Here is what Foxy Digitalis has to say about my remix:
The opening track on Robert Takahashi Crouch’s last album, Jubilee, is the 19-minute “A Ritual,” culled from a longer, two-hour improvisational piece. For Ritual Variations, out on May 6 via Room40, he commissioned seven friends and artists to use the original two-hour recording as source material for further investigations and contemplations on the intimate nature of the music. The entire release is fantastic, but France Jobin’s stunning 37-minute “A Ritual / For a Daydream” stands out.
Few artists create longform works as enveloping and engaging as Jobin. On “A Ritual / For a Daydream,” she gently pushes open the sound structures of the original to let the daylight pour in. Where Crouch’s original captures a deeply personal exchange between two people, Jobin builds a world where can all find connection and communion. Glacial tones are infused with grit and stretched across delicate architecture to create gossamer sound webs that hold us close together. It’s a beautiful treatise on how the most intimate aspects of sound can be building blocks for deeper, wider bonds.
Ritual Variations is available to pre-order from Room 40 HERE and will be released on May 6 with reworks from France Jobin, Lawrence English, Yann Novak, and more.
My last album opens with a piece called A Ritual. I think of this piece as a somewhat aggressive, long-form meditation on intimacy and ecstasy. There’s a reason I think about it like this.
The 19 minutes that comprise the track were taken from a much longer recording; a 2 hour improvisation I performed privately for my partner, Yann Novak. Performance is always a personal experience, even when offered communally, but this particular performance was very much about a shared moment, in an environment that foregrounded the personal. The low, undulating frequencies in the piece underscore a sense of the physical for me. I’d like to think it’s a work that dwells on upon the vibrational qualities of sound, and offers a respite within its mesh of rich harmonics, pushing a listener towards the ecstatic.
For Ritual Variations, I reached out to friends and artists whose work I respect and admire for various reasons. I gave these seven artists, including my partner, access to the original 2 hour recording and invited them to create new compositions using it as source material. It was a chance for them to also consider the private, intimate nature of the recording itself.
Call & Response presents:
a LINE listening experience
Call & Response are pleased to host a listening experience featuring artists from the LINE imprint. Since 2000 the LINE imprint, curated and art directed by Richard Chartier, has continued to publish documents of compositional and installation work by international sound artists and composers exploring the aesthetics of contemporary and digital minimalism as limited edition Compact Discs and DVDs. As a part of our collaboration with LINE, Call & Response will feature works from the following artists in 3D sound at our space in South London’s Enclave: Richard Chartier – Recurrence France Jobin – P Orbital Simon Whetham – El Parque Está Situado En Su Propia Casa Yann Novak – Relocation.Vacant Stephan Mathieu – Seventh Dream
Date: July 23 – August 25, 2011
Opening Saturday, July 23 / 6-8 pm
Works by Yann Novak, Robert Crouch, Heather Cassills and i8u’s 29 Palms
released on DER will be part of the exhibit + many more artists!
Chain Letter is a group exhibition based on admiration. Initially
conceived by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey in 2006, inclusion in the
exhibition is based on invitation by someone who admires one’s work. Each
artist invited, then invites ten other artists whom they admire, and so
on. This email invite will circulate for thirty days, at the end of which
each artist will install their own work on the floor at Shoshana Wayne
This exhibition is rooted in the ideals of inclusion, and highlights the
social nature of the art world. It is the hope of the curators that the
response will be vast and that the artists represented will be an
exponential representation of all artists that are currently working and
admired by their peers.
Chain Letter mimics communication today; and the way in which information
is passed. The outcome will be a testament to the power of connectivity
within society at present.
Other cities worldwide will be participating in the Chain Letter
exhibition including New York City, London, Paris, Johannesburg,
Philadelphia, Boston, Seoul.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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)
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.
