The Enormouslessness of Cloud Machines

Steve Heimbecker

Heimbecker is a consummate artist capable of simple, unique and beautiful things… Splendid E-Zine, USA

… electroacoustic composition is rarely so habitable as here. The Wire, UK

Steve Heimbecker is a Prairies artist who has been challenging artistic boundaries since the very beginning of his career, twenty years ago. Working in a fuzzy zone between video, installation, music and performance, he created works that stand out and that have been acclaimed all over Canada and internationally.

Recently, a lot of his time has been dedicated to audio art projects, notably sound installations and numerous quadraphonic and octophonic works. Many will remember his ’Soundpool: the manufacturing of silence” subsonic installation, shown in Quebec with the collaboration of Avatar.

Following this first collaboration, Avatar/Ohm éditions and Steve Heimbecker get together again and present “The Enormouslessness of Cloud Machines,” a double CD set that offers an anthology of the multichannel sound works of Heimbecker, remixed specially for this publication.

This new addition to the Ohm éditions catalogue covers works that Heimbecker created on multispeakers sound systems that he invented, and that he showed in performances. The resulting works are long ambient pieces that create an unheard of sound space.

2 × CD (AVTR 015/016)

Disc 1

Disc 2

  • Label: OHM / Avatar
  • AVTR 015/016
  • 1999
  • UCC 771028211524
  • Total duration: 142:23
  • Jewel Quad case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 24 mm
  • 190 g

On the web

In the press


Noah Wane, Splendid E-Zine, April 10, 2000

The Enormouslessness of Cloud Machines collects seven multi-channel works by composer and sound artist Steve Heimbecker. Some of them, like The Forum for the Alienation of Art, are for use in sound installations. In this case, the piece is a three-minute audio tape that combines bird songs with a sort of spoken manifesto. It is intended to be played continually for the duration of the exhibition. Another work, Spin Cycle, derives rhythmical sounds from the manipulation of a 17-second quadraphonic sound sample of a spinning roulette wheel. A kind of subdued counterpoint is produced here — limited in color, but strikingly hypnotic. Tic Talk #1 is a live quadraphonic work that involves open microphones, delay lines and 4 kitchen timers. The piece lasts as long as the kitchen timers are running. It is no less hypnotic than Spin Cycle, although the timers add a sense of urgency that disembodied sound objects do not. Clearly Heimbecker is an conceptualist! His works are not songs, sonatas or symphonies. Nor, in a way, are they really music. They are more like collages in the spirit of a Kurt Schwitters. The disc’s title is particularly apt because Heimbecker’s pieces have such a profound sense of timelessness. They seem quite capable of going on forever. Heimbecker is a consummate artist capable of simple, unique and beautiful things, and this two disc set is a fine homage to beautiful art.

Heimbecker is a consummate artist capable of simple, unique and beautiful things…

Soundcheck Review

Julian Cowley, The Wire, no. 193, March 1, 2000

Canadian sound artist Heimbecker creates unusually spacious and unhurried montages. They may be reflections of his prairie upbringing, but they are assuredly products of his ‘sound sailing’ technique — locating open microphones in the sound space to generate frequency feedback loops as they are processed through digital delays. Voice and breath, gentle environmental sounds, small machines and a sense of humour are key ingredients. Much of it feels boundless, yet electroacoustic composition is rarely so habitable as here.

… electroacoustic composition is rarely so habitable as here.