Thursday, December 22, 2005

Inhaling light

Lens becomes lightsucker with long exposures, hungrily inhaling all available light, draining dark. Time burnishes surfaces. Traffic smears into neon arteries. Buildings exhude a phosphoresence.

The older cameras had a part called the bellows, which neatly dovetails with the respiratory metaphor. Scene sucked in coats emulsion, ready for the chemical rinse, and the passing of light onto a different emulsion to leave a final trace. Phosphorensic. Light fingerprinted.

The light never lifted today. An oppressive grey clogging everything. It felt like 4 o clock all day. Grim. Melancholic. Choice of music occupying the end of the alphabet on the Pod: "Zuh !! Muttie !! Mum !!" by Robert Rutman, "Wings Of Desire" by Jurgen Knieper, "Warsaw Restaurant" by Francisco Lopez, "Weather Report" by Chris Watson.

Watson's layered field recordings map fascinating sonic territories of incredible dynamism and detail. The intelligent orchestration keeps everything fresh, avoids muddying the richness. I see no difference between this and music composed from 'conventional' instruments.

As former member of Cabaret Voltaire and The Hafler Trio, and Attenborough's sound recordist for many years, Watson brings a huge wealth of experience and very finely tuned ears to the work. As Cage said, music is organised sound. All it takes is open ears and open mind to experience the world as an incredibly rich aural field to be stimulated by. Sound is an immersive experience, and something that we are surrounded by all the time. It's like the weather (can you imagine a day without weather ?). Crucially, we don't have earlids.

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