This sunday on Framework resonance.fm : “these are few of my favorite things” by i8u
/*framework* / – phonography / field recording;
contextual and decontextualized sound activity
presented by patrick mcginley
– sunday, Jan 30.2011 -10pm, london, uk on resonance 104.4fm (http://www.resonancefm.com)
– tuesday, Feb.01.2011 – 2pm, london, uk on resonance 104.4fm (http://www.resonancefm.com)
– wednesday, Feb.02.2011 – 1am, thessaloniki, gr on cooradio (http://www.cooradio.com)
– wednesday, Feb.02.2011 – 3am, lisbon, pt on radio zero (http://www.radiozero.pt)
– thursday, Feb.03.2011 – 7pm, lisbon, pt on radio zero (http://www.radiozero.pt)
– friday, Feb.04.2011 – 1am, brussels, be on radio campus 92.1fm (http://www.radiocampusbruxelles.org)
– saturday, Feb.05.2011 – 7am, new york state, us on wgxc 90.7fm (http://www.wgxc.org)
– saturday, Feb.05.2011 – 5pm, south devon, uk on soundartradio 102.5fm (http://www.soundartradio.org.uk)
~ time zone converter: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html ~
Framework – i8u – my favorite things (Installment #7)
Happy New Year and welcome back to “these are a few of my favorite things”.
As mentioned in earlier installments, my interpretation of field recording based works, is very broad however, the thread I like to follow is to find artists who have mastered their unique identity through the music of sound.
This 7th installment will focus on the label DER, Dragon’s eye recordings, based in LA and run by sound artist Yann Novak.
Focusing on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-carrier sound artists, composers and producers, Dragon’s Eye’s goal is to foster personal and artistic relationships with its artists and to function as a meeting ground for its artists to further develop relationships with one another. The curation of the imprint by Novak is done primarily through real world relationships, with some virtual exceptions. By focusing on human interactions and talent, rather than style or genre, Dragon’s Eye’s catalogue has slowly become a melting pot of sounds, processes and practices.
Dragon’s Eye values interconnectedness and encourages it by offering its artists a chance to showcase their own visual concepts, commission artists they have worked with, or recruit Dragon’s Eye’s partners to help create the visual representations for their releases. Through these practices, Dragon’s Eye offers a more personal presentation of its artists for their audience and creates a catalogue that is diverse yet bonded through human collaboration.
Dragon’s Eye Recordings was originally founded by Paul Novak, (Yann Novak’s father), in 1989 as the audio/visual arm of Only Connect…Publications. Paul was and still is a bread baker and avid record collector. Only Connect…Publications was his first venture to self-publish his bread recipes. Through his new publishing company, Paul designed his book on a Apple Plus computer, commissioned a friend and artist to create the painting for the cover, and recruited a musician to compose an original work to accompany bread making. Due to his love and passion for both music and record collecting, Paul created Dragon’s Eye Recordings to compliment his publishing company. All of these pursuits had a strong impact on his son who would later relaunch the label in 2005 and try to stay true to these communal values endowed in the label.
2 – Pierre Gérard , wooden mouldings for the assembly (to Constantin Brancusi), Static Forms
In lieu of a traditional album description, the artists and Dragon’s Eye Recordings offer the following quotations.
“The silence that I manufacture, hears only my ears. like these lengthened forms, often.”
– Pierre Gerard
“Le silence, c’est la meilleure production qu’on puisse faire, parce qu’il se propage : on ne le signe pas et tout le monde en profite.”
– Marcel Duchamp
“On peut voir celui qui regarde, mais on ne peut pas entendre celui qui écoute.”
– Marcel Duchamp
“…But now there are silences and the words make help make the silences. I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry, as i need it. We need not fear the silences, we may love them.”
– John Cage (from Lecture On Nothing)
“Music already enjoys inaudibility.”
– John Cage (from Satie Lecture)
3-Fourm, Seagram Series (for Mark Rothko), Clean Forms, see #4*
4* – Turra, Alluminium.Zinc, Clean Forms
Minimalism, arising from the tide of abstract expressionism of the early 20th century, was one of the signal developments in the art of the 1960’s. Rather than being a defined “movement” as such, minimalism became the fuel for debate that surrounded a new kind of abstraction for the post-war generations. Arguments have prevailed over the precise meaning of the word, and some of the visual artists associated with its original incarnation in the early 60’s firmly rejected it as not being entirely prescriptive of their work – most notably, and ironically one of the movement’s principle exponents, Donald Judd. Overall, the works of the minimalist artists sought out a simplification of format and technique that implied that the work harboured no meaning beyond its material components and the fact of its construction, thereby studiously avoiding the metaphysical claims of the artists of previous generations. Minimalism in the 1960’s became a new, and highly controversial avant garde, producing some of the finest, and most influential artists of the mid 20th century.
