Thursday, 23 September 2010

new release - Ben Owen '05012009 FP'

ben owen - 05012009 FP
CDr and 3 letterpress printed insert cards
edition: 50

1. two pipes 2 14:24
2. walk wind rain 06:25
3. ceiling mid level 2 22:48
4. in hull 17:23

to listen to excepts click here

firstly, this release (as with all the seasonal & winds measure label releases) is quite simply a work of art. The letterpress cards that make up the physical aspect of this are a joy to look at. I have long since wondered about the reality of the art worlds interest in sound & given that this release is limited to 50 copies & indeed that most releases of sound / musical art are limited & rarely sell more than a couple of hundred copies, it does rather reveal the fact that this area of the arts is not taken as seriously or is as valued as work in other media. Can you imagine a limited edition print by any contemporary visual artist selling for $14 ? does rather make a farce of the art worlds claim to have taken sound to it's heart. Still what can you expect from folks who by & large have an appallingly mainstream taste in music & little, if any interest in experimental forms.

So, back to this cracker of a release by Ben Owen. The four recordings were made on the frying pan light ship on the Hudson River, New York & as one might expect there are creaks & groans of the water bound metal as it is constantly shifted by the tides. There are strange, ghostly howls on 'two pipes' & a lull of trapped water on 'in hull'.

Clocking in at just under 62 minutes, what one gets with this work of art is a simple & clear impression of being in the water, but stuck, unable to move & anchored. The skills Ben has employed in leaving the recordings to speak for themselves, in the choices of location & duration of each track have resulted in a very fine work indeed. To be honest, given that I am so heavily involved with field recording I have long since grown tired of recordings that seem to be attempting to say more about the artists idea of how to be an artist rather than their interest in & enjoyment of the sounds they are capturing & for me this release adds to the proof of the value in that creative standpoint.

Buy it while you can ! & remember you've just bought a genuine work of art for next to nothing & in so doing have also supported Ben's on going series of releases on the two excellent imprints he runs.

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