K.K. Null / Chris Watson / Z'ev Number One

Nature has been a frequent though unrewarded collaborator of many modern explorers in sound. Artists routinely gather field recordings like specimens to fractionate and microscopically alter into unrecognisable mutations. The East African location sounds gathered by Chris Watson for this recording, however, retain their original shapes and timbres, mostly. Instead they are used as elemental forces for this trio’s collaboration exploring the five part traditional Noh Theatre structure. What might appear overwrought or overreached in theory makes more sense in hearing the individual segments. Each of the five parts in Noh contains a character (celestial, man, woman, trickster, demon) as well as numerous natural, cosmologic and perceptive elements. Watson’s nature-based recordings are augmented by Null’s percussive electronics and varied acoustic recordings by Z’ev, who also assembled the final mix. So for the third movement "Development,” for example, the figurative elements such as taste, earth, centrality, etc, are represented by the sound of an elephant herd grazing and the movement through brush. These natural sounds are augmented by Null’s artificial thrum of earthen vibration and Z’ev’s wind chime-like peals. Ultimately the result is an electro-acoustic experience that bares its strategies and pleases with a narrative well served. (Touch)