Gilles Aubry: Fieldrecordings, Electronics,
Robert Millis: 78"RPM Records, Phonograph
“Jewel of the Ear” public preview.
“Jewel of the Ear” is a new collaborative sound and research project by Gilles Aubry and Robert Millis. Its title derives from the English translation of Manikarnika, the Hindi name of the most important funeral temple in the city of Varanasi in India. Located next to the holly Ganga river, this temple is the main site of Hindu religious body cremations, following a precise symbolic ritual based on cosmic renewal and endless cycles of time.
By combining cremation recordings by Aubry together with early Indian 78 rpm music recordings from Millis’ collection, the authors will create a new sound work which will explore the possible existing links between ideas about cultural preservation, audio recording, colonialism and funeral practices.
As a product of the 19th century Western Christian society, the technology of audio-recording is strongly rooted in ideas about the material fixation of sound for the purpose of preservation after death. On the contrary, Hindu religion posits the necessity of the material destruction of the body in order to achieve the perpetuation of the cosmic cycle of life, where cremation becomes a synonymous for creation. Beside actual recordings of body cremations, early Indian 78 rpm records provide another opportunity to reflect on death and preservation. Audio-recording technology was introduced in India at the beginning of the 20th century (1902) by the British occupiers in order to establish new markets for the growing record industry, which was dominated by competing European and American companies. Much of the early music recorded in India is religious and concerns various spiritual functions including funerary practices.
Aubry & Millis will approach such topics by creating an performance with sounds from their respective archives, mixing fires, voices and atmospheres from Manikarnika together with selected Indian musics emerging from the abstract surface noise of the 78 rpm records. The spatial articulation of audible differences between various recording media (digital, tape and phonograph) will serve as a composition principle, simultaneously allowing for a renewed cultural interpretation of the various dimensions of recording practices.
About the authors
Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins, a solo artist and a frequent contributor to the Sublime Frequencies label. He has scored long and short films, created sound installations, produced and designed audio projects, and released many LPs and CDs. His work floats between sound art, music concrete, improv, field recording, song and collage. During 2012 and 2013 he was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in India studying Indian music, sound art and the early recording industry. His work often centers on collections of sound or of traditional music, especially from the Gramophone 78rpm era of early recording, either specifically using samples of these sounds or garnering inspiration from research. http://robertmillis.net/
Gilles Aubry is a Swiss sound artist living in Berlin since 2002. His artistic practice is based on an auditory approach of the real informed by researches on cultural, material and historical aspects of sound production and reception. Combining ethnography, critical discourse and sound experiments, Aubry creates installations, audio essays and films without pictures. His sonic images (phonographies) of more or less identified situations stand as an attempt to challenge problematic aspects of visual representations. Recently public presentations include the 5th Marrakech Biennale of Contemporary Arts and the International Documentary Festival (FID) 2014 in Marseille.
Adriana Vila Guevara: 16mm projectors
Luís Macias: 16 mm projectors
Alfredo Costa Monteiro: electro-acoustics
3quinox is a performance that deals deeply with perception, through loop film flickering images or incandescent light, produced by 16mm projectors; abrasive sound and white noise, produced by home made electronics oscillators, modified radios and acousmatic sounds.
In 3quinox improvisation is essential through the collision of both senses: the eye and the ear submitted to vibration that creates an oniric and hypnotic space. Intense flickering light and sonic vibration generates phantom images and sounds; what is seen seems no longer stable and what is heard seems to come from our inner ear.
3quinox reveals its dramaturgy through experience, according to the comprehension of space that returns those vibrations mixed into air and light waves.
Close to some structural films due to its global narrative, but with the projection being expanded, 3quinox draws a strong link between structural cinema and musique concrète.
ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO: http://www.costamonteiro.net
CRATER COLLECTIVE: http://cratercollective.com/