(Whitecolors 2013)

Review by David Velez

No matter how funny I find the piece of jewelry attached to the USB unit containing the release data (the screw alone would have been enough), ‘Silo’ is a strong entry to my list of noteworthy works of 2013.

Eero Pulkkinen and Teemu Iltola are Sound Art students from the Art University Helsinki and also part of a the Whitecolors collective who published this release. They contacted this journal to present us this work and  from their email I am highlighting the following text:

‘We recorded ‘Siilo’ last summer in Finland. It is recorded from an abandoned chemical-silo/container that we found from the woods near city of Helsinki.’

It’s tough to write about a work that I like so much as this one for the simple fact that anything I could add to it could just help diminish the perceptual formal value of the piece. After repeatedly listening to ‘Silo’ all I can say is that sound is a very powerful emotional matter and Eero Pulkkinen and Teemu Iltola took that into account on this project. The resonances and reverberations that this work presents to the listener point out to an issue of scale and magnitude; the two composers explored, used, performed and recorded this enormous structure capturing some of its essencial formal qualities. Reverberation is a matter of concern for architecture, sculpture and music and as a listener I could describe my experience when listening to ‘Siilo’ as emotionally architectural, sculptural and musical. In this regard there is a very interesting quote by writer Ken Kesey from ‘Sometimes a Great Notion’:

‘The reverberation often exceeds through silence the sound that sets it off; the reaction occasionally outdoes by way of repose the event that stimulated it; and the past not uncommonly takes a while to happen, and some long time to figure out.’

The deaf, raw and crude sounds in ‘Siilo’ appear to be mostly derived from silent and quiet events -with the exception of the sound of an airplane making its appearance through the end of the 2nd third- but the magnitude of the environment where these events resonate scales them up to a point where the listener is immersed in an overwhelming and sublime experience where he is confronted by something of unfathomable scale.

The silo itself works as some kind of enormous instrument being played by incidental forces and probably in some extend by Eero Pulkkinen and Teemu Iltola as well; the result of this exploration offers a very rewarding experience for the listener in terms of the emotional sense of form and space that it develops throughout 50 minutes of something I’d call ‘screaming architecture’.

If there has been a work that recently impressed me in the acousmatic composition line that would be ‘Siilo’: it shows me that there is plenty of room for new approaches and fresh results in the practice when the homework gets properly done. I believe effective and successful compositions come from a certain level of rigor and imagination in the methodology of the creative process as it clearly happens with ‘Siilo’

The bad news is that the release it out of stock but I hope the Whitecolors guys come up with something: this composition is a must listen.


[Eero Pulkkinen, Teemu Iltola]

Eero Pulkkinen and Teemu Iltola website

David Vélez

David Vélez (PhD) is a Colombian sonic artist studying the acoustics of food, working in the intersection between sound ethnography and plant bioacoustics. His work oversteps the boundaries of installation art, field recordings, composition, performance and commensality exploring gardens, kitchens and open food markets as exhibition spaces. Vélez is interested in the strategic artistic possibility of sound and its invisible, immersive, unstable and fluctuating material, attrubutes shared with the nourishing transference of energy in food.