I had the great pleasure in getting in a DVD this year that has taken awhile to process but something that I have really enjoyed experiencing. This film is the documentary of a sub section in China’s noise music community from directors Guy-Marc Hinant and Dominique Lohle and is appropriately called Fuck You: Fucking Noise In China Now. Shot in hopes to capture a revolution in sound taking place in the midst of cultural oppression of the leftest of fields, the directors were stunned yet humbled when realizing how normal and removed from this reality many of the noise musicians in China are. The idea of even calling their music noise is repulsive to some and shows an age where expression, creativity and the removal of strife in history overpowers a new generation to purely create in the name of creation itself. In a world where history has repeated itself, those who are the creators in the name of creation break this rule and truly give something new to this world.
Shot in Beijing and Shanghai in April of 2006, Fuck You is shot in a very interesting style with a multitude of camera lens’ used and editing components added in. It’s filming that is constantly moving in motion with the experience, capturing very odd elements from each artists in the most unusual aesthetic forms. It’s as if the camera crew become a part of the experience or captivated by the experience so much that institution techniques took a back seat to something more free, spontaneous and in the moment.
With around half a dozen main voices of China’s noise community examined in performance and with exclusive interviews, the range and ideology behind each of these voices is respectfully different. The music having so much freedom is what really pulls back the veil and connects all the dots into how this form of music has thrived in what was once an extremely oppressive state. When I watch a film like this, I understand exactly where the older artists are coming from in their concept of revolution through sound and I also understand the younger ones who just want to create what they feel is beautiful. It’s this balance that shows the true integrity of what noise music is and the vats network of sub communities it allows into the sense of what the whole equation is. Fuck You is a film I stand by and something that has opened up my eyes to how generations can evolve and heal in different ways, removing trappings of anger through history that has kept the world on repeat for thousands of years. In my eyes, the film makers actually achieved their goal: To find artists who had elevated beyond a cultural connection of an archaic past and had wiped the slate clean to express themselves into properties beyond human influence. The revolution has really begun. They are the voices of China’s movement of artists who are connected to a grid that extends far beyond the country’s borders.
Order a copy from Sub Rosa here: http://subrosa.itcmedia.net/en/catalogue/dvd/fuck-you.html;jsessionid=002607B431718E78925E0D6E9415C5E5
When I first caught wind of the new LP Architecture of Loss from producer, engineer and composer Valgeir Sigurdsson, I knew I would be in for a treat. As a member of an impressive group of musicians whose home turf of Iceland presents an entirely different scope and vision towards music, the attention to detail and space Valgeir Sigurdsson utilizes is stunning. It’s not always what you play and normally is what you don’t and Valgeir Sigurdsson has come to conceptual terms and application of this concept towards sound in a truly unique and unparalleled way. Architecture of Loss is a very special release as it was first designed and composed for ballet of the same name from Stephen Petronio than it was bought back into the form of an album all on its own. Releasing with the imprint Bedroom Community, this CD and LP release of Architecture of Loss will surely bring something new to the world that all fans of music ranging from classical to experimental can appreciate and love.
Architecture of Loss is designed in many forms, leaving a slightly different imprint from track to track. This is achieved largely in part from multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and violist Nadia Sirota as they paint a large amount of the tonal identity that comes forth from each piece. Composer and keyboard player Nico Muhly is the additional contributor to this album, adding in another dimension of sound that becomes the backdrop and scenery for the rest of the instrumentalists to layer on top of.
This is a gorgeous album, showing how soundscapes, experimentalism and deep modal classical musings can be exchanged side by side for hair raising sounds of another world. The music breathes in huge cycles and waves, only allowing the energy levels to exceed past calm and subdued degrees in small pockets of the album. This restrain causes a very beautiful release of tension when those moments come. The end of “Between Moments” is a really good example of this. Percussion enters into the piece and their is a menacing vibe that takes over. It’s a shift in dynamics only the best at their instruments can achieve. Just as quickly as it came forth, it dissipates into the wind and the spaces with no sound become more prominent again. “Reverse Erased” is another great example of the tension being released and the music becoming enlarged on contact. It’s stunning to experience this song climax in dynamic with a digital and analog presence both felt simultaneously.
As a reprocessed piece of art that was redesigned more than once for the music release, Architecture of Loss includes a track that wasn’t present for the ballet, the ending piece “Gone Not Forgotten”. It ends the record on a perfect note with a cinematic presence that gives the album a really sophisticated way to say goodbye. The piece is minimal but displays a large amount of emotion through each sound you hear. Viola is stunning and the matrix of sound behind sends the music into another hemisphere. You hear small traces of music foundations from a very distant time along with the futuristic abstract forms of sound that can only be created today.
Architecture of Loss is one of those records that requires all of your attention with rewards that are well worth the energy dedicated to it. As one of NPR’s 2011 “Top Composers Under 40″, Valgeir Sigurdsson creates music to stand the test of time and to further cement this generations vast achievements and legacy in sound. Architecture of Loss is only further proof of this reality and is a bright moment for the music community at large.
Order this album from Bedroom Community here: http://www.bedroomcommunity.net/releases/architecture_of_loss