The three artists here openly recognise and acknowledge the profound influence of early minimalism on the relatively contemporary field of sound art. The trio of Turra, Shinkei and Fourm have all gained wider recognition for being fundamentally “minimalist”, or “reductionist” in their approach, often producing epically austere pieces that verge on near-silence, a nuanced interaction of minute and discrete elements that actively denigrate them as musical works. Indeed, in the most recent descriptions of their work, the artists themselves often use metaphorical language more readily associated with the visual arts and sculpture. With this in mind, the three artists decided to make recordings alluding to, and partially descriptive of the minimalist artists that they favour most, or have had the most profound influence on their work and imagination. It was decided that each artist would make a sound piece, naming it after a visual work, or an artist (or both) that was highly significant to each of them, translated into sound. We present here the first wave of recordings by each artist, in the hope that it will simultaneously pay homage to a great moment in contemporary art, and also fuel its influence on the next generation of minimalists.
5-Tomas Phillips and Jason Bivins, Ohne Titel , Blau
A marriage of guitar improvisation and through-composition, its immediate reference point beyond lowercase sound art is the work of painter Barnett Newman. His solid color canvases, broken by vertical lines of various shades, reveal an aesthetic preoccupation with minimalist imagery aligned with a reverence for the philosophy of Spinoza. An equally pleasurable matrimony.
6-Mimoza Moize, Live at unit 3.03, Live at unit 3.03
Live at Unit 3.03 is a sequence of sound sketches that were spectrally deconstructed and reconstructed live, with intentions of engaging the listener with the space. Each sound used was mono allowing any stereo effect of movement perceived to be those created from the influence of the space itself.
The nature of performing at Unit 3.03 is generally one of a more domestic gathering than that of a public event. This shared domestic-come-temporary-social situation creates an interesting interaction with the sounds to be heard coming from within and beyond this personal and intimate space. Interestingly, this situation also directs ours attention inwardly to the sounds that we carry with us and outwardly to the ones that people carry with them.
This recording was taken during our very first live performance held at Unit 3.03, where we shared tea, coffee and cake, met old friends and new ones, and shared old stories and made new memories.
7-.Simon Whetham , 02 Part (Paths, Crossings) , prayers Unheard
In February 2010, Simon Whetham was invited to perform at Audio Art in Krakow by Marek Choloniewsky, for which he proposed visiting the city for three or four days prior to the performance in order to record the sounds of the place, to compose a site specific piece for the event.
Whetham stayed in the Kazimierz area of Krakow, the old Jewish area that during the Second World War became a ghetto through Nazi persecution. Walking the streets, he felt a certain sadness and longing that was almost tangible. The buildings, the very fabric of the city there, had to bear witness to the atrocities of that time. The walls still stand, unable to impart their testament to the horrors committed – the roads that bore tanks and trucks that took hordes of innocents to nearby Auschwitz unable to show us the despair of families torn apart…
The Jewish people of Krakow believed their God would save them, and yet they still suffered terribly at the hands of the Nazis. Their prayers, along with the sounds of pain and suffering, have long since died away, unheard. But perhaps the stone and metal of the city retains some echo, some imprint from that time…
9- Yann Novak, The breeze blowing over us, Infrequency Editions
Recorded on one of the hottest days Seattle experienced in 2008, as well as the first weekend Novak spent with his partner, The Breeze Blowing Over Us is based upon a simple recording of a fan beside their bed.
This is Novak’s first solo release on Infrequency and an extremely fine example of his technique for transforming a simple environmental recording into a richly layered, and emotionally tense composition.a box fan is the only sound source)
The vanity licence-plate monicker France Jobin has chosen to work under is intended as a jab at arts-industry consumerism while also proclaiming that the performance of her art makes her audience aware of the process, the better to engage with it actively rather than allow it to “eat” them up as they listen passively.
A little too art schooly for this reviewer´s taste. Because it distracts from the fact that France Jobin is an otherwise accomplished and talented multi-tasking sound and visual artist from Montreal whose works have been installed and favourably received in myriad venues all across North America and Europe.
