The Quiet Club in Florida, 2016

They were artists in residence  with the Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida, in January 2016. Published the album in 2017.

Playing every day at 2pm in a shed on Jungle Road they created this work.

The sound work is organised into five parts separate by seconds of silence:

Fire Ants (20.36), Jungle Road 16.06), Waldo Cottage (16.41), Laika Lane (14.22) and Snow Birds(11.24), copyright Danny McCarthy and Mick O’Shea.

 On the dorso of images are texts, two poems.  Michael Waisvisz  ends his with a magic two lines:

the pieces of grit however are not yet small enough to have                                       descended into their final states: the etheric dust

Explosive opening made by rusting world of materials abandonned in the wind provides a noisy decomposition of electro-sonic ensemble that occupies the lip of recurring questions – what is the sound? What does it demand of me?  Even the human voices just about audible over muffled distances relentlessly refuse to tell whether they are apocalyptic or just imprisoned. The sound issues relentless dictatorship of uncertainty.  Apparent is the refusal to commit the sounds to a flow, instead they pile up like rocks after a earthquake. The sounds are hermetic, without a message, a story, and powerful means to abdicate any duty or privilege.  I cannot persuade myself that  the two parts, Fire Ants and Jungle Road are  beautiful nor that there is no beauty in them.

My whimsical memory evokes parallels with  Fleurs du Mal – and how it could sound without words. Too many lacunas allow for discontinuity as confident as is the universe. Alas -the Waldo Cottage appears to include sounds of nature, which must be my illusion, because the artists claim that all was done indoors, every day, starting at 2pm. There is a high pitched line like sound in relentless duration, so long, that I wished it stopped at least three times. Technosound. It issues a kind of oblique disappointment – so oblique that  I cannot tell what it is, what it is about, yet, I cannot pretend that it is not, and it has not a powerful identity, aesthetic power.

These sounds are not humble. They are overwhelmingly confident  in subverting the expectations. Even  in repeats and monotony, the sound invents, behaving like a meandering river both knowing and not knowing what comes next. It descends from the universe down –  to the human breath labouring to achieve something that is not accessible to senses.

Glass high pitch breaks in  and stays high above the drip- drops that are  sounding too technical.  Yet, a welcome respite.

Silence is forbidden, unless it announces an end. A pause between parts.  A length of a slow breath.  Snow Birds  infatuated by the two- the  continuous high pitch and man’s breath syncopize a bodily  effort- slightly playfully rush to the end.

Jane Hirtchfield  poem, published with the disc,  A Well Runs Out of Thirst,  ends with a stanza that gently aligns to the  sound compositions:

There are questions that never run out of questions, answers that don’t exhaust answer.

Take this question the person stands asking:

a gate rusting open.

Yes stands on its left, no on its right

two big planets of unpainted silence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Slavka Sverakova

writer on art
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