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Pablo Diserens

Turning Porous (12'')

Label: Forms of Minutiae

Format: 12''

Genre: Sound Art

Preorder: Releases May 31st, 2024

As part of the upcoming solo exhibition and publication “on becoming amphibian”, forms of minutiae and Galería Vilaseco present "turning porous", a gathering of amphibious and hydrographic acoustics by field recordist, artist, and forms of minutiae’s co-founder Pablo Diserens.

*200 copies limited edition* Invited to live and work for a two-month period in Galicia, the verdant region of Spain’s northwest, Pablo Diserens spent days and nights inhabiting the region’s freshwaters in the hope of merging with the local amphibian communities. All ears, they adopted a series of listening postures while deploying a range of visual and sound recording techniques. Gradually dissolving in the herpetofauna, Diserens toyed with the boundaries of human experience by engaging in somatic play and perceptual reframing. This resulted in an altered sensing of the present as existence funneled through embodied amphibious realities. The subsequent exhibition and publication “on becoming amphibian” and the album “turning porous” form a body of work that reflects this permeable morphing while inviting listeners into the vulnerable soundscapes of Galicia’s aqueous ecologies.

Over the course of six tracks, anuran calls, insect stridulations, bat clicks, avian songs, hydroelectric hums, and wind-borne tones occur. Frog recordings and dronesque soundscape compositions alternate, drawing us into the sonic intricacies of the region’s ponds and rivers while hinting at site-specific musics. Closeness is felt throughout, as tracks bear a sense of intimate positioning flirting with physical contact.

Enamored with frogs and concerned with their well-being, Diserens gives the stage to the anuran world. Amphibians are known as indicator species. Their health and extreme sensitivity to environmental changes speak volumes on the state of the planet. So much so that their presence (or lack of) can be used to monitor the health of a habitat. “alytes” opens the album with the deliciously minute calls of common midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) recorded on the slopes of the Rio Miño. Placed extremely close to the toads, microphones pick up prudent nocturnal pings intertwining over time into a delicate tonal tapestry. A bewitching music of some sort. Aptly named, the two “herpetophonics” tickle the ears and dilate the pores as the boisterous calls of Iberian water frogs (Pelophylax perezi) and Iberian tree frogs (Hyla molleri) radiate from former quarries. As listeners melt in these aroused soundscapes, pings, ribbits and chirps swell with hints of meaning as if we began to fathom and hear them as a language — an anuran semantic.

“riparian zone” paints a portrait of the Rio Miño by merging animal voices and anthropogenic vibrations heard along the river’s slopes. In a quasi-circadian curvature, alytes, crickets, grasshoppers, bats and birds merge into a polyrhythmic soundscape made of clicks, pings, and zips. These are cushioned by the dronesque confluence of murmuring insects and the static hums of a dam’s hydroelectric plant—which tonal resonances gradually shift as the microphones move closer and away from the drone’s source. Throughout the track, non-human presences ebb and flow from the constant buzz of the hydraulic technologies scarring the landscape. As dusk reaches dawn, a bird reclaims the foreground by attacking the microphones and giving way to the gripping clatter of storks. [...]

Cat. number: f-o-m 11
Year: 2024