The secret life of the inaudible | Christina Kubisch & Annea Lockwood

 

The secret life of the inaudible | Christina Kubisch & Annea Lockwood
Gruen 180 | Double CD > [order]
Reviews

 

CD 1 – Annea Lockwood
WILD ENERGY | 2016 (with Bob Bielecki) — (29:49)
STREAMING, SWIRLING, CONVERGING | 2017 — (8:25)
Sound engineering and mastering: Tom Hamilton, New York

 

CD 2 – Christina Kubisch
NINE MAGNETIC PLACES | 2017 — (13:26)
BELOW BEHIND ABOVE | 2017 — (22:32)
Sound engineering: Eckehard Güther
Mixed at Studio Hoppegarten
Mastering: Douglas Henderson

 


 

About our collaboration.

 

Annea and I first met in New York in 1975. I was writing an article about the experimental music scene in New York for an Italian magazine. We soon found out that we had a lot of common interests and ideas. In 1979 she came to Italy and together we performed her piece „World Rhythms“ at a festival in Como. I was deeply impressed by how Annea combined technical skills with intuitive performance.

 

Sound for her always has been more than just material to bring into a compositional form. It was more than raw material, it had a complex structure of its own and was transporting energy. Annea translated and communicated this energy to the listener and she does this with unusual intensity until today.

 

Over the years we followed each other’s works but unfortunately did not meet as often as we would have liked. During her stay in Berlin earlier this year we had another chance to discuss our works, materials, researches, concepts, doubts and future projects. The idea of a collaboration was a natural consequence of this exchange. We both investigate soundworlds which normally are not audible. Annea questions how the forces of nature influence us, I question how manmade electromagnetic fields have an impact on our lives. And we both love field recording, especially exploring underwater sounds with hydrophones.

 

We decided to exchange sound materials and left it open to the other what to choose and how to mix it into a new composition. The two new pieces which were created by this exchange are different but at the same time seem to belong together somehow. Annea sent me extracts from recordings of VLF chorus waves, solar oscillations, earthquakes, gas vents etc. while I transmitted to her a collection of recordings of electromagnetic waves which I had made audible and recorded with special custom designed induction headphones. Annea’s sound material was coming from sonic ultra and infra ranges and was speeded up or shifted down in order to become audible, my recordings are analog and were made directly on site in different cities. The sounds we use are all strange and powerful and they go together as if they were especially made for this collaboration. Until now what kind of influence the sources of these normally hidden waves have on us is not much explored. It is up to the listener to find out more about it.

 

Thanks to Gruenrekorder who supported our project from the beginning. — Christina Kubisch, November 2017

 


 

CD 1 – Annea Lockwood
WILD ENERGY | 2016 (with Bob Bielecki)

MP3

 

Wild Energy gives access to the inaudible, vibrations in the ultra sound and infra sound ranges emanating from sources which affect us fundamentally, but which are beyond our normal audio perception, many of which are creating our planet’s environment: the sun, the troposphere and ionosphere, the earth’s crust and core, the oxygen-generating trees – everything deeply integrated, forming an inaudible web in which we move, through which we live and on which we depend. It is our sense that through these sounds one can feel the energies generated, not as concepts but as energy-fields moving through one’s body. Here they have been shifted up (infrasound) or down (ultrasound) to bring them into the human audio range.

 

Wild Energy begins with solar oscillations (acoustical pressure waves) recorded by the SOHO spacecraft – 40 days of solar oscillations sped up 42,000 times, and ends with ultrasound recorded from the interior of a Scots pine tree.

 

Recordings made available to Annea Lockwood by scientists at the universities of Hawaii, Stanford, Iowa, Columbia (USA) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research.

