AVANT-GARDE / CODES / CODEBREAKERS /
Analogue and Digital Curated Publishing.
Contemporary Art Documentary meets Electronic Music Culture.
KOO003 has been released on Sept 10
Format: CD – (44:13)
Title: “Sound Collages”
Author: PHILL NIBLOCK
About: selected tracks and images from the exhibition “Working photos” at Fridman Gallery, NYC (2019), specifically in reference to the black and white photo and video series ‘Light Patterns’, here represented in a 10-page booklet by 7 selected pictures and an exclusive retrospective story by the author related to memory and place.
The tracks include aquatic elements, crickets, bells and other stories from the Greek islands, Belgium, the Danube and the Rhine Delta in a real life experience that comes back to mind as a fluid sensation.
Bells Syros – (5:46)
Crick – (11:02)
Bells &Timps – (5:32)
Zound Delta – (21:53)
Insert: 10-page booklet with 7 selected pictures and an exclusive retrospective story from the author related to memory and place.
Circulation: Limited Edition, 200 numbered copies
Year of publishing: 2021
Warning: the CD release will be followed by a very limited cross-media edition of 5 vinyls +NFTs.
I bought my first tape recorder in 1953, it was a Masco, made in Long Island City, NY, I think the first consumer tape recorder. Later Webcor made more mass market recorders. The Masco had an out-of-balance flywheel, so it had built-in wow and flutter.
I did not make so many recordings with it, and even mostly used it to record records to tape, records that I did not own but could borrow.
This was especially during the time I was in the US Army, stationed partly in a hospital, where there was an in-house (only to the beds in the hospital) wired, radio station, where the sergeant was a friend and allowed me to DJ at night, and to copy records from the army transcriptions. I probably still have some of those transcriptions, and that tape recorder is sitting on a shelf about 15 feet from where I am now sitting.
Later, I had rewired the machine, so I could take the signal directly from the playback head to a preamplifier and sound system.
So, I had some long experience with recording, when I started to make music in 1968, and had much better recording machines. In 1969, a friend, Al Mazaltove, gave me a $500 grant and I bought a Revox B77 half track stereo recorder, so my fidelity went way up.
In the first years after that, besides making my music, I made what would now be called “Sound Art” pieces.
In the 70s and 80s, I was recording in the field with various cassette recorders. I decided to make a piece for the main (world) sound art radio station, WDR, in Koln Germany. Except they did not acknowledge my request.
So I decided to make a part of it, anyway, a piece mixing many different recordings, from cassette origins, with the basis being a Ghost ceremony in Aberdeen, a section of Hong Kong, from 1978.
I mixed with that the sounds of cowbells in a field in Hungary, many locomotive trains with horns, and various other things that I can’t remember, It was an hour long piece, and I think the second piece that I realized with the ProTools multitrack software. Maybe.
With that preamble, the pieces on this CD/LP, were recorded on portable recorders, and mixed, using ProTools.
A new LP and CD with Giovanni De Donà, of Bologna. Italy, with “Sound Collage” pieces, not music, – Crick(et); Bells & Timps; Bells Syros; and Zound Delta-.
Crick(et) material was recorded on Ikaria Island, Greece, near Turkey, once an island inhabited by Greek Communists, in the summer of 2012.
We, Katherine Liberovskaya and I, were there on a “vacation”, which seldom happens. And it was the time of the cricket swarms, thousands or millions of them. This is a multitrack mix of many Crickets.
Bells & Timps, the sounds were recorded by Godfried Willem Raes in Gent Belgium in 1986, on analog tape, and I made this mix about 2010 (?). There are no Timps, just a pun on my friend, Michael Timpson (nicknamed Timps) and a piece I made in 1978 for Jan Williams of Buffalo, playing tympany, named Tymps in E.
Bells Syros, the sounds recorded on Syros Island Greece, during a residency, with the bells that were on a roof of a monastery that we (Katherine and ) were staying at, a short walk upstairs from our room, and I was sitting on the wall around the 3 bells and hitting the bells with a kitchen knife wrapped in a cloth, holding the microphone in the other hand, inside the bells. I could not ring the bells with the clappers, because that would seem to announce to the island a church service.
I did the mix there in ProTools, and I played the piece a very few days later, in a demonstration of all the residency artists’ projects. The view from the bell tower was fantastic, looking out over the north part of the island and the bay. There was a long, winding road coming up from the town, with frequent trucks and motorcycles climbing the mountain, making a lot of noise, and disturbing the recordings. This project was produced by Sound Meetings, in Greece.
Zound Delta was made during a residency, by recording sounds of the river, moving up the Danube River, on a houseboat re-structured from a river barge, with two barges coming upriver, starting from the Delta of the Danube and Rhine Rivers, starting each at the Black Sea in Romania, and the Rhine in Holland. We (Katherine and I) joined the boat at the Delta. I made recordings at various places in the delta, and going up the river, using both acoustic microphones and under the water hydrophones.The mix is very episodic, with a few minutes from many locations blended together. All of my previous sound collage pieces have very singular sounds, but his one combines many different sounds. After about two weeks, we stopped in Romania, in a town, and had a concert, and I playing this mixed piece. Then we left the project, and others came aboard, to continue on.The boats were to meet in Strasbourg France, late in the summer, to have a performance event meeting, and it did happen, and I was there, too.
This project was produced by the European Sound Delta Project, in Paris France.
Phill Niblock – NY, 2021
The Intermedia crosses the return of the “aura”
This work released in CD celebrates the artist’s personal history, recounting episodes from his personal life, from the purchase of his first tape recorder in 1953, to his nocturnal activity as a DJ in the radio station during his military service, to the beginning of his musical career in 1968. A journey through magnetic tapes, through what today would be called “sound art”, the transition to digital processing, up to this celebratory adventure developed at a distance together with Giovanni De Donà of KOO EDITIONS during the pandemic isolation.
This project is not only about the canonic digital edition in CD, digipak with booklet, of material selected by the artist from an art exhibition.
“Sound Collages” introduces in fact a conceptual experimentation in the mode of edition, dividing itself into two different proposals.
The second proposal concerns in a very limited and collectible series, which involves the combined release of 5 vinyls carved by a lathe, the old and dear analogue media with its craftsmanship, each accompanied by an NFT, the new immaterial format able to carries authenticated unique or limited serial content, containing in this case the images and text of the booklet, proposing an exclusive cross media viewing-listening experience: an hybrid limited collection based on the vinyl+NFT combination.
We are here facing the main awareness of the fact that the NFT represents the return of the aura of the artwork, as understood according to Benjamin, given by the unprecedented possibility of the authenticated uniqueness of a digital file, which magically returns to being “the original”, and in this case also witness and proof of the existence and originality of the contents imprinted on perishable material supports.
Beyond the current speculation implemented through objects of doubtful historical and cultural value transposed in NFT, one can understand this relatively new decentralised digital technology, the so called blockchain, as a means of preserving certified content through the creation of Not Fungible Tokens, the so called NFTs, revolutionary archival tools that can empower the author and his control over his work, both in a popular and archival sense.
The collectible NFT is a new object curated and proposed by KOO EDITIONS that will stand alongside the physical media with the intention of establishing originality through authentication, pursuing preservation, exploring the possibilities of circulation of curated items in a long-term perspective, following the independent spirit and audacity of the label, which continues in small steps towards the unknown.
Giovanni De Donà