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NILSEN, BJ - Eye of the Microphone

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Touch TO:91
Release Year: 2013
Note: an array of field recordings from the City of London => BN NILSEN has discovered many isolated aural micro-worlds within the cacaphony of a mega-city, as usual excellent spatial sound quality & fascinating drones & beautiful acoustic objects beyond.. comes with extensive liner-notes
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00

More Info

"Recorded and Mixed in London 2012 2013

++ To stroll properly, one should not have any particular plans ++

In 2012 I received a scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust for a one-year Artist in Residency at the UCL Urban Laboratory in London, to introduce sound as an art practice to urban scholars and students. As part of my research I decided to drive the city.

I spent full days and sometimes nights sweeping the streets and its interiors for sound - walking and listening with no route or intention. A city without sound does not exist. Every location, passageway, alley, road, park, and pub contains its own world of isolated sound events and patterns - the sound of a shopping bag caught by the wind on the asphalt of a busy street when a bus passes by. What seems to be merely a bus is also a cacophony of sounds, a sound world in itself: hydraulics, breaks, interior noise, honking, public announcements, humans, rolling bottles, cell phones, mp3 players. The rattle of an air-conditioning unit in an old pub toilet gradually develops its broken down sound over many years, creating a raga for it own demise. Nobody seems to hear it. Is it there? The choice of sound varies; it's a personal selection, some sounds made it into this composition, many hours of recording didnt.

Sound composition can alter space and time and transform a specific location and experience into an imaginary world." [label info]


"Recently BJ Nilsen released his collaborative album with Anla Courtis, exploring the beautiful, yet small city of Nijmegen, here he is in solo mode exploring London. As part of a scholarship he was in that city to 'introduce sound as an art practice to urban scholars and students', and what better than to explore, sound wise that is, the city you are in? There are three pieces here, one of which is more or less about the Thames, running through the city. That's the opening piece and perhaps the most 'telling' piece of the three. In the other two its more difficult to find a common theme. It's likewise not easy to tell what it is that Nilsen does with these recordings. My best guess is that he mixes these together, that it's likely there is some sort of equalization used, but how about any sort of treatment? That's something I don't know. Certainly in 'Twenty Four Seven' there seems to be some sort shimmering melodic touch. In 'Coins And Bones' it seems that he collected all the drones
from the urban environment (lifts, shafts etc) together and superimposes them into a musical drone pieces that works very well. That could be from some processed field recording, but perhaps as easily Nilsen walked in a shopping mall and picked this up? Hard to say. Like with his collaborative release with Courtis, the music here is at times quite soft so you need to turn up the volume quite a bit, which makes that the loudest parts blast in with fine power. These three pieces are distinctly different, but sum up various aspects of the city quite well. It's not a pure documentation of field recordings, but a cleverly made soundscape. A true delight to hear, a work by one of the best." [FdW/Vital Weekly]