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Best of 2022

Philip Samartzis, Eugene Ughetti

Array / Polar Force (LP + CD with Book bundle)

Label: Room40

Format: LP + CD with Book bundle

Genre: Sound Art

Out of stock

This special bundle includes the two collaborative releases by Philip Samartzis and Eugene Ughetti recently released on Room40:



"Array" (LP)

Array
expresses the experience of a remote Antarctic research station through the convergence of sound, site and performance. The result is an immersive and affective experience of the spaces, protocols and conditions comprising the bracing polar environment. Array is a companion piece to Polar Force, a performance-installation work by Philip Samartzis and Eugene Ughetti, presented by Speak Percussion.

Array
features recordings of radar and scientific instrumentation used for upper atmospheric research and terrestrial communication. These sounds reveal the sophisticated technology and architecture used and heard within the Australian Antarctic Territory. Many of the recordings focus on the way the built environment is transformed through stress and fatigue caused by extreme climate and weather events including freezing temperatures and high velocity winds.

Together with the field recordings are layers of live performance using custom built instrumentation to produce a unique series of textures, rhythmic cycles, resonances and timbral phenomena. The application of tension and pressure upon the assorted instruments recalls the distressed state of highly specialised infrastructure found within the perimeters of a research station. A polar research station comprises many types and volumes of prefabricated space. In dialogue with this are the unique spaces used to record the instrumental performance. By merging different spaces Array brings into focus various industrial resonances, spatial characteristics, timbres of metal and concrete, and sonic artefacts produced by hard and permeable materials and surfaces.

In three parts, Array presents Antarctica as a liminal space oscillating between representation and abstraction to challenge often repeated tropes. The intent is to blur the relationship between the recorded and performed to produce a hyper-realistic encounter of the powerful forces that operate at the margins of our planet. One hears the precariousness of a remote research station contorted by unrelenting stress, compressed air forced through waterborne fipples and the volatility of weather events.
Life on remote research stations is progressively resembling the broader contemporary experience, in which strict protocols are used to govern and preserve life. The resilient communities who live and work in these places have learnt how to co-exist with an increasingly hostile environment, along with its unknowns and necessity for hyper-vigilance. Rather than consider it as a place on the edge of elsewhere, Antarctica and its assemblage of durable, super modern colonies provides an archetype for an uncertain future in anticipation of the volatility that awaits.
 



Polar Force (CD + Book)

* Matte laminate sleeve, insert card and artist book featuring essays and photographs from the Polar Force project. * «As Philip Samartzis was preparing to leave for his second Australian Antarctic Division residency, he invited me to lunch to discuss the possibility of collaborating on a new work. He recounted his first experience on the ice, where the surrounding landscapes seemed to articulate avant-garde percussion works of an epic scale. On this visit, he wanted his field work to explicitly shape the formation of a new performance work with a particular focus on katabatic winds in and around Casey Base station. Intrigued, I accepted the challenge provided I could create a live performance utilising the same recorded materials of ice, air and water. We undertook an ambitious collaboration with sound, instrument, lighting and industrial designers, a dramaturg and percussionist.  For Polar Force we built an environment, a white inflatable structure reminiscent of a remote research station on the ice. Emanating from outside the space come the complex and foreboding sounds of the natural environment, inside, a live event akin to scientific research in sound occurs. This hour-long performance installation work gives rise to a hyper-realistic sensing of Antarctica, bursting with natural beauty, power and the audible evidence of human impact.» - Eugene Ughetti

Details
Cat. number: RM4152 / RM4154
Year: 2021

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