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JEZ RILEY FRENCH: TRACE ELEMENTS
Seven traces of listening experiences. each uses sections of durational recordings gathered over the past decade and is intended not as a passive meditation but rather as an active challenge to the imposed perception and translation of place, and our continued use of all environments.
JEZ RILEY FRENCH uses intuitive composition, field recording, improvisation and photography in an emotive response to places and situations in a career as an artist that spans almost 4 decades. Alongside performances, exhibitions, installations he also lectures and runs workshops around the world on various aspects of sound culture including located sound / field recording, the act and art of listening and their roles in contemporary explorative sound arts. Jez develops and builds specialist microphones now widely used in all areas of sound culture, curates the ‘engraved glass’ label, the ‘a quiet position’ series of online releases / forums exploring the broad ideas surrounding field recording as a primary art of sound / sound art, and the online zine 'verdure engraved'
if you have been listening and recording situations and environments for a long time and feel confident, self assured then the listening might have at least partially stopped. We are not in control of ‘place’. Further to this part of the job of an artist working with such sounds and experiences to recognise the results only contain traces of place. Then there is the working out of how to convey that to you, the listener. It’s easy to say ‘enjoy’ but really the point of durational listening, in my opinion, is to get further than that.
To realise that we, as a species, are constantly imposing ourselves on environments. I’m still waiting to know more about how or whether we can stop that, or at least slow it down. the recordings in this piece include fish, shrimp and boat motors in Husavik harbour, a marsh and a small inlet on the north coast.
Listening is more than hearing. It’s about letting sounds in and that requires a letting go of control, and a recognition (for artist, recordist, audience) of the intuitive response being a natural part of our species.
nb. headphone listening or via audio speakers is recommended as some of the frequencies are inaudible via computer speakers