 

Sound sources:

 

The sun, acoustical pressure waves – recording courtesy of Alexander Kosovichev, Solar Oscillations Investigation team, Stanford University
Gas vents and tremors, Mt Kilauea – recordings courtesy of Milton Garces, the Infrasound Laboratory, University of Hawaii
VLF Chorus waves and Whistlers; Auroral Kilometric Radiation radio waves –recordings courtesy of Craig Kletzing, Radio and Plasma Wave Group, University of Iowa
Sei whale – recording courtesy of Arthur Newhall, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Earthquakes – recordings courtesy of the U.S.G.S; Ben Holtzman, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University and Jason Moran
Trees, cavitation events and ultrasound emissions – recordings courtesy of Melvin Tyree; Roman Zweifel , Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and Marcus Maeder, Zurich University of the Arts, Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology
Hydrothermal vents – recording courtesy of Timothy Crone, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Bats: pipistrelle, California myotis, silver-haired bats, Shockwave-Sound.com; big brown bat and Grote’s tiger moth recording courtesy of Aaron Corcoran, Wake Forest University

 

CD 1 – Annea Lockwood
STREAMING, SWIRLING, CONVERGING | 2017

MP3

 

Composing with combined sound files and sources, six from each of us, has been a unique experience for me, and a deep pleasure. I have long found Christina’s explorations of the electromagnetic fields within which we live now revelatory and essential – beautiful in their sonic detail and powerful in their effects on my body. And there is satisfying sense of complementarity here: Human-created sounds from Christina’s electromagnetic world, a world which she has been hugely instrumental in revealing to us, and non-human sounds and vibrations from the geophysical, atmospheric and mammalian spheres which are my sources.

 

Her sounds were a delight to work with, often with a clear pitch element and, while fluctuating in their details and flow, essentially stable. This contrasts well with the event-driven, more turbulent rhythms and noise content of my materials. It was fascinating to play with these differences and discover how easily our sounds blend as if drawn together magnetically into layered textures. I am most grateful to Christina for suggesting this collaboration.

 

Sound sources:

 

Annea Lockwood: Tremors and a bench collapse on Mt Kilauea, Hawaii, VLF whistlers, earthquakes in Sumatra and Honshu, Japan, ultrasonic sounds from a Scots pine tree, the Mid-Ocean Ridge Black Smoker hydrothermal vent, solar oscillations.

 

Christina Kubisch: electromagnetic waves recorded in a subway station, a server room, an underground tunnel, a power station, shopping centers and in the countryside during a thunderstorm after electricity had broken down.

 


 

CD 2 – Christina Kubisch
NINE MAGNETIC PLACES | 2017

MP3

 

Nine magnetic places is a journey without knowing where to go, what to find, how long to stay or what will come next. It is a discovery of a hidden world, a dreamlike trip by which the traveller encounters unexpected juxtapositions and sequences of electromagnetic waves. The piece was inspired by the first book using the technique of automatic writing, „Les champs magnétiques“ by André Breton and Philippe Soupault, published in Paris (1920).

 

The electromagnetic recordings were made in or traveling to: Las Vegas, Gdansk, Ystad, Kosice, Montreal, Bordeaux, Manchester, Dortmund, San Francisco, Paris, Ekaterinburg, Lagos, Venice, Bratislava, Bangkok and other places.

 


CD 2 – Christina Kubisch
BELOW BEHIND ABOVE | 2017

MP3

 

When I was about to finish this piece two powerful storms, called Xavier and Herwart, swept through northern Germany and Central Europe following each other within three weeks. The storms produced hurricane winds and left a path of destruction knocking down trees, power lines and buildings and caused widespread travel chaos.

 

I was working in my studio during both storms, looking at the shaking trees in front of my house while I was listening to sounds from vulcanos, solar oscillations, earthquakes and the intense vibrations of electromagnetic fields.

 

The experience of the two storms had a strong impact on my work. The piece became a kind of encounter of different energies and vibrations which meet in unforeseen ways.

 

Sound sources:

 

Annea Lockwood: Volcanic gas vents, VLF chorus waves and whistlers, earthquakes, solar oscillations and ultrasonic tree sounds.

 

Christina Kubisch: electromagnetic recordings from light systems, seismic research centers,transmitter systems and others. Hydrophone recordings from the river Rhein.

