On 20 September 2020, I created five sound pieces and sent them on audio cassettes to five elected officials. The pieces were created in a way that their public statements from the past would be revealed in a spectrum analysis of each piece, bracketed by the repeated phrase “You are bound by your own words.”
The five pieces have only been heard by myself and a cat who often resides in my studio. You will not be able to listen to them unless they have served their purpose; that would rob them of their impact. For that same reason I will not name the five elected officials here.
I don’t think the spectrum analyses have the same weight, as they are documentation and not pieces on their own. If you are interested, here they are. Each has the text twice, one for the left channel and one for the right channel.
Loma Editions is thrilled to announce its first physical release, Ando by Alex Keller and Sean O’Neill.
All proceeds from Ando, whether through purchase of the physical CD or digital downloads, will be donated to the Austin Justice Coalition: austinjustice.org.
Keller and O’Neill, longtime stalwarts of the Austin experimental music community, have collaborated in performance and installation pieces since 2015, when they worked together to create a subsonic environment for Christine Sun Kim’s Bounce House and quickly found common ground in their use of repurposed and found technologies. Using field recordings, vintage telephone test equipment, magnetic oscillators, light and space, their work has addressed the agents and artifacts of change in the urban and acoustic realms.
In 2017, following a tour across the American Midwest, a discussion about the work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando led to the development of the piece that would become “Ando.” Keller and O’Neill created a score, divided into five sections that would take shape according to seven distinct parameters related to Ando’s work: contrast, motion, perspective, exterior/interior, texture, functionality, and the corridor as transition. Using a random number generator, they determined to what degree each artist would focus on each parameter across each section of the piece. They would generate this script anew for every performance, thus creating a unique interpretation of the piece every time.
“Ando,” the first of two tracks on this Loma Editions release, is a fixed version of the piece. The second track, “The Island That Is Not There,” captures a performance, recorded live at Thomas Bey William Bailey’s Third Rail series, that employs a similar methodology. Composed of field recordings, live performance recordings, electromagnetic oscillators, and analog and digital synthesis, Ando is an expansive and immersive sonic exploration of movement, space, and form.
released June 5, 2020
Alex Keller and Sean O’Neill: Field recordings, live performance recordings, electromagnetic oscillators, and analog and digital sound synthesis.
Photography of Tadao Ando’s Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art by Vanessa Gelvin. Cover design by Sean O’Neill. Mastered by Alex Keller.
Featuring electromagnetic field interference sound recordings made by Erin Hannan and Lily Swift on Saturday, May 30, 2020, between 8 and 10 PM, in the Austin State Hospital Cemetery in Austin, Texas, and electronic voice phenomenon recordings made by Michael Esposito.
Ash is a selection from Michael Esposito’s Pandemic Response Divisionproject. Based on EVPs and Field recordings taken from a variety of pandemic related sites. Contributions from artists will be uploaded to album as they come available. When album is finished they will be released on a limited edition fully printed USB card. All contributions will be collected and sent to a COVID – 19 relief effort.
I was thrilled to chat with the charming Jeanne Claire van Ryzin in April about the field recordings I’ve been making to document the changes in the blissfully quiet pandemic. You can read the interview here.