The human experience of time and space is biased by evolutionary needs, just like human sight and hearing are incomplete spectrums of the world. These signals are disconnected from what an objective, holistic, perception might be like (if such a phenomenology can be conceived). So the absolute nature of things remains virtual, and the curious mind tries to find ways to escape these limitations.

The endless search for meaning collides with what we commonly name « reality ». Sometimes, one feels like a particular object harbors the potential to disclose more of what’s hidden behind the veil. The impulse for Magnetic transmissions came from the rediscovery of previously unreleased material. It felt like discovering a probe with its ancient signals archived in it. These pieces of music were interesting in retrospect, but felt like half spoken words. Can we reveal more of a message while intentionally deteriorating it ? Where is the line between « enhanced » and « damaged » ?

The original pieces seemed to come from a distant past, and from the present came the need to extract something from these, underneath the aesthetics. These sounds took a journey — forgetfulness — and, when they were found, they were recognized for both what they were and the changes they contained before their departure. The skin had to be removed, the roughness and cavities cleansed to reveal soundscapes from what appeared to be microsilence.

I began to collect segments from the original material, the editing step targeted the most relevant sections, the ones with enough gravitas to operate on their own. Afterwards, I printed the selection to tape. The choice of tape type and recording levels are already essential to the transmission’s granularity of content. Tape was also the medium of transformation and recomposition of the music as its analogue nature allows for manipulations slightly different from the ones in the digital domain. Digital stretching relies on the calculation of the therefore missing data, alternatively the analogue distorsion resulting from tape exploration feels like digging the material itself. Just like there is a vast (infinite from our standpoint) world between the notes C and C#, the soundscape keeps on revealing itself between two perceived sound events. There is a melancholic quality to tape recordings, a fragility is directly carved into the sounds. This balances with the sometimes cold feeling emerging from the almost static tones and adds a physical sensation of untold time (a potential eternity). But one cannot manipulate time on its own, as it is always related to a physical medium.

The simple idea is to slow down space. As the audio signal collapses outwards it reveals what was hidden underneath the surface. The foreground shapes are stretched to oblivion while background details propagate out of their crevices.

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© 2021 Guillaume Tiger