 

 


 

 

Copyright texts:
Christina Kubisch, Annea Lockwood

 

Copyright compositions:
Annea Lockwood BMI, Christina Kubisch GEMA

 

Photography:
Ruth Anderson, Christina Kubisch, Peter Kutin, Fabrizio
Plessi, Dieter Scheyhing, Christopher Williams

 

UV photography:
Christina Kubisch, from the series „Traces“, 2011

 

Graphic design:
FLATLAB, www.flatlab.biz

 

4 Tracks (74′20″)
Double CD (500 copies)

 

Soundscape Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2018 / Gruen 180 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN: 4050486122327

 


 

Reviews

 

Peter van Cooten | ambientblog.net
Gruenrekorder is a German label “promoting soundworks and phonography. Phonography considers nature/the environment as an acoustic experience, loaden with musical sounds”.
I don’t think a more fitting label could be found for the release of The Secret Life Of The Inaudible, the double CD set by Annea Lockwood and Christina Kubisch. The recordings can be categorized as ‘field recordings’ but it’s not as easy as going ‘into the field’ and ‘press record’ (most good field recordings aren’t, by the way). And both these artists have been around since the beginning of these kind of sonic explorations (Annea Lockwood was born in 1939, Christina Kubisch in 1948). Both are legends in their own fields, the true first generation of sound artists.

 

The pieces on this album are soundscapes created using these recordings of the (usually) inaudible. Lockwood and Kubisch “decided to exchange sound materials and left it open to the other what to choose and how to mix it into a new composition”.

 

“Annea’s sound material was coming from sonic ultra and infra ranges and was speeded up or shifted down in order to become audible, my [Christina’s] recordings are analog and were made directly on site in different cities. The sounds we use are all strange and powerful and they go together as if they were especially made for this collaboration.”

 

For the listener, the soundscapes open up a completely new world. A world you didn’t know you were part of, and sounds that you normally would never be able to hear. As an example, Wild Energy begins with a recording made by the SOHO spacecraft: 40 days of solar oscillations (acoustical pressure waves) sped up 42.000 times, and ends with ultrasound recorded from the interior of a Scots pine tree.
Other sound sources include volcano tremors and gas vents, earthquakes, VLF chorus waves and whistlers, bat sounds, etc (Annea Lockwood‘s input) kinds of electromagnetic waves (subway station, server room, power station, shopping centers in various cities, seismic research centers, the countryside during a thunderstorm after electricity had broken down, etc (Christina Kubisch‘s specialism).

 

The result is a fantastic journey into uncharted aural territories. Hearing the sound of all these frequencies also raises the question what effects they might cause on the environment, and on ourselves:
“Until now what kind of influence the sources of these normally hidden waves have on us is not much explored. It is up to the listener to find out more about it.”
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a-Musik | News: April 2018
Der Titel der neuen Veröffentlichung auf Gruenrekorder, dem auf Fieldrecordings spezialisierten Label aus Frankfurt am Main, ist Programm: „The secret life of the inaudible“. Mit dem, was uns zwar soundtechnisch ständig umgibt aber gleichzeitig in der Regel ungehört bleibt, beschäftigen sich auf dieser großartigen 2CD zwei legendäre Klangkünstlerinnen. Christina Kubisch und Annea Lockwood, die längst nicht mehr aus der Geschichte der Soundart wegzudenken sind, sind nicht nur seit den 1970er Jahren aktiv, sondern kennen und – wie aus den ausführlichen Begleittexten erkenntlich wird – schätzen sich bereits ebenso lange. Umso erstaunlicher, dass es sich bei „The secret life of the inaudible“ um ihre erste gemeinsame Veröffentlichung handelt.

