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SAMARTZIS, PHILIP - Unheard Spaces

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Microphonics 02
Release Year: 2006
Note: two long soundart compositions by this Australian experimentator and ex member of GUM: "Absence and Presence" (2006) for five musicians and four loudspeakers, "Unheard Spaces" (2006) - based on field recordings made in Venice; special offer now !
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"Absence and Presence (2006): Absence and Presence was originally written for five musicians and four loudspeakers positioned throughout the site of performance in order to explore the traction between amplified and acoustic space. The performance was predicated on a set of directions that determined the combination of musicians at specific times and the duration of their performance. Within these structural parameters the musicians chose what they played and how they responded to one another. The idea was to create a series of exchanges between two or three musicians at any one time but never have all musicians sounding simultaneously. Therefore large tracts of action and inaction inform the composition as each musician waits their turn to shape the trajectory of the piece. The recorded version of Absence and Presence uses a non-linear recording methodology that places each musician in a separate physical location so as to incorporate the specific acoustics generated by the diverse spaces in which the musicians found themselves. I then requested each musician recreate their performance from memory without hearing the other musicians play. The musical and spatial results were used to form the basic structure of the piece, whilst editing, layering and over dubs were utilized to forge a more cohesive result from the constituent components. Finally I invited Michael Vorfeld to improvise to certain sections of the piece to add a further layer of complexity to the arrangement in order to blur the distinction between the constructed and the improvised.
Unheard Spaces (2006): Unheard Spaces comprises field recordings of Venice conducted over a three-week period in March 2000. The focus of the composition is on the way sound permeates Venice to highlight the specific acoustics that characterize the aural dimension of this labyrinthine city. As one of the most recognizable cities in the world, and the subject of countless artistic works, I was interested to know whether it was possible to portray Venice in new and innovative ways by focusing exclusively on its sonic character. Inspired by Luc Ferrari's Presque Rien), as well as Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice, Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now and Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers, Unheard Spaces uses narrative to locate the listener within a set of complex sonic interactions resounding within the myriad of passageways, piazzas and canals that constitute the lugubrious city. The composition was originally arranged and mixed in eight-channel surround sound for the La Costruzione del Suono Festival staged in Mestre, Italy in 2004. This CD contains a stereo mix down derived from the eight-channel surround mix." [press release]