SIMON WHETHAM – ORGANIC VOLATILISATION NEAR IMPERCEIVABLE
I think I can safely assume that you have no idea what the process of fermentation sounds like. Well, look no further: here’s the answer!
Simon Whetham was invited to explore the subject in 2022, and explored and recorded ‘the sounds of various fermentations including red and white cabbage, green beans, ginger, courgette (a huge one donated to the project by the neighbouring florist), (non-lactose) kefir and mead.’
The results were presented in a Swiss installation, but now also as a release on the label experienced in the most fascinating field recordings: Gruenrekorder, who released it on cassette. Which is now sold out but personally I would recommend the digital download anyway due to the intricate details of the sound recordings.
Listening to the detailed high-pitched pinches, sometimes near imperceivable indeed, reminded me of some of the work of Jacob Kirkegaard – especially the sounds of decomposing in his Opus Putesco part of Opus Mors. But Kirkegaard documents the sound of decay, while Whetham focuses on the process in which microorganisms create a desirable change to food or drinks.
It may not be ‘music’ (in the traditional sense), but it’s beautiful.
EMMANUEL RÉGIS – TSSAÄNÈNE
I have a somewhat difficult relationship with field recordings. When used in a pure documentary way, and when properly recorded, I can definitely enjoy them. Especially when played in the background, the sound of the outside world can be comfortably masked by the sound of another.
But it’s different when I listen actively. Then, I need a more ‘musical’ approach: a composition created with the recorded sounds. Something that triggers my fantasy with tension/release dynamics, or with unusual combinations, impossible in real life, suggesting a completely different world.
Tssaänène is a fascinating example of the latter. Emmanuel Régis (from Lyon, France) uses ‘sounds collected on Earth’, adding synths and software effects where required to create his ‘hand-sewn atmospheres’. And those atmospheres (I typed ‘artmospheres‘ accidentally!) are vaguely familiar, but at the same time they seem to come from ‘a science-fiction universe that suggests vast, titanic open spaces’. Like it could have been a modern-day score for Solaris…
‘Through sounds with earthly connotations, you no longer know where you really are in space and time’.
Emmanuel Régis is part of the Explocréateurs collective (‘We travel into a sci-fi imaginary world!’) and has experience in creating soundscapes for their exhibitions and publications. He used that experience to create his first solo album Tssaänène, because he wanted to do a more personal project.
Régis recommends headphone listening for the maximum immersive experience.