About a year back, I mentioned in this space an album (and related MP3) by Christopher DeLaurenti (disquiet.com) consisting of field recordings made at classical music concerts before or between performances. As the Resonance FM website earlier this week noted (resonancefm.com), a solid precursor to DeLaurenti’s effort exists in the work of Pavel Büchler, whose album Live compiles the sound of audiences excerpted from the artist’s collection of live recordings of concerts (reportedly jazz concerts, though I could swear I hear Stevie Ray Vaughan in there).
That collection consisted of 351 albums, and thus 351 became the number of limited-edition copies of Büchler’s Live committed to vinyl. Fortunately for the approximately 6,699,999,649 rest of us currently living on this planet, a Resonance FM podcast back on November 10, 2006, presented Live in full for free download (MP3). The premise of Live is initially off-putting; applause is generally a distracting element in a live recording, probably the second least beloved element after an extended drum solo. The applause is so tied up in the ego of the performer that for the listener it can be the equivalent of watching a slide show of someone’s vacation with too many pictures of them in it. However, the sounds on Live successfully put the performer aside for the moment, and posit the audience front and center, a mass of humanity that, at its best, has the vibrancy of a great musical performance. (The MP3 file of the Resonance FM recording is housed at archive.org.)
The images below are from two others of Büchler’s sound-related works: an Istanbul installation titled “The Castle” (2005) featuring speakers designed by Guglielmo Marconi, and the gallery installation of a work similar to Live, the piece “3’34″ (2006), a recording comprised of the sounds between tracks on 10 vinyl recordings of music by John Cage.
More on Büchler at the website of Manchester Metropolitan University (artdes.mmu.ac.uk), where is is a Research Professor.