29 Palms is her sound portrait of the unique desert community Joshua Tree in the Californian desert, and is an attractive addition to the drone genre in its sophisticated mix of highs and lows. Like the desert itself, a cursory glance can leave the listener unmoved, but screw up the volume and prick up your ears coyote-like and you will hear that the wind carries a multitude of sounds and signals to be decoded.
One of the most successfully subtle recordings of the year deserves thus not to be treated as ambient, background music, but requires genuine focus to unveil its laden vastness.
i8u’s 29 Palms takes its inspiration from her recent experience at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Through the use of field recordings, various analog equipment and computer processing, i8u explores her response to the isomorphic spaces she encountered. 29 Palms takes form as a single track that ebbs and flows from high frequency minimalist moments to lush drone swells. These counterpoints weave together to create a truly unique space for the listener to inhabit that is both expansive in its emptiness and personal in its inclusive embrace.
Nestled amongst the hurly burly of the hinterlands of Hackney and Stamford Hill is the alternative arts/music space known as The Others, situated in a former industrial site on Manor Road. This is to be the location of the inaugural event promoted by the newly formed Soundfjord organisation, based in London, UK, featuring renowned sound artists from around the globe. Curators Helen Frosi and Andrew Riley have here assembled a representative cross section of the current sonic arts community, featuring established artists, and introducing burgeoning talent. Within the framework of the increasingly maligned and marginalised genre of sound art, this is no mean feat, however Frosi and Riley wisely manage to enroll the talents of Yann Novak and Robert Curgenven to bolster the event’s status, both being recent additions to the USA’s prestigious LINE imprint curated by Richard Chartier, and NVO recent additions, i8u and FOURM, alongside Dragon’s Eye (Novak’s own imprint) stalwart Ian Hawgood, and relative newcomers, Mimosa Moize Mimosa Moize open the evening with rapturous swathes of tonal and textural elegance, taking a highly restrained approach that is to be the essential theme of the evening. The duo of Lucia Chung and Martin J Thompson set their stall early, intently crouched over laptops, their work envelops and swirls with graceful, understated activity. Sadly, the set is curtailed by what appears to be an ailing mixing desk, and the duo exit the stage, discontent, but doubtless having learned some of the lessons that live performance brings to bear. The new set by yours truly (FOURM), showcases a work called “interval.impuls”, loosely based on the Method and Area series of recordings, informed by and through architecture, and using the resonance and harmonics of the performance space to evoke curious and engaging sonic patterns. Performed in near total darkness, the overall effect was (hopefully) intense, with cyclic patterns and tonal bursts revolving around a continuously (r)evolving resonant bass-scape. Not being a fan of live presentations on the laptop, I am an unwilling spectator of my own works, and the success (or not) of the piece depends on others more qualified than I to comment upon. Ian Hawgood took to the performance space with a burst of endearing good cheer and a brief explanation of his recent work with gamelan music and instruments recently purchased from the far east. The husband and wife duo are crouched on the floor for the duration of the set, with wife striking copper bells, and Hawgood himself crash editing and sampling them, fusing them into his now trademark soundscapes, best exemplified by his recent Snow Roads release on Dragon’s Eye. The overall effect is a slightly dreamy, murky gamelan, that to these ears at least would have benefitted from more volume in order to impose itself on the space. That said, the net result was interesting, but once again suffering from interference and unwanted crackle from deficient P.A. wiring. Yann Novak, to those sadly uninitiated souls, hails from the seething metropolis that is Los Angeles, and his more recent works are a harsh counterpoint to what one imagines is a city brimming with activity. Novak’s works are elegantly rendered affairs, taking tones and textures and overlaying and interlacing them with a poise and grace that resembles Richard Chartier’s early forays, however, this is no pallid derivative of Chartier’s work. Naturally, the two have met and performed in the same spaces, yet Novak has carved his own identity into his work, and is here presenting works simultaneously with an installation “Stillness”, also curated by Soundfjord. The entire performance, once again takes place in near darkness, an eerie silence befalls the audience who are doubtless enraptured by Novak’s exquisite tonal renderings. The diminutive figure of France Jobin, aka i8u, takes to the performance space almost unnoticed, closely followed by a series of muscular, energetic sounds the like of which it is hard to imagine her crafting. “Crafting” here