artist: DALLAS SIMPSON title: For Alderney catalog number: and/14 release year: 2004 format: CDR status: sold out
Here are two of a series of binaural continuous single-take field recordings known as "The Alderney Sessions" made at Alderney (the third largest of the Channel Islands located off the Northern coast of France) during the Summer of 2000. Apart from the mostly quiet and sometimes ghostly environment, unrehearsed intuitive improvisations play a part, using only materials found on location.
Track 1: For Alderney - Invasion, Occupation, Liberation, Reconstruction, and Incantation.
"This work is dedicated to the liberation of Alderney from the German Forces during WW2. For this work, I performed live on location using (among many found items) an abandoned sentry box, metal barrier, train rails, mine shaft (entrance and detritus), derelict rail crane, and abandoned trucks. The drone of a nearby foghorn, which started spontaneously during the performance, created an exceptionally mournful accompaniment to this work." (Dallas Simpson)
Track 2: Piping In The Reeds With Windscape.
"The abandoned drainpipe used in this work was observed earlier in the day at Braye Harbour. In the evening, the 3m long, 15 cm diameter pipe was collected and carried to Longis Common in preparation for the improvisation. Percussing the open end of the pipe produced a single resonant fundamental note. At one point, a duck appeared to be responding to the sound, which was exciting, but the main impetus of the work was to explore the inherent 'resonance' between the concept and reality of 'reeds' and 'wind'. This was followed by an extensive natural windscape with crickets." (Dallas Simpson)
EAR / RATIONAL (AUGUST 2004) Wow, talk about a quiet intro. Several minutes in, and only the slightest of rumbles from wind and a couple of scratches have been heard. As devices are found, they are brought up and hauntingly recall the past. This sounds like a difficult area - lots of metal and scrapings, not the sound of flowers rustling, but the sound of a past war. The notes along with this CD state that this area was held by the German Nazis in WWII - and by proclaiming this, it brings a darkness to the emotions. I feel the hurt and ghosts of the area here, as if poltergeists are doing the work here and all Dallas is doing is holding the microphone. (Don Poe)
E / I (WINTER / SPRING 2006) Using a custom binaural recording headset to capture his own heard experiences, Dallas Simpson records "unprepared" interactions with various environments, including improvisations based on found objects. All recordings are performances in real time with no manipulation, sampling or overdubbing. In contrast to their natural ambient origins, the results are expressionist, un-suggestive of common tasks, absent of narrative hierarchy. Interrupting the typically representational logic of acoustic preservation, these playful, curious and oft-times rhythmic pieces are, like untrained dancing, scribbles that point and by extension declare only their own spark. A work dedicated to the liberation of Alderney from German occupation, For Alderney metaphorically liberates field sounds from contexts of use and direct signification, and is as exciting a phonographic piece as I have possibly heard ever. Not quite concrete, not quite field recording, not blatantly transformative, these are free, hopeful sounds. (William S. Fields)