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Dreams of Tall Buildings - Residuum (Cassette)

Release Date:

Label: Museum Records
Catalogue Number: DOTB1MC
Price: £19.99
Available: In stock

Dreams of Tall Buildings - Residuum

Residuum – 100 gold cassette tapes, housed in a unique individully hand-made plastered and
painted box, with pointer card and a hand-stamped segment of an original 1960s hand blocked print of William Morris wallpaper.

Originally a commission for the National Trust at the Birmingham Back To Backs, Residuum was a collection of unique sound pieces that explored, reflected and exposed the hidden layers of the history contained in each house.

This collection of 5 sound-pieces explored the notions of layers and echoes of the architecture and personal histories of the Back to Back properties, which where inhabited from the 1840s to the 1970s. Sound artists Justin Wiggan and Darren Joyce (Dreams Of Tall Buildings) have created unique sound pieces that have a symbolic connection with the layering of materials seen in these houses, the many layers of wallpapers, the original coatings of lead paint and
stripped-back plaster, to re-expose in sound the history to its first use as a new space, a home, a dwelling, right  to its last inhabitant.

doTb have used raw materials from the Back to Backs by using a hand scanner to scan the walls, floors and original artefacts from each house. They then turned this visual
documentation into sound data via computer software to generate a library of raw sound materials. These pieces honour their own heritage and intervene within themselves, mirroring the same way the past inhabitants always recycled material, i.e. old blankets become trousers, old trousers become pillow stuffing or a rug, old newspaper becomes drawer lining.

Each of these pieces also reflect the technological development of the houses: from a slow crawl to a steep curve, from the colossal becoming micro; each house added another layer of technology to the last, i.e stencils turning to wallpaper, gas lamps to electric light bulbs, outside water pump to inside plumbed water. This slow crawl to steep technological curve is also addressed in the physical quality of the sound piece, which concludes in a binaural piece of which sounds of playing children, sounds of the workers and of life muted through walls, layering and floating like a slice through the past, peeling away the layers like old wallpaper each having its own story to tell.

Tracklist of pieces:

Micthells house
(Parts 1 – 5) 15:32

Time capsule room (back room and
front room)

Binaural piece (House 2 top room)

'Much joy in the losing today sound lounge with the arrival of this particular release. Now we’d heard all the sales pitching fanfare, even seen the occasional leaked pictures of its manufacturing process - yet nothing quite prepared for seeing it in the flesh so to speak. The second release emerging out of Dream of Tall Buildings Museum imprint (set up with the intention to disseminate rare no longer in print releases from the extensive DotB library archive and the limited issue of various installation / sonic architecture works) is a true aural and visual artefact entitled ’residuum’. limited to just 100 copies this release arrives in the form of a hand painted box entombed in a plaster cast casing inside of which are variously tucked pointer cards, an original segment of 60’s styled William Morris wallpaper and a gold cassette upon which 7 aural suites can be found. The full story behind the project and details of the recording processes utilised can be found by way of the links provided for below. By way of some brief background the project was initially commissioned by the National Trust, Messrs Wiggan and Joyce were given the loose remit to engage, record and create an aural document for posterity - an auditory excavation if you like collected from the inner dwellings of the last remaining court of back to backs in Birmingham. Loosely referencing and much recalling of the psychogeographical opus’ of Stylus’ ‘skomargraph’ and more so the work of Drew Mulholland in his Mount Vernon Arts Lab guise whilst similarly echoing the literary work of Kneale by way of ’quatermass and the pit’ and ’the stone tape’ - the ’residuum’ suites provide a document of moments captured by way of the recording and translating of the atmospheres, moods and the encompassing of the hidden memories and replaying of their histories as revealed by the vibrations held within each buildings core fabric. By the peeling back of old wallpaper and the general removing of each room / space / locations skin whether that be merely paint, plaster or general rendering, different sonic resonances where achieved as though somehow these acts had in some way released the time periods trapped / held within, these areas were scanned and each recording and reading then fed though a PC for data translation into sound. Sound art in its purest form therefore, each of these suites explores a differing aspect of the environs mood and climate - found here amid the aural rubble ‘mitchells house’ is here sub divided into 5 parts - each portion and portrayal contrasting vividly in terms of identity, texture, design and delivery with the sparsely weaved shimmer toned glitch gilded groans of ‘#5’ incidentally coming across like an ice sculptured minimalist take on a youthful maps and diagrams with a fondness for ‘digitalis’ era ISAN and the frequency detuning modulations of the spectral pulses within ‘#4’ eerily tapping into - as were - fractured communiqués from beyond - are perched alongside the ghostly monastic almost hauntingly hymnal reverence of the dead echoing drone swathes of both ‘#3’ and ’#2’ (the latter additionally adorned with something approaching a kind of celestial visitation) with ’#1’ deep set to the solemn and desolate detailing of ominously phased darkly rupturing trance ripples and distorted playroom chorus’. bending frequencies, warping manipulations and wiring waveforms provide the glue holding together the seemingly playful ’time capsual’ - a kind of Stockhausen / Glass event as recoded through the analogue mind of Kember in his EAR guise translating and channelling white noise breaching whispers by means of a sonic séance which leaves ’house 2 - binaural’ to wrap up matters and provide a real time collage of sorts that cross wires an aural depiction of family / working life in an attempt to peak into the locations past. Multi-dimensional strangeness from this most eclectic of sound alchemists.'

video here :


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