A work in and of transition
To orient yourself with — or, perhaps, more to the point “in” — the track “re place” by Proxemia, it can help to focus on the transitions. During the course of a mere two and a half minutes the piece runs through half a dozen or so momentary states. Stereoscopic percussion pauses for a dial tone before a deep, bass thrum makes the suddenly tiny-seeming sounds succumb to an intense depth of field. This is after scatter relays give way to a cymbal, which in turn is cut off by a radio-dial spin that’s all harsh static.
Proxemia (aka José Rivera) makes each moment count, and in doing so challenges the ear to find a place to call home. Rather than clinging to a moment, it can help to ride the changes, to listen forward to the way scenarios shift. It’s a different way of listening, one focused on what’s between modes rather than on a given mode itself. The piece closes, tellingly, with a muted ripple effect, fading to nothing in a manner that makes “nothing” just another stage in the procession.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/proxemia. More from Proxemia at proxemiasound.net.
A work-in-progress from Jose Rivera (aka Proxemia) at MIT
Jose Rivera participates on SoundCloud under the name Proxemia. A graduate student at MIT, he studies “sound art, geonotational mapping, location recording, experimental music,” and posts audio from his various excursions. One recent track of Rivera’s is “interplace,” a highly detailed sequence of largely drone- and rattle-rich “location recordings,” in his terminology. The phrase suggests something distinct from field recordings, perhaps — something with a more precise sense of position and place. A brief liner note explains that it’s a “composition experiment” for what appears to be the Sensory Ethnography Lab at neighboring Harvard. The lab “promotes innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography,” and is run by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ernst Karel. Past geonotational efforts by Rivera have included audio-visual documentation of natural and industrial spots in Asheville, North Carolina (which surface in a Disquiet Junto project), among other places.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/proxemia. More from Rivera/Proxemia at proxemiasound.net.