A fascinating phenomenon, that of field recording-based sound art. In a way, it is comparable to a branch of ecology: think of the contextualization of natural and metropolitan emanations as a counteragent of human garrulousness, a plague that will never disappear. And yet, the latter is often a fundamental component of this type of study, camouflaged (or less) within the environmental presences. If anything, by listening to recordings including a whole gamut of concrete occurrences one can learn to distinguish the actual nourishment – for example, the inimitable honesty of an echoing forlorn area – while repudiating the pestilential shallowness of presumed intellectual activities.
However, in Friche: Transition Eric La Casa and Eamon Sprod restricted the fleshly integrant to themselves, as assemblers and studio engineers of the source materials. The duo does not furnish us with precise coordinates, except for naming the places where the core substances were gathered. This forces a responsive listener to inhabit these soundscapes minus the compulsory “understanding”of what is happening around his/her head. The suggestions caused by the resounding events – whose dynamic variety is definitely extensive – are enough to disclose important meanings, in turn leading to forms of awareness.
Quite frequently, a release belonging to this ambit is “narrated” by writeups listing what happens almost step by step, which is rather useless if not altogether ridiculous. La Casa and Sprod are, plain and simple, individuals who keep wide open ears: a good starting point to separate sensible cleverness from thickheaded braggadocio. Their methods to highlight the implicit narrative comprised by what the erudite populace calls “noise” are substantiated by numerous years of experience. It surely shows.
“Talking” about frequencies – a current trend in selected circles – is not really feasible without appearing pretentious, stupid, or both. In actuality, an evolved psychophysical entity detects, synthesizes and transmits frequencies, something that can’t be grasped by sensorially deprived big mouths. The work of La Casa and Sprod is not destined to that sort of people. They’re looking for the spirit of materiality, building knowledge from the ground towards the sky. Not vice versa.