What is the sound of one hand drawing? That’s something Werner Pfarr, a German living in the South of France, regularly sets out to determine.
Barely a week or so on the market, and the first — to my knowledge — Gristleism mix is up on the web. Gristleism is an inexpensive sound gadget that’s the result of a collaboration between the legendary band Throbbing Gristle and Christiaan Virant, of the duo FM3, on whose Buddha Machine it is modeled. It is a small plastic box, the front of which is simply a speaker. It contains 13 loops, all segments of industrial drones from the dank Gristle archives, and includes rudimentary controls to alter the volume and speed of a given loop.
The mix in question is a two-minute experiment by Pfarr (MP3), and it was posted at archive.org. (It’s an excerpt of a piece that Pfarr estimates at being half an hour in length.) There’s additional information on the project, titled “Audible Drawing 10,” at Pfarr’s website, wernerpfarr.blogspot.com.
“Audible drawing” is just that: the sound of the pencil on paper, as well as whatever sounds might be in the background. In the case of Pfarr’s very first audible drawing, that meant a field recording of the natural environment in which he drew. For the Gristleism audible, it’s the purposeful addition of the grungy gurgle of a loop from the gadget, whose shadow he roughly sketches on Bristol board, as shown in the before (photo) and after (drawing) images here:
The loop Pfarr used is the very first one on the Gristleism box, “Persuasion.” The recording is titled “Audible Drawing 10” because it is his 10th such experiment.