RICHARD GARET + ASHER THAL-NIR – Melting Ground

Contour Editions

A DVD containing 43 minutes of black and white footage (by Garet) accompanied by Asher’s acoustic suggestions of quiet malaise in a metropolitan mire. The video, previously subjected to a series of processing phases, was shot from a helicopter during a trip over an Alaskan glacier. The imagery, constantly flickering due to the manipulations and the occasional rhythmic shadow given by the helicopter’s rotors, allows the spectator to enter a state of trance if the focus is entirely absorbed by the screen. What happens is that the brain starts individuating a way to blend the uninhabited landscape’s inbuilt designs into different entities. A huge rock becomes an animal’s head; the contrasts between darker hues and bright flashes generate sudden calls of attention to what appears as blinking lights, ultimately turning out to be just sundrenched ice. The soundtrack consists in a classic Asher creation, based on two fundamental components. The first is a piano recorded from the inside, very close to the hammers, whose uncomplicated figurations get looped and superimposed to produce a softened irregularity bathed in the sort of moody dimness that defines the Boston composer’s best work. The melodic material is surrounded – make that almost engulfed – by a massive presence of static hiss, perhaps deriving from shortwaves, attributing a feel of ventilated steadiness to the sonic grain. An unassumingly beautiful supplement for late evenings where all that remains is the consideration of worthlessness as a systematic clause for anything one decides to do.

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