My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Sound of the Sound of Recording (MP3)

Like a lot of musicians who explore sampling, who make sounds from pre-existing sounds, JD Zazie finds the fact of the recordings themselves to be worthy of attention. The sounds that comprise her recent three-track collection, Needle Need, are so spare, so thin, so simple, that they suggest themselves to be little more than the fact of recording — as if the act of capturing noise was itself so compelling that delineating the poetry of that event is sufficient. Which, of course, it is. The opening track of Needle Need, “Needpicking,” in particular focuses the ear on the rotation of a turntable, its narrow depth of sonic field giving and taking with the bellows-like regularity of a breath. There appears to be a passing insect, and then the rough sound of needle on vinyl. This is all conjecture, of course. The sounds could be sourced from anything, could be performed live, or captured from various points of origin and recombined (MP3). What matters isn’t their provenance. It’s how Zazie manages to collect them without burdening any of them with the presence of the others. Each added part seems only to remind the ear of just how little is going on. Truly elegant.

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More on Zazie, an Italian currently residing in Berlin, at soundcloud.com/jd-zazie.

And here, as a bonus expression of Zazie’s attention to the noises inherent in quietude, is a video of her performing this past June in Berlin with Felicity Mangan:

By Marc Weidenbaum

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