split. MARK SO, PATRICK FARMER
(Winds Measure 2012)
Review by David Vélez
Sitting And Listening by Mark So (A-side)
Mark So’s piece s is a pretty unique work in terms of the use that it does of the musical notion of silence. Through extended moments of the composition there is no other sound than the distant incidental hiss derived from ‘silence’ considering that we are listening to a cassette. Anyway the fragments of actual sound are extremely beautiful, dry, noisy and tactile. The sound we can hear in the piece seem to be a mixture of rain and sea waves with the eventual presence of insects. The most interesting aspect of this composition is how it challenges the listener regarding the actual ‘audible presence’ of the piece. When the listener listens to’nothing’ he is actually listening to the piece as the ‘nothingness’ -not to call it silence- is an integral part of it. Aside from the conceptual part, the silent parts helps creating some sort of tension or expectation that is abruptly stopped when the sound of the recordings start. Indeed an interesting piece that triggers questions and reflections towards sound composition and the perceptual aspects to it
Through The Stones by Patrick Farmer (B-side)
While my perception of Mark So’s ‘Sitting And Listening’ is that he is dealing with silence exploring the notion of no-sound, in Patrick Farmer’s piece the artist is dealing with something similar by exploring quietness and disturbance. Through most of the composition what we hear is a subtle static-like sound mixed with sounds of dropping water and some almost inaudible sounds apparently of field recordings. Then abruptly the sound of what seems like bubbles grunting enter the scene creating a mixed sense of discomfort and curiosity. The listening of ‘Through The Stones’ becomes contemplative to a point that it could confronts us with the incidental sounds around us until the bubbles appear pushing our sound environment to the background. Although the piece requires certain level of concentration and some disposition to fully appreciate it, on a proper listening we find not only interesting questions but also a beautiful sequence of very quiet sounds; in the other hand the louder grunting sounds present a really beautiful quality to it that still doesn’t diminish its capacity to annoy.
[Patrick Farmer -up-, Mark So -bottom-]