Keith Fullerton Whitman; Halle, SaaleIndustrial Abbotsford
Hand Cut Long Playing Record
Debut release on a new label run out of the same Melbourne garage as Broken-Music; these are Hand Cut Long Playing records - think Dub Plates rather than Lathe Cuts; high-spec, wide-dynamic, low-noise LPs cut one-at-a-time - complete with full color labels. Each copy comes inside a black poly-lined inner sleeve housed inside an eye-popping, pre-stressed, full-color hand-assembled jacket.
Issued in a micro edition of 25 & produced in collaboration with Nathan Sawford / Small Run Vinyl & Shannon Adams / Smada Design, "Halle (Saale)" presents a 36-minute piece, performed & recorded on a Hybrid Digital-Analogue Modular Synthesizer in a gigantic concrete bunker on the bank of the Saale river on October 11th, 2013, during room-tuning & sound-checks for the debut performance of "Dream Cargoes."
"The initial wave of excitement on having captured something particular, yet inexplicable - by chance, or by dedication - can often give way to an ambivalence on successive listens... then fatigue. This is especially true for those who work with such ephemeral arts as systems-based music; excruciatingly so with the self-automating Modular Synthesizer patch. The embrace of just so much randomness and chance can be exhilarating in practice as new, inexplicable events are conjured & reined in... but a certain ennui in the authorlessness of it all can, and often does creep in. A hard drive full of hours & days of consequential-seeming, yet directionless audio can be a burden; a curse. So many possibilities, so little time & energy to step in & corral it all into something approaching a significant, shareable work - this condition has been at the center of my inward inability to release "studio" music for the past half-decade, preferring the immediacy & finality of live performance & documentation thereof.
With all that said, I've revisited this particular recording on a number of occasions in the years intervening its capture & have marveled in its staying power. The first playback, the morning after, led to a giddy excitement. A few months later, after the inanities of the particular patch had faded, I was forced to contemplate the actual sound-palette utilized: a selection of stray pings, earthy groans, and almost subliminal risings & fallings that belie the opulence of the machine used to generate them, harkening back to a simpler technological age. Now, years later, I can clearly hear echoes of the music I was especially obsessed with at the time: Baudouin Oosterlynck, Dominique Lawalrée, and Raymond Dijkstra; proponents of a certain "limited-resource, maximum potential" approach to sound-organization. Another frame of reference: I was & remain enamored with "Structural" FIlm, a healthy investigation of the work of Michael Snow, Tony Conrad, Standish Lawder, and the like led me to ponder the equivalent in music - a rule-set wherein variables were left to unravel, uncontested, for a given length. In perhaps a less-than-entirely-subconscious way I was channeling these ideas with this music." - KFW, Brunswick, September 2016.