Seth Cluett – wound of this deep blue (Notice Recordings)
Dark matter audio. This is some quiet, sparse, subliminal sound artistry. Multiple media artist / performer / writer / professor Seth Cluett makes a low fidelity abstract music that hovers near some of Hands To’s earthy manipulated textures.
From his site:
“Seth Cluett (b. Troy, NY) is an artist, performer, and composer whose work ranges from photography and drawing to video, sound installation, concert music, and critical writing. His “subtle…seductive, immersive” (Artforum) work has been characterized as “rigorously focused and full of detail” (e/i) and “dramatic, powerful, and at one with nature” (The Wire). Exploring the territory between the senses, Cluett’s works are marked by a detailed attention to perception and to the role of sound in the creation of a sense of place, the workings of memory, and the experience of time. His research interests and critical writings investigate the media history of the loudspeaker, the history and documentation of sound in art, archival practices for media art, and architectural acoustics.”
This project was apparently the product of a number of separate recording sessions (done between 2005 and 2013) which were then superimposed without any editing but for volume levels or muting. So what he’s done here is he has made seven (stipulated in the liner notes) tapes of material, some of them from live performances, and played them at the same time. Sounds are fortuitously blended to map out otherworldly spaces. The low fidelity of the source material and the effect of its resulting combined state brings the otherworldliness of our organic reality to the foreground. The resulting catalog of raw textures brings attention to other levels of existence, such as say, the consciousness -if such a thing would have a consciousness- possessed by an ancient sea rock, or a giant Sequoia tree. Somehow there are other worlds vastly different than our own, and somehow they are unimaginably close to us, rather than light years away. Varieties of subtle meandering drones loosely undulate as indescribable shadow-laden events take place in the periphery. Cluett sometimes seems to use musical instruments such as guitars and synthesizers, but mostly it sounds like he uses field recorded sounds. Slow scraping sounds, hums, feedbacks, moments of machinery usage, sounds of air moving, fizzing, electrical sounds, moments of nature, and other “real” sounds are found by microphone and held by tape. The musical instruments are blurred and obscured until recognizable only as a tone or combination of tones.
Cluett’s sound gathering and creation sensibilities are in tune with the rhythms and forces of the natural world. Wound of this deep blue is a gently challenging meditative audio taxidermy of everyday beauties. Glad to have had this artist brought to my attention as he is one to watch.