All of your favorites, in one place.
England's Bob Cobbing and France's Henri Chopin. A sound poet -- or text-sound composer as the Swedish like to call this art form -- of exquisite talent, Hanson has scattered an impressive number of works on compilation albums and the odd solo LP or CD, most of which remain very hard to find. In 2002, Firework Edition Records released Text-Sound Gems & Trinkets, a solid collection of 25 of Hanson's recordings for a total duration of 73 minutes. Presented in chronological order, the short pieces span his whole career, from his first experiments in 1964-1965 to a piece written for the opening of an experimental music center in Gävle (Sweden) in 2002. The listener can marvel at Hanson's steady conception of what text-sound is and can do as technological means improved. The first pieces consist of rough cut-and-paste tape collages, while the later works use the computer to apply effects and multi-tracking. Hanson's voice remains under the spotlight throughout, delivering odd commentaries, down-to-earth sentences, or mantras that are given meaning by the way they are organized, arranged, and deranged. One highlight is "La Destruction de Votre Code Génétique par Drogues, Toxines et Irradiation" ("The Destruction of Your Genetic Code by Drugs, Toxins and Irradiation"): a robotic-like voice (Hanson) runs through the alphabetic sequence of human DNA, but the cut-and-paste sequence becomes gradually corrupted. "The New York Lament" exemplifies the artist's shamanistic live pieces, a multi-tracked mantra to which he adds a live part. Many works use words in English or French, making it easy for non-Swedish listeners to grasp the whole range of their meaning. This CD is definitely the best place to make first contact with Hanson's art.