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Jason Kahn

Things fall apart

Label: Herbal Records

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Jason Kahn : drum set, voice, metal objects, radio, mixing board, contact microphones, magnetic coil, speaker, computer, chairs, plastic bags. Recorded in Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zürich, Switzerland on April 14, 2013. Mixed and mastered May 2-31, 2013. Cover design Jason Kahn. Audio CD, 6 panels digipak. 'Back in 1981 I was studying at the University of London in the School of African and Asian Studies. One lecturer had us read Chinua Achebe's novel 'Things Fall Apart.' Aside from the book moving me immensely, the title stuck with me all this time. And for the past couple of years I've been turning these words over in my mind, as they seemed to speak so much about what is falling apart around us, in terms of social structures, economies, the environment, even whole nations. Often when I start thinking about a new work I begin with a title. The sound of the words or their meaning give me a sense of direction to work in. Chinua Achebe died in March this year, and perhaps his passing prompted me to Þnally get working on this CD. But though I felt these words spoke to me, I still couldn't get a grasp on what they were saying. The novel 'Things Fall Apart' deals with the imposition of British colonial rule over a region in Nigeria and the eventual demise of that society, where, quite literally, everything that bound the indigenous populations together through religion, culture and family falls apart.For me, though, I wanted to apply the words 'things fall apart' to a way of working, or, perhaps more accurately, not working. What happens when our preconceived notions, all our carefully laid-out plans, even the place we choose to work, fall apart? When in the moment it seems we have Þnally begun only to Þnd that we have to start over again, forget all our clever ideas and re-think from that moment on to the next? When things falling apart becomes the creative process in itself and this lack of cohesion o ers the clearest path to discoveringsomething new? This was the situation which faced me when I arrived at the Kunstraum Walcheturm to start recording. The Kunstraum Walcheturm is an artspace located in the center of Zürich, not far from the main train station. The building itself belongs to a former Swiss army barrack, built around a large courtyard spreading out in front of the Kunstraum Walcheturm, which used to house the army's stables. The room I recorded in is large: 320 square meters with a 3.80 meter high ceiling. Both ßoor and ceiling are of wood, giving the room very warm acoustics, aside from the fact that the ßoor creaks tremendously when one walks over it! I've performed many times in this room, heard many concerts there and know its sound very well - or at least I thought I did. A few years ago I used the room to record two pieces for the cassette Walcheturm' on the Banned Production label. At that time, though I was attracted to the sound of the room, I think my primary concern was to just have a quiet place to record in. Patrick Huber, the director of the space, recently offered it to me again during a pause in his production schedule. In fact, only a very short pause of one day. So I took this as an opportunity, with what I thought were all my ideas ready to realize.'

Cat. number: concrete 1302
Year: 2013

Recorded in Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zürich, Switzerland on April 14, 2013.

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