PB8’s Music from Sleeping MP3

If the work by artist PB8 mentioned in yesterday’s entry on the recent Sound Device exhibit (disquiet.com) emphasized physicality and interaction, the recording of “Close to Silence I” on his website (pb8.lt) embraces exactly the opposite. A solid example of procedural composition, it is a piece of music in which the musician focused his creative energies on his own absence, or near-absence.

The sounds on “Close to Silence I” are jittery, scratchy noises — as if a mouse were heard cautiously navigating the space just below the floorboards. In fact, those sounds are recordings of PB8 himself sleeping, with all the true silences edited out, resulting in a nearly nine-minute-long recording of jerky, unintentional gestures, a candid aural snapshot of a musician caught deep in REM state (MP3). They are, in other words, the sounds of the composer’s body instinctively reacting to his mind navigating the space just below his consciousness.

Here’s a segment of PB8’s description of the work, from his website:

I tried to stay close to silence. I connected wooden platform with contact microphones to MaxMSP program and slept on it. So I recorded the sounds of my movements during the sleeping time and later on deleted the silent moments in-between. This allowed me to delete my ego absolutely like an artist who is creating sounds, because there couldn’t be planned intervention while sleeping.
More info on PB8, a 25-year-old Lithuanian sound artist, at his elegantly designed, bilingual website, pb8.lt.

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