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VERNON, MARK - An Annotated Phonography of Chance

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Misantrophic Agenda MAR051ot specified
Release Year: 2019
Note: the idiosyncratic (& very musical) soundworld of MARK VERNON is hardly comparable to anything else, these pieces have been mainly derived from field recordings in Portugal (created for an uncompleted 16mm film).. => "These ten tracks that span forty minutes are woven with zags and fluctuating warp that brings to mind the inversion of a jazz trumpet, its brackish and suspenseful.... A visionary tale of chance and observation." [TJ Norris]
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"An Annotated Phonography of Chance expands upon the soundtrack to an uncompleted 16mm film made in collaboration with English filmmaker Martha Jurksaitis and the Portuguese artist duo Von Calhau! The film Nossos Ossos (which also lends its name to one of the tracks on this record) was shot largely on location in the Alentejo region of Portugal in 2013.

Sites visited included Evora, Evoramonte, the bone chapel Capela dos Ossos, Almendres Cromlech and many other castles, churches and megalithic sites in the area. These locations were used to make experiments with natural reverbs, for the most part sounding out the spaces with voices. Along with location field recordings and found tapes this provided the raw material for much of the soundtrack."

https://markvernon.bandcamp.com/album/an-annotated-phonography-of-chance


https://misanthropicagenda.bandcamp.com/album/an-annotated-phonography-of-chance


Glasgows radio producer/sound artist Mark Vernon is about to release his follow-up to the incredible Ribbons of Rust (Flaming Pines, 2019). His sound is intensely intimate, one might think their own pipes are dripping as each droplet is painstakingly captured with precise fidelity. These ten tracks that span forty minutes are woven with zags and fluctuating warp that brings to mind the inversion of a jazz trumpet, its brackish and suspenseful.

The Consensus is to Delete sounds like one of those lost Coil tracks that continue to permeate the underground, paced and plotting, a bit of the spirit world and low in timbre. Perfect for the bewitched season of hallowed souls (and all that jazz). He tends to his set of reels with a real vision, one based on a soundtrack to an uncompleted 16mm film made in collaboration with English filmmaker Martha Jurksaitis and the Portuguese artist duo Von Calhau! The film Nossos Ossos was shot largely on location in the Alentejo region of Portugal in 2013. Its as cinematic as it sounds.

Still, Vernon, while capturing the spellbinding echoes of cathedral oration, songbirds tweeting and other street noise, this is far from the typical field recording document, not only in form, but much more deeply in nuanced atmosphere. The slow-churn of scenes like Revolving Rivers is almost numbing as a retrospective snapshot in time. Yet it dances in the moment via its sing-song visceral qualities, obliterated transmissions and melodic wooziness. Only at marked times does one feel cozy here, due to the carpet being psychically unfurled from under your feet, sending the listener adrift into new atmospheric scapes. A visionary tale of chance and observation.
[T.J. Norris, Toneshift, October 28, 2019]