is the key word, and as the piece unfolds, it reveals multiple layers and textural shifts, alongside subtle interplays of dynamics and the building of tension, this for me is one of the high points of the evening, and in uncharacteristic unrestrained manner, I let out a loud whoop as Jobin’s set ends, such is the joy that I felt at such an elegantly crafted work. Having never encountered the work of Robert Curgenven, who only recently burst onto my radar, through having his sublime “Oltre” work just released on LINE, I was intrigued as the man strode in predatory manner, barefoot towards a triptych of record decks, with all manner of bowls and wine glasses strewn around him. The intensity of Curgenven’s work is mirrored by the man himself, whose mild manner and effortless sense of humour dissipate once he enters his space. At soundcheck, Curgenven is scrupulously principled, instantly winning my admiration as he verbally emits a series of clicks and clucks to test the natural acoustics of the space, and then sets about pushing the equipment and the technician to their absolute limits. Curgenven is obviously a man who resists any form of compromise, and his performance is as engaging visually as it is acoustically. Once again marred by the ailing P.A. Curgenven halts his activities to adjust the speaker’s crackling wiring system, only to once again ignite the space with sensuous feedback, and swirling harmonics. It’s a warm, soupy blend that really should be rich and multi –tonal, vivified with sparkling harmonics, and a decidedly bottom heavy affair, but we have to settle for what the ailing rock P.A, ( and presumably slightly bemused soundman) are able to offer. Technical difficulties aside, this was an encouraging first outing for the Soundfjord organisation, and doubtless, after the initial licking of wounds, promises to carve out a unique path for the UK’s woefully under-represented sonic arts community, as well as visitors with the clout and kudos of Novak. Th event billed itself as “An evening of momentous sonic environments,absorbing, contemplative sound sculpture + sublime, immersive sound art”, and to most of the folks that I spoke with, that remit was admirably filled. The necessary limitations with regard to a specialised space, top quality sound equipment and adequate funding will always rear their ugly head, particularly in marginalised art forms that deserve better, but as events go, and if lessons are learned, the venture has the potential to fill a gap in the sonic arts that is long overdue, and my respect and admiration for the artists and promoters alike is unbounded. Baz Nichols – WHITE_LINE / FOURM/ Level August 2010
SoundFjord | London
Sound Art Gallery & Research Unit
02088003024 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.soundfjord.org
Unit 3b – Studio 28 – 28 Lawrence Road – London – N15 4ER
An evening of momentous sonic environments; absorbing, contemplative sound
sculpture; sublime, immersive sound art and experimental music.
Robert Curgenven | i8u | Yann Novak
Ian Hawgood | FOURM | mimosa|moize
Date: Friday 06 August 2010
Time: 7pm doors – late
Venue: The Others | 6 and 8 Manor Road | Hackney | N16 5SA
Entry: £5 adv. / £7 door
Directions: Tube: Finsbury Park then 106 bus
Overland: Stoke Newington from Liverpool Street
Buses: 67, 73, 76, 106, 149, 243, 476,to Stoke Newington Overland
immersound is an event featuring numerous international sound artists/performers in a variety of
guises, brought together to highlight shining examples of creative contribution to experimental music and the sound arts with diversity of performance. All are sensuous pieces that must be felt as well as heard! Here, the live immersive environment is a chance for both artist and audience to be consumed by the same visceral experience; to be drawn into and among the same heights and depths of the sonic and emotional spectrum.
immersound has been curated to define the notion of ‘immersion’: the saturated sound and visual landscape – the ‘subsuming experience’. Within the works presented, the notion of the ‘Sound Event’ is pushed to its limits: beginning and end are non-existent – cohesion between expert craftsmanship andà innovative transfiguration meld into dense, subsuming soundscapes.
Curated by Helen Frosi, France Jobin and Yann Novak, immersound is brought to you courtesy of
SoundFjord.Dynamic – the division of SoundFjord | London focusing on the promotion of
myriad aspects of live sound art performance in all its great diversity, at unusual venues, and by
SoundFjord.Dynamic curates a platform for excellence, artistic rigour and diversity within creative output. Guest curators and visionaries with passion and intent are also invited to curate themed and eclectic events, encouraging the vanguard of the genre, bringing together highly talented artists from around the world to perform their works to an audience from diverse backgrounds and interests.
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 programme 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 organises 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.
i8u wishes to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support.