 

Genauer gesagt beinhaltet die erste CD mit „Wild Energy“ ein Stück von Lockwood, das aus bearbeiteten Ultraschall- und Infraschallsounds, die unter anderem von der Erde oder der Sonne „produziert“ werden, besteht, während sich auf der zweiten CD mit „Nine Magnetic Places“ eine Soundarbeit von Kubisch befindet, mit hörbar gemachten Aufnahmen von elektromagnetischen Wellen, wie sie in U-Bahnstationen, an Geldautomaten oder Elektrizitätswerken existieren. Zudem ist auf beiden CDs jeweils ein kollaboratives Stück zu hören, in dem diese natürlich bzw. technisch erzeugten Geräuschen verarbeitet und kombiniert werden, und vor allem mit „Below Behind Above“ in einer regelrecht betörenden Symbiose münden. Das Ganze kommt im Klappcover samt 16seitigem Booklet, das, wie gesagt, Anmerkungen der beiden sowie einige Fotografien beinhaltet, daher – und darf jetzt schon als eine der herausragenden Klangkunstreleases in diesem Jahr gelten.
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textura
Though this double-CD collaboration between sound artists Christina Kubisch and Annea Lockwood comes with the kind of pulpy title one might expect from a ‘60s TV sci-fi episode, it actually represents the project content in literal terms. One of the more fascinating things about the recording (and something of which I constantly remind myself as I attend to its seventy-four minutes) is that the sounds presented didn’t originate as audible material but rather as non-audible phenomena and energy fields the artists translated into audible form. Even to characterize the originating materials as being below the threshold of human audibility is a misrepresentation when Kubisch and Lockwood, despite using different techniques, function as sound mediums, channels through which sonic waves sourced from natural and cosmic sources turn into listenable material. Issued in a 500-copy edition as part of Gruenrekorder’s Soundscape Series, the release presents four pieces, two of them credited to Kubisch and Lockwood individually and the other two collaborations.

 

Born in New Zealand and Bremen respectively, Lockwood (1939- ) and Kubisch (1948- ) are long-established and much-admired figures in the sound art field who first met in New York in 1975 when Kubisch was writing an article about the city’s experimental music scene for an Italian magazine; four years later, they recovened in Italy where they performed a Lockwood piece at a festival in Como. The two share common ground, yet explore it from different angles: in Kubisch’s words, though “both investigate soundworlds which normally are not audible … Annea questions how the forces of nature influence us, I question how man-made electromagnetic fields have an impact on our lives.” To create The Secret Life of the Inaudible, the two exchanged sound materials and allowed each to select what she would for the production of a new composition. From Lockwood, Kubisch received recordings of solar oscillations, earthquakes, gas vents, and the like; Lockwood, on the other hand, worked with recordings of electromagnetic waves supplied by Kubisch.

 

Representative of the release is Lockwood’s opening “Wild Energy,” which draws upon recordings of the sun, gas and hydrothermal vents, tremors, radio waves, earthquakes, bats, trees, and even a Sei whale for its half-hour presentation. In general, the source elements lose their identifiability after being manipulated by Lockwood, though connections to the source materials might be made for those intent on doing so. Punctuating the subdued dronescape are synth-like flares and bright glissandi that intermittently swoop and whistle across surfaces that by turn burble, percolate, and convulse. Rumbles, rattles, rustlings, and gaseous emissions surface in a presentation that undergoes constant mutation. To give some idea of the scope of the materials with which she worked in creating the piece, consider that it begins with solar oscillations recorded by the SOHO spacecraft and ends with material sourced from the interior of a Scots pine tree. The Lockwood half concludes with “Streaming, Swirling, Converging,” which she created using six sound files from each collaborator. The range of sounds is again noteworthy, with Lockwood sourcing everything from solar oscillations to a bench collapse, and Kubisch providing her with electromagnetic waves taken from a subway station, shopping center, and power station, among other things, to work with on this comparatively more industrial-tinged soundscape. Again a pronounced synthesizer-like sound design imbues the result with a spacey electronic aura.

