Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review of Quies by Peter Lenaerts at Vital Weekly

This review of Peter Lenaerts Quies raises some interesting questions around the presentation of extremely quiet recordings ...

"The fourth release on Very Quiet Records is by someone I never heard of, I think, Peter Lenaerts, who I believe is from Belgium, and who did a bunch of recordings in South Australia, December 11-21 in 2011, along the Oodnadaata Track, a desert place. Like the previous releases, this is indeed a very quiet recording. I couldn't resist to see what is 'in there', so I put some of these pieces in my computer, made them zero db and then it turns out to be still very quiet in the long opening piece. Lots of hiss (obviously from making this louder), bits of winds blowing in the microphone and the occasional rumble. Is Lenaerts walking or recording from a silent position? In the other pieces there is a bit more sound, even without putting everything to 0db, but still the events are quite obscure. This is altogether quite an extreme listening experience! No doubt because a lot of the time you don't hear anything - or seem to be hearing anything (which is a difference), and I was thinking: this is all perhaps a too radical for my taste. You hear the buzzing of your environment (computer, a hard drive) better than the music on offer here, which is a pity (certainly for someone like who doesn't want to be playing music through headphones when at home). Maybe it would have been a idea to put the sound up a little more and make it less of a challenge to hear this? Quiet is the new loud, anyone? (FdW)"