Published Oct 04, 2016French musique concrète pioneer Luc Ferrari perplexed his peers at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in the late 1960s with his monumental piece Presque Rien No. 1. Pieced together from field recordings captured in a town in what is now Croatia, with little to no manipulation of the source material, the work was so far removed from what is known as music it almost approached the soundtrack to, well, existence.
Almost 50 years later, Australian sound artist Lawrence English (who also curates the spectacular Room40 imprint), working within his philosophy of relational listening, returned to that village in the former Yugoslavia to continue where Ferrari left off, capturing his own catalogue of sounds to create the complementary Almost Nothing.
Limiting his post-production to editing alone, English has created a vast landscape, an audible accompaniment to urban and rural exploration. Pealing bells, chatting villagers, passing vehicles, chirping insects and splashing water are all juxtaposed and woven into a 30-minute miniature experience, a signpost for the relational listening concept. Those familiar with Ferrari's work will no doubt enjoy English's torch-bearing; uninitiated adventurers may wish to choose another point of entry into English's world and into the world of musique concrète itself. (Baskaru)