2 нояб. 2012 г.

Airport Symphony



"Anyone who has traveled by air understands the strangeness of it — the way airports make you feel lost, the way everywhere starts to look the same. The pieces of music that make up the two-disc Airport Symphony, each the work of an experimental musician using an airport field recording by Lawrence English as source material, all capture those feelings perfectly, in intuitive and visceral ways, through quiet more often than noise. Though the source recordings seem more often of exterior airplane noises than what a passenger hears, not counting one using flight attendant’s safety instructions, the music also tends to explore the interior state of mind that comes with traveling. The static waves of Christopher Charles’ “Airport Symphony: A Brief Life” or the mysterious hums of Dale Lloyd’s “Airs for Beacons / Signals for Ports” bring to mind not just the sound of transportation machines, but also the way traveling puts you inside your own brain, the way you experience the actions and crowds around you from an interior mindstate. That most of the first disc has passed before a place name is clearly uttered aloud is suggestive both of the placelessness we experience in airports and of the way this evocative, expansive collection of music emulates the same feeling."

As Alain De Botton suggests in his book ‘The Art Of Travel’, the act of transit between social, cultural and geographic circumstance is far more than mere bodily movement. Language, architecture, food, gesture, landscape and sound all play a part in travel and ultimately contribute to the sensations of excitement, exoticism, disorientation and even fear that occupy the daily life of the traveller.

At points of departure and arrival on these journeys increasingly lies an airport. Like business hotels across the globe, the airport acts as a uniform presence – rotating gates, the clunk of baggage, the vague chatter of tourist and traveller alike and the occasional interruption of muffled announcements. Vast halls echoing with the shifting of bodies intent on exodus and return.

As Socrates wrote, ‘Man must rise above the Earth - to the top of the atmosphere and beyond - for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives [sic]’. Indeed, as the choreography of pre-flight checks is conducted following the gentle rock of the plane leaving the air bridge to a soundtrack of gentle pressurised drone and air conditioned hiss, a meditation commences. This moment of consideration is heightened, as the reflected sound of the engines scorching the tarmac surface is vacuumed into the void of open air and as the plane leaves the earth there is (in every traveller no matter how experienced) still a sense of silent awe at the marvels of the physics of flight.

Airport Symphony, commissioned by the Queensland Music Festival and Brisbane Airport Corporation, documents and synthesises the experiences of travel. Each piece represents a personal meditation on aspects of travel in the modern age and suggests ways in which we control, augment and ultimately exists in a time where almost no part of the face of the planet is inaccessible. Each of the pieces features a source recording made in and around Brisbane Airport between March and June 2007 –in a raw form or transformed by processing.

Audio diary entries cataloguing the epic possibilities of flight, aero-passage and human bodies in motion and even at rest.



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