 

Taking its cue from the first book to deploy the technique of automatic writing (1920’s Les champs magnétiques by André Breton and Philippe Soupault), Kubisch’s “Nine Magnetic Places” unfolds mercurially, its creator intent on letting electromagnetic sounds advance in a dreamlike flow. Assembled using recordings compiled from Las Vegas, Montreal, Bordeaux, Manchester, Paris, Venice, Bangkok, and elsewhere, the setting swirls, grinds, buzzes, sputters, and whirrs like factory machinery and broken-down radio transmissions for thirteen engrossing minutes. “Below Behind Above,” her collaboration piece, grew out of an experience Kubisch had witnessing the wrath of two, chaos-inducing storms that wreaked havoc upon northern Germany and Central Europe during a three-week period. Given her sensitivity to electromagnetic vibrations and energy fields, it’s natural that Kubisch would be powerfully affected by the experience and eager to translate it into sound form. Working with sounds supplied by Lockwood taken from volcanic gas vents, VLF chorus waves and whistlers, earthquakes, solar oscillations, and ultrasonic tree sounds and her own recordings from light systems, transmitter systems, and the river Rhein, Kubisch concocted a woozy, twenty-two-minute soundscape that plays like something beamed down to us from a distant galaxy.

 

It’s fascinating stuff, not only in terms of the production processes involved but in purely audio terms. How wonderful it is that artists of Kubisch’s and Lockwood’s explorative character are operating today with as much conviction as they did decades ago, and how fortunate we are that an imprint such as Gruenrekorder exists to provide a forum for their creative work.
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Lutz Vössing | skug – MUSIKKULTUR
Musik hat unter anderem die Fähigkeit, zu unterhalten, zu beruhigen, zum Kauf von Dingen anzuregen, zu foltern, zu empowern. In dem vorliegenden Werk der beiden Klangkünstlerinnen geht es um ihre Fähigkeit, vorher Unsichtbares sichtbar zu machen. Um die Vertonung von Unhörbarem. Töne, die für das menschliche Ohr nicht wahrnehmbar sind, werden von den beiden so manipuliert, dass am Ende etwas herauskommt, das gehört werden kann, vielleicht wie Musik. In der Ästhetik-Theorie gibt es die Vorstellung von Kunst als »das Sich-ins-Werk-Setzen der Wahrheit des Seienden«. Das, was die beiden Musikerinnen zu einem Kunstwerk machen, ist schon immer da gewesen, und doch wurde es erst jetzt durch ihr Zutun wahrnehmbar gemacht und kann aus sich strahlen. Wenn Christina Kubisch im Booklet von »The Secret Life of the Inaudible« über die Arbeit Lockwoods spricht, sieht man diese Vorstellung mitunter bestätigt:

 

»Sound for her always has been more than just material to bring into a compositional form. It was more than raw material, it had a complex structure of its own and was transporting energy. Annea translated and communicated this energy to the listener and she does this with unusual intensity until today.«

 

In diesem Fall ist die Kunst der Musik Vermittlung oder Kommunikation von Energie, die Künstlerin mehr oder weniger Medium, Übermittlerin, die sich bloß kleine Veränderungen am Material, »Kunstgriffe«, erlaubt. Nachdem Lockwood und Kubisch sich 1979 zum ersten Mal trafen und gemeinsam Lockwoods Stück »World Rhythms« performten, trafen sich die beiden anerkannten und mit Preisen verzierten Künstlerinnen erst 2017 in Berlin wieder und es entstand die Idee für eine neue Kollaboration. Denn, so Kubisch weiter im Booklet:

 

»We both investigate soundworlds which normally are not audible. Annea questions how the forces of nature influence us, I question how manmade electromagnetic fields have an impact on our lives. And we both love field recording, especially exploring underwater sounds with hydrophones.«

 

Für dieses Projekt tauschten sie Material aus und ließen offen, was die andere Person damit anstellen würde. Annea sandte ihr Extrakte von Tonaufnahmen geophysikalischer »atmospheric spheres«, das sind u. a. Ultraschallwellen, die in ihrem natürlichen Vorkommen unhörbar sind. Auslöser sind u. a. eine schottische Pinie (!), die Sonnenschwingung oder »einfach« die unterirdisch sich auswirkenden Klänge von Erdrutschen. Von Kubischs Seite kam eine Sammlung von Aufnahmen elektromagnetischer Wellen, die mit eigens angefertigten Induktionskopfhörern erzaubert wurden. Zudem nimmt sie Bezug auf den Rhein, ein bekannter Vertreter im Bereich der musikalischen Inspirationen (siehe Wagner, Richard). In diesen hielt sie ein Hydrophon; zu hören sind also Unterwasseraufnahmen. Alles äußerst kompliziert und doch so spannend, denn diese Strahlungen, Wellen, das Zittern des Bodens, die uns umgeben, haben einen ungemeinen Einfluss auf unser Leben.

