Audio Archaeology series Vol.1: Lisbon
Kye Records / KYE044 LP (2016)
The pieces composed for this album combine field recordings of contemporary Lisbon with found tape recordings from the past; reel-to-reel tapes, micro-cassettes and Dictaphones collected from the Feira de Ladra market, a popular and lively flea market in the Alfama district.
Each tape recording is an audio snapshot of a specific time; a family album in sound, a musical performance, a compilation of treasured music or even just the fun of playing around with a tape recorder captured for posterity. Every thoughtless edit or push of the record button teleports us to a different time and place. The musical material extracted from the tapes is also an evocative signifier that locates it within a specific era. The interesting thing is how the tapes accumulate different strata of time even within a single side. There are consecutive chronological recordings but also sequences with unexpected breakthroughs where the user has carelessly fast forwarded through the tape randomly ‘dropping-in’ new recordings. These accidental edits create instantaneous new collages of sounds and voices. I have endeavoured to retain the essence of these unintentional edits and unexpected outbursts in the pieces I have assembled here. The noisy whir and clicking of the various tape mechanisms is evident on many of the found recordings. As the material is sped up and slowed down it acts as an internal clock, a continuous, steady marker of time, almost like the second hand of a timepiece
All of the pieces contained here within explore one particular environment – the city of Lisbon. Field recordings by their very nature are time-based but the introduction of found tapes into the mix expands the timescale of these studies from just the short period spent in the city making recordings, backwards to possibly forty or more years in the past. It is a portrait in time and place, an archaeology of sound. The result of the audio flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shores of low commerce in the flea markets of Lisbon.
‘Lend an ear, leave a word’ arrives in a full color matte stock sleeve with insert and download card. Mastered by Jason Lescalleet in an edition of 400 copies. Artwork courtesy of ‘A Sense of Someplace‘.
“…a beautiful work of sonic archaeology… uncanny and often moving.”
Stewart Smith, The Wire.
“…easily bridges that world of field recordings with the world of ‘music’…the level of storytelling, interaction and creative use of his sound material is very high…”
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly.
“…creates near-hallucinatory experiences, surreal dream-scapes, and a general sense of having entered the looking-glass world, full of unknown languages spoken by alien creatures, performing actions which can’t be understood.”
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector