[Microsound-announce] Asher "graceful degradation" - new cdr on con-v

conv convnetlabel at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 15 15:03:46 EST 2006


hi everybody.

after his successful online releases on 12k/term and
con-v and a new
recent online work on earlabs, boston based sound
artist Asher
presents his first cdr, "graceful degradation":

"these works started their lives as recordings of my
piano onto an
old, beat up tape using an old tape recorder.  the
piano I bought on
the street in brooklyn for seventy five dollars.  I
was told it had
been the piano in a local bar and was in quite a state
of disrepair. 
over the year or so that I lived in my apartment I
grew quite attached
to the black spinet with gold stickers spelling
"steinwa" on its face.
 the cassette I found while cleaning out old offices
in queens.  it
was among an abandoned collection of cassettes that
someone left
behind.  I adopted them, giving them new life by
layering field
recordings and piano over led zeppelin and the police
which i found on
them.  the tape recorder I found in a storeroom at
work.  no one cared
when I took it home and it always sat next to the
piano with a
cassette ready. one of the cassettes I ended up using
had been
recorded onto so many times that it became worn out
and never played
back my recordings the same way.  after working  with
this cassette
for a while i had filled it up, even recording over
some of my own
recordings.  at this point I started creating
compositions using this
material, with ?samples of various lengths looped and
played against
each other, yielding unexpected results. I came across
the concept of
graceful degradation while reading a book by richard
restak. I
realized that the idea fit in very well with the work
I was doing. 
memories are recorded in our brains and surface
whenever they are
triggered; but each memory is blurred through the
process of
recollection.  This blurring process occurs as
memories are recalled
and observed in the present, altering the original
version. There are
many references to this concept within the
compositional process and
final results, and perhaps more which I haven't
discovered. The first
layer I encountered was within the cassette. Each time
I played a
section of the tape the sounds were altered and placed
in a new
context.  The next layer was in the studio working
with the sounds,
sampling sections of the tape and creating the
compositions. as each
sample plays its part in the piece, it is altered
through its
relationship with the sounds of the other samples. 
Another layer
exists while listening, as each person develops an
relationship with the piece, and the sounds are placed
in the context
of their experience" (notes by Asher)


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