 

In den vier Stücken werden seltsame, außerweltliche Szenen heraufbeschwört, die doch nur von dieser Welt herstammen. Es ist Science-Fiction ohne Weltraum. Die verschiedenen Aufnahmen sind freilich nicht bloß unverarbeitet wiedergegeben, sondern so arrangiert, dass sich aus Sound-Oberflächen Landschaften ergeben, die man bereisen darf – mal über, mal unter Wasser, mal irgendwo zwischen. Das Rauschen und Dröhnen ist kaum zu erkennen, doch nie ist es so weit entfernt, dass man meint, die Erde zu verlassen. Die Informationen, die uns die Künstlerinnen vorher gaben, spielen da natürlich mit rein. Jedoch lassen vor allem die Klänge, welche mit dem Hydrophon aufgenommen wurden, die Tiefen der kaum erforschten Meere erahnen. Da vermeint man, ein Vöglein zwitschern zu hören, das vielleicht bloß eine bearbeitete Welle der Sonnenstrahlen ist, die sich durch die Arbeit der Künstlerin im Rhein bricht. Alles möglich. Und wer weiß schon, ob nicht der eine oder andere Vogel tatsächlich seine Melodie zu den stetigen Akkorden der Sonnenstrahlen singt.
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Beach Sloth
Aptly named, Christina Kubisch & Annea Lockwood discover the unlovable tiny textures and tones that surround us with the beautiful symphonies of “The Secret Life of the Inaudible”. Over the course of these extended pieces the two delve deep into the innermost workings of these miniature aural universes. Rhythms appear throughout but they are merely coincidence. By far the true draw comes from the way the textures shift and evolve. Despite their small stature, the pieces can grow to become quite loud, almost noisy at times. Difficult to fully imagine their miniature status, by allowing the intense amplification the sounds become transmissions from an otherworldly source, one that continues whether or not we notice it.

 

“Wild Energy (with Bob Bielecki)” sets the tone for what follows. Random bursts of noise, odd intervals of periodic drone, all of these come together in a way that lends it a sense of true mystery. Easily the highlight, it serves as a Rosetta stone for what follows. Industrial hums grace the weirdness of “Streaming, Swirling, Converging” where it at times feels akin to hearing office equipment put on full blast. With these first two piece, Annea Lockwood proves to be the kinder of the two. Tension reigns supreme on Christina Kubisch’s side, where sounds collide, bounce off each other, and at times nearly explode. Far more anxious, “Nine Magentic Places” goes for an odd rhythm, one that highlights the intensity of its surroundings. A little kinder “Below Behind Above” brings the entire album to a close with a sense of almost yearning.

 

“The Secret Life of the Inaudible” lends the even tiniest of sounds a voice to be heard, proving Christina Kubisch & Annea Lockwood to be true masters of their craft.
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Soundohm
‚The secret life of the inaudible’ is the first collaborative work of two of the 20th century’s most revered and important female sound artist/electro-acoustic composers Christina Kubisch and Annea Lockwood. Using purely natural sounds, such as Volcanic gas vents, earthquakes, solar oscillations and ultrasonic tree sounds – as well as electromagnetic recordings from light systems and seismic research centers,transmitter systems and others, they build an ultra-vivid, immersive psychoacoustic mass of rare beauty.
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MASSIMO RICCI | TOUCHING EXTREMES
A cause of extreme disgruntlement for this writer is the passive awareness that the bulk of a lifetime was splurged on issues and people not belonging to a sphere of intuitions and considerations even marginally correlatable with his own. If one inaugurates the process of growth by being predominantly attracted by non-vocal emissions, it is foreseeable that – quite soon – attention will not be given anymore to individuals imparting sagacity via mere words, typically instilling some kind of dismay in the potential victim. In that sense, imagine the (adult) quotidian disheartenment for not having a chance to remain within essential acoustic domains when the calls comes; silence is mandatory to do that, and silence is by now a rare commodity. Finally, try to explain all of the above to someone blathering non-stop because convinced – possibly via previous trauma – or out-and-out pretending of living outside his/her body, then get back to me for a good laugh together.

