Wednesday 10 April 2019

Live at Fort Process Cdr - The Wire April 2019

Slow Listener
Live at Fort Process
Chocolate Monk Cd-r

Capturing sounds from a site-specific performance for physical (or digital) release may seem like a scanty sonic shadow of an event built around presence and place.
Yet as this set from the Fort Process festival shows, such recordings can also offer a new incarnation for the work, with the absence of the original site inviting listeners separated by time and geography to restage the event in their own imaginative spaces.
Slow Listener is the alias of Robin Dickinson, resident in Newhaven, East Sussex. Like many of the other performances and installations at Fort Process, Dickinson’s 2018 set responds to the architecture and history of the festival venue, the town’s 19th century fort. Built into a hill at the mouth of the river Ouse, it’s original purpose as a defence for the East Sussex port town continued through two world wars, with subsequent years of disuse followed by renovation as a museum.
Such decades of age and neglect weigh heavily on the samples taken around the site that open Slow Listener’s set. Although there’s no sense of the live ambience itself here, the lingering reverb accompanying each scrape and clank of metal against stone evokes spaces and surfaces richly charged with history. Layered and panned, the low moans and grumbles build to a pattern that Dickinson says in his sleevenotes may resemble the building’s breath, but which also echo the motion of sea waves. Yet the rhythm remains unstable and disrupted by glitchy edits, establishing a pervasive undercurrent of disquiet.
Previous Slow Listener releases summoned blurry, ambiguous imagery from murky samples and degraded tapes. Here, the pitches start to warp and rise, taking on a tremulous vocal quality, yet hovering in an undefinable zone between building and occupant. Eventually, the human realm dominates as the tones sharpen into Morse code-like pulses and the measured cadences of the BBC’s Shipping Forecast emerge. Although an almost overfamiliar reference point, sampled by everyone from The Prodigy to Manfred Mann, the forecast’s use here resonates with Newhaven fort’s location: on boundaries of land and sea, of inward protection and outward surveillance, a node of reassurance and tension, waiting and breathing.
Abi Bliss
The Wire April 2019

Thursday 31 January 2019

Live at Fort Process Chocolate Monk cdr streaming on Bandcamp

I've just put the full album on Bandcamp to stream while the cdr is still in print.
This was my first attempt at a site specific set, which is one long piece designed to work in Newhaven's 19th Century fort. The first section is using recordings I made around the fort a couple of weeks before, which to me sounded like the old fort breathing and wheezing in its old age, but maybe that's just me. The second part comes from imagining the soldiers sitting there during the war listening to the radio and waiting.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

New "Live at Fort Process" CDR on Chocolate Monk

I'm really pleased to have my Live at Fort Process set released as part of Chocolate Monk's last batch of 2018.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Two short clips from my performance at Fort Process Festival 2018

Live at Splitting the Atom XLII, The Green Door Store, Brighton, 08.04.2018

Thanks to Agata Urbaniak for the film

Monday 27 August 2018

Fort Process 2018

I'm really pleased to be performing sets in two different parts of Newhaven fort for the Fort Process festival this year.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

No News is good news Slow Listener still lives!?!

         live at Spirit of Gravity 2017