You don’t need a degree in audio science to appreciate the works presented here by empreintes DIGITALes and I doubt that it would help — just a set of ears (open ones) — now saying that, I remind myself of when I’d say a similar thing about Jazz in the 90s whilst trying to convince those whose taste was pretty indie that Ornette Coleman was worth a listen — well, that battle’s been won (he says, sarcastically), so how about this electroacoustic thing?
There comes a time to hang up your dancing shoes (what do you mean you never had a pair?) and stick with home listening, which for most will mean either listening to what they danced to before they got fat / tired / old or Country & Western, or Classical or, god forbid, Ambient and so on. I still love a good beat but also music like this by James O’Callaghan — if it can be called ‘music’ — it is, after all, in defiance of recognised characteristics which constitute that thing. It is sound, yes. Sounds… but what those sounds are remains a mystery and it is this unknowable element that makes it all so intriguing.
We might sense objects being moved, the sound manipulated… a stretching, not only of sound waves, but time, somehow, even the tautening of a rope to breaking point on Empties-Impetus, then the release and the rolling groan of an electroacoustic ship, perhaps. You see, this is not easy to describe. I’m a fool for attempting to do so… but there are detonations, a bowed instrument, scraping strings, the patter of objects and tension akin to Bernard Herrmann’s psycho-tic orchestration.
Espaces tautologiques can be bought at www.electrocd.com.
And now I find this — www.youtube.com/embed/OBnSQ9eWn5g — ‘live’ performance and see how some of these sounds are being made… a chair is being ‘played’… a balloon popped on the strings of a piano… this really is a magnificent performance…