 

But we do get privileged whenever communicating – remotely but, by the grace of heavens, through sounds – with truly developed beings such as Christina Kubisch and Annea Lockwood, themselves linked by a long-time friendship and artistic consanguinity that never had resulted in a tangible collaboration. Until today.

 

Narrating yet again what these women have been doing throughout their histories of sonic researchers would be pathetic (but if you still think there is a need to, a peep to the presentation notes of this release will help explicating the kernel of the matter). This double CD encloses four handsome compositions derived from the manipulation of swapped materials; the common denominator is the attempt of turning invisible energies and inaudible frequencies into physically perceivable substances destined to increase one’s congenital acumen. Kubisch and Lockwood operate at levels of intuitive interiority unconceivable by the average gatherer of location recordings and electronics. We can literally “feel inside” the gradual effect of sources reconfigured in various types of aural concretization. They emerge as penetrating hums of radiophonic descent, or may resemble marine currents inhabited by a somewhat alien fauna attempting new forms of signal transmission. The ordinary becomes unconventional; the voice of nature and its private tumults get disfigured by deforming lenses that, rather amazingly, emphasize the gravity of each single event.

 

That these pieces ultimately can stand proudly amidst the finest electroacoustic musics of the last few decades is obviously a plus. However, what really counts is the implicit message: communication does happen at every stage of physical existence, including the supposedly inanimate. In times when most humans are bamboozled by things that do not exist particularized by brains that do not work, what we have to do is raising the aerials way up. Consequences – if there is sufficient emotional fuel in your personal tank – will inevitably materialize.
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Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
These two ladies, grande dame each of them in the world of field recordings and sound installation first met in 1975 when Kubisch interviewed Lockwood for an Italian magazine, and since then off and on meet, but this is the first time they actually work together. They both like underwater sounds and Annea is interested in the force of nature influencing us, and Christina does the same with electromagnetic fields in our daily lives. They exchanged sound material together and worked on each other’s sounds. However if I am not mistaken on each CD there is a solo piece. Annea Lockwood makes the inaudible audible, with ultra and infra sound frequencies, and it begins with “solar oscillations recorded by the SOHO spacecraft, 40 days of solar oscillations sped up 42,000 times, and ends with ultrasound recorded from the interior of a Scots pine tree”, and is a truly fascinating aural journey in space; or at least that’s how I perceived it, like a free floating spaceship in a vast, endless, black surrounding, with sometimes intercepting transmissions from other life forms. In her piece with Kubisch there is a fine combination of six sources per composer and has a more down to earth feel to it. Sounds from electro magnetic waves, VLF whistlers and earthquakes make up from very fine ambient piece of music, without betraying it’s musique concrete roots. Kubisch keeps her solo piece shorter than the collaborative piece and is a thirteen-minute excursion in the buzzing whirring of modern day city life. It is a very solid piece of ambient sounds, not loud or alienating, but just solid. It is perhaps a bit of standard solid piece; nothing special or out of the ordinary. But then her longer collaborative piece, ‘Below Behind Above’, is on the other that something special. It works very much along similar lines as the Lockwood side of the collaboration. Here too things remain on a very ambient side of things, with slowly fading sounds somewhere in the mid-range, sine-wave like and very gentle, along with a more ‘stand alone’ sounds, rumbles, pitches and the occasional earthquake. This is a beautiful and intense piece of absolute beauty.
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