one stone. and arcs and ears

7" vinyl record with picture sleeve.
edition: 300 / colored vinyl, signed & numbered
new plastic music

  1. one stone.
  2. and arcs and ears.

the 7″ was created for the exhibition “invisible other” at the new american art union in portland oregon. in the original installation the 7″ sat on a turntable that could be activated by viewers. here are some notes that accompanied the work… the sound was created by editing out all of the speaking out of the soundtrack LP of robert bresson’s film “proces de jeanne d’arc”.

i began with the soundtrack LP of robert bresson’s film “proces de jeanne d’arc”, and edited out all of the talking of the main characters. in many cases my edits were not perfectly clean so whispered beginnings or endings of words can still be heard. i wanted the trajectory to lose its sense of narrative – to shake all of the specificity out of something. i wanted to turn it into a path of ambivalence, fragmentation, pauses, and abstraction.

there is no music on the original soundtrack, only talking and incidental sounds. on side one of the LP, a single musical instrument is heard for a few seconds (a horn playing a kind of fanfare in the middle of side one). through sampling, i extended the horn sounds, and used them to create a tonal field for the existing edited sounds from the original soundtrack to rest upon.

the title of side one (one stone.) was made from taking some of the letters in robert bresson’s name and using them to generate new words (robert has the letters to make words such as “robe”, “bore”, “robot”, “tree”, etc. ). one stone also refers to the rock thrown through jeanne’s window in the film.

the title of side two (and arcs and ears.) was made from taking some of the letters in the film title “proces de jeanne d’arc” and using them to generate new words. and arcs and ears. also refers to the circular motion of the spinning record and the activity of listening…

these titles, as well as the images/design on this record cover, came from a kind of visual sampling of the original cover of the bresson LP. simlar to the sound, the images were mainly created by editing and subtraction, rather than addition.

i had been thinking about this kind of erasure, absence, and invisibility for a long time; wondering if a new story without the presence of the main characters, could be born of the pauses found within an existing story.i wanted to wait for the idea to be less fresh for me; so that instead of being enamored of the conceptual part of the project; i could use it to fuel something that could grow into it’s final form more organically.

my relationship to conceptual art and the kind of purity of production that comes from making objects in the service of an idea is awkward, and sometimes in conflict with the unknown potentials the concepts might otherwise be able to generate… i’m interested in the creation of works that do not have to refer to the ideas that generated them for their meanings.i am interested in a place where things fit together uncomfortably.

for me,  purity doesn’t necessarily come from a minimal aesthetic, nor from an idea simply realized. it comes from a kind of honesty that allows things that might not fit together perfectly to remain connected, even if the connective tissue is thin, frayed, and somewhat invisible.

i like very much how the crackling sounds of the original vinyl sometimes sound like the crackling of a very small fire.

i hope the activity of the audience physically activating the piece will suggest one stand and listen for the duration of the work. since i used a somewhat worn LP to generate the piece, i am also interested in the idea that repeated listenings and handlings will generate more noise, more history, and perhaps more sound images within the work; so that the whole thing might change over the duration of the show. perhaps just as the actors in the film became less visible in my own work, my own composition will become less visible as the piece is changed by the handling of others through their physical experience with this small record.

and arcs and ears. is humbly dedicated to pavel buchler. if he hasn’t already made a similar work, he has certainly already planted a similar flag in the territory this piece occupies. steve roden 3/21/07

  • reviews:
  • A conceptual approach is also done on a 7″ by Roden, where he removes all the dialogue of a LP with the soundtrack of Robert Bresson’s ‘Process De Jeanne D’Arc’, leaving only the incidental sounds, but through rough editing the beginnings and endings (transients as they are called in radio terms) of words can be heard. The only instrument, a horn, is sampled and used as the musical source here, and which forms a backdrop in the endresult. The two pieces on this 7″ are similar pieces, with minor differences. The sampled horn is deformed into a dark drone, and on top we hear the crackling of the original record. An estranging affair of obscure sounds, again in an intimate way. A simple yet effective work.

    FdW/vital weekly #579