Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Review of first three releases on Vital Weekly

This weeks Vital Weekly reviewed the first three releases on the label. Thanks to Frans de Waard www.vitalweekly.net/862.html ...

MECHA/ORGA - 53:30 (CDR by Very Quiet Records)

A new label for me which goes by the name of Very Quiet Records. It 'is a small independent label based in Devon, UK. The idea is simple. We release recordings of quiet places or situations from sound artists and field recordists from around the world'. And right on the first release it sounds exactly like that. Yiorgis Sakellariou, also known as Mecha/orga opened his window between midnight and 9am in Kifisia, Athens, Greece in November 2012, and recorded what was going on. Bird sounds, some church bells and lots and lots of silence. I made a phone call when I was playing this the other night, and after a while I thought: that's odd, I hear birds, yet it's cold, night, winter. Oh yes, it's that near silent CDR by Mecha/orga. This is perhaps the nearest we can come to ambient music: the only real thing is listening for yourself. But it's my belief that a pure piece of sound recorded in any environment is music, simply because the composer says so. Mecha/orga proofs this in this particular uncomposed release.

There is more happening on the release by Frederic Nogray, who recorded his work at the Centro de Investigacion y Jardin Botanico Lancetilla (in Hondarus) during the sunset from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm on 25 August 2012, and with a bit of edits we have hear a near eighty minute release. We hear the animals of the night going away and the animals of the day wake up. Maybe it could have been edited a bit more but essentially this is a composition in itself. From the simple crackles and chirping like insects at the beginning more and more sounds are added - out of nowhere? not really of course - and the high pitched singing of insects make a loud buzzing and ringing choir at the end. Not so quiet in the end, but quite a narrative I thought.

Francisco Meirino has the most conceptual recording here, at least judging by the title and the text on the cover. I assuming that the four pieces mentioned on the cover, 'after 20 minutes (water)', 'after 60 minutes', 'after 120 minutes' and 'after 180 minutes (ice)' reflect the various stages of freezing a mic, as the title promises us. Here we are dealing with four very quiet pieces of sound, but more of a static nature, with hardly any movement at all, or distraction from outside, as we find that on the Mecha/orga release. Minimalist and conceptual, but also a fascinating release; one that calls for more questions than it gives answers, I think, and all along you can play this fine release.

Perhaps three of these highly quiet releases is a bit much one after another (for reviewing purposes I guess) but it made me think I have a some quiet recordings shelved somewhere. Must dig out, makes note. (FdW)