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Alëna Korolëva

Premonitions (Tape)

Label: Forms of Minutiae

Format: Tape

Genre: Sound Art

In process of stocking


*60 copies limited edition* “Whenever I go, I can't help but notice signs of a looming change. I eavesdrop on conversations of creatures big and small, and like me, they seem uneasy and uncertain about what's to come. Something is in the air, dark clouds gather, winds are shifting course. Amidst the confusion and restlessness, the voices of non-human and human worlds blend in a worrisome symphony. This piece is an ode to anticipation, to the beauty of different forms of life on the brink of the sixth mass extinction. Joining in the chorus are the American toad, northern winds, an old kettle, Mr. Cat, tawny owl, crickets, domestic chickens and pigs, trumpeter swans, honey bees, truck horns, cormorants, seagulls and other elements and critters.” — Alëna Korolëva

Something is afoot, the Tkaronto/Toronto-based artist and curator, Alëna Korolëva tells us in her new soundscape composition “premonitions”. American toads and water beetles set things in motion before the long-form piece journeys through a multitude of field recordings and non-human voices in a quasi-cinematographic fashion. Korolëva layers and manipulates sounds from the real into a sonic chimaera which mutates concrete ambiances into vaporous surrealities through the modes of collage. A storm blankets the soundscape, things grow quieter. Distant parallels with Luc Ferrari’s "musique anecdotique" come to mind, yet here the piece materializes in an acoustic docu-fiction of some sort, that takes the form of a waking dream. Various scenes, ranging from the mundane to the uncanny, unfold in eardrums exposing an underlying sense of earthly melancholy. A weight lurks throughout while winds, pigs, chickens, and mechanical apparatus weave into a strange agitated tapestry. A kettle whistles, a cat meows – Korolëva sprinkles the gloom with touches of humor and audible senses of home. Trumpeter swans are joined by a trumpeter human; Chayka Chekhov responds to the avian songs in a interspecies dialogue – echoing Jim Nollman’s “Playing Music With Animals”. Environments cascade into a finale droned out by truck horns. Their ringings and animal cries swell in a somber abstraction bearing the weight of a presentiment. “What does the future hold?” we ask ourselves throughout the album as we dissolve in imbrications of positionings, emanating from one another like stacking dolls. Poly-layered, “premonitions” engages in play, in negotiation with the disparate spaces and voices of a troubled world as if it created harmonious discord to decipher the ominous clouds gathering in the horizon.

Cat. number: fom10
Year: 2024

C30 — limited edition of 60
duration: 28’56’’ — piece repeats on both sides
recorded, photographed, and composed by alëna korolëva
trumpet improvisation by chayka chekhov
mastered by mathieu bonnafous
tape production by headless duplicated tapes
published by forms of minutiae — fom10 — 2024