Berlin Fields is a sonic journey not limited by national boundaries, city limits, or material limitation. Roden perambulates, recording as he goes with the immediacy and quirks that come from using both portable recorder (a Sony PCM-D50) and phone. Exploring intuitively, Roden brings together 19 sonic vignettes via “finds”: things discovered; and “activation”: objects performed on site.
Using intuition as a guide, Roden's interactions and sonic interventions – “play” in every sense of the word – are both learning tool and platform for his creativity. Unearthing a vocabulary spoken by quotidian things, Roden coaxes tables, radiators, sardine tins and all manner of chanced upon paraphernalia into speaking their curious and complex language. Mindful of Rolf Julius' artistic philosophy, Roden introduces performances that sit congruently within, and do not disrupt, the sites he happens upon on during his travels through the capital cities of France, Germany and Finland.
The land- and cityscapes, formal architecture and informal spaces Roden explores act as host for his interventions. Instead of simply absorbing his bodily movements and thought process, such places create a consonant dialogue with his soundings, saturating their own particular sounds – indeed atmospheres – within Roden's wanderings.
Roden is both player and listener in a world sounding with music, and musical with sound. His actions are delicate insertions that proliferate: actions, soundings, reactions that spread into, echo, and synergise with the world. His performances activate the specific place, space and object with microscopic precision – the knowledge of a shaman. Ripples of tone singe the edges of a bird-filled landscape bestowing it a glowing aura; rhythmic motions on cavernous metal are “touched by hands”, jam jars are caressed across tables to intone chanting, a poetry of sorts. Such soundings act as a bridge, directly connecting body (and being) to location; a marker for experience.
What is evident in Berlin Fields, is that Roden respects the sonic world around him. He is playful, mischievous perhaps, but most of all he listens with the ears of the ancient, the sacred. His motivation, simply, is to work with situations and sounds that move him – that teach him something new or different – that in turn drive him on to explore new environments, situations, objects and the places they inhabit.
Ultimately, Roden brings one closer to an intimate world of reverie – an aural terrain that heaves, resonates, clips, scrapes, chimes and drips a mystical, ancient language. (Helen Frosi)
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