MACHINEFABRIEK – STILLNESS SOUNDTRACKS II
In 2014, Esther Kokmeijer and Machinefabriek released their multimedia project Stillness: a 5-part video documenting Kokmeijer’s trip to the Arctic and the Antarctic. The original USB (video-)release was later followed by the audio-only release of the soundtrack: Stillness Soundtracks.
Stillness “depicts tranquil, gliding images of icescapes from the North and South Pole” Kokmeijer “filmed these landscapes during my biannual visits to Antarctica as an expedition photographer. The meditative images invite reflection on the unparalleled beauty of this glacial ecology, which appears both vulnerable and resilient.”
Six years later, the story of this journey is retold from a somewhat different perspective. This time, five different locations from Antarctica are pictured. Stillness Soundtracks II is, of course, the audio-only version of their collaboration: for those that want to enjoy the video versions, there’s a USB-version still available from Esther Kokmeijer‘s website.
Compared to the first soundtrack, Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt)‘s soundtrack feels somewhat more emotional, possibly due to “these alarming times with climate change being a more serious threat than ever.”
For sounds as ‘glacial’ like this, there could not be a more fitting label than Glacial Movements, the label that also released the first soundtrack edition.
This is indeed a chilling soundtrack. Literally.
RUTGER ZUYDERVELT & BILL SEAMAN – MOVEMENTS OF DUST
Bill Seaman contacted Rutger Zuydervelt after hearing some of his albums to see if he was interested in a collaboration. And Rutger was, of course, because he was equally impressed by Seaman‘s music.
They sent their ideas back and forth, building “some beautiful pieces using very different methodologies and programs – many times going through a large series of iterations, sometimes moving very far away from where we started on an individual work.”
Together, they had to find out a working methodology, to overcome the hesitation of touching the other’s music. “We decided to go for something more rough sounding and, rhythm-based. Compared to some of
our other music, this might even be called our pop album.” Which shouldn’t be taken too literal of course: you won’t hear any of these tracks on pop-oriented radio stations.
The process of creation often calls for deconstruction, as Zuydervelt explains: “most tracks would start by Bill sending me a library of percussive and melodic sounds, each in the same bpm. I guess my signature move was to fuck up these perfectly synced parts. To make it less perfect, more organic. Add a wobble to the rhythm, or break up the beat by stripping things down. I’d send the track to Bill, who’d react by adding sounds or re-editing the piece. A song would go back and forth a few times until we’d both be sure that it sounded finished.”
The resulting music is a sort of ‘quantum glitch ambient’ – a combination of sounds that seem to come from another dimension. It’s impossible to hear who did what exactly – Seaman and Zuydervelt managed to create their own unique sound, where 1+1 is more than 2.
Movements of Dust is released on the Oscarson label in two different vinyl formats (not counting the digital version): a standard LP version and a PVC (!) floor tile edition. The latter, of course, sold out quickly since it was limited to 15 copies.