosophy initiated by France Jobin (i8u) which proposes to create a dedicated listening environment by focusing on the physical comfort of the audience through a specifically designed space. The premise for immerson is to seek out and explore new
perceptions and experiences within the listening process by pushing the notion of “immersion” to its possible limits.

immersound
immerson