Saturday, May 30, 2020
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Artist: Richard Chartier (@)
Title: Interior Field
Format: CD
Label: Line (@)
Rated: *****
Originally presented as an audio installation in 2012 at the center gallery of Civilian Art Projects, an art gallery in Washington DC, "Interior Field" is a multi-channel sound work that renowned American sound-artist Richard Chartier, who can be considered a sort of tightrope walker between silence and sound as he seems to focus on the threshold of perception by his intriguing releases and installations, assembled from field recordings of a number of small and large spaces he explored by means of contact mics around the world. His peculiar approach to sound, which persuaded many followers of the genre to consider him a key figure of the so-called reductionist microsound electronic music, a branch of minimalism where properly musical elements got somehow hidden or gradually emerge from found sounds or field recordings, so that the consequent engaging listening experience requires concentration and manages to channelize a conscious involvement into it. This stereophonic adaptation confirms Chartier's good reputation and his strategy to pull music out from his palette of sonic captures: the first of the two parts this 65-minutes lasting work has been splitted is a perfect assay of the above-mentioned reductionist approach as after a number of immersive and sinuous twines of droning field recordings, sine waves and magnetic hissing, Richard subtly achieves an almost celestial tone, while on the second half, which features some binaural recordings at the McMillan Sand Filtration Site in Washington DC, an impressive historical site, built in 1905, whose characteristic acoustic properties come from its diagram and the catacomb-like underground cells and sand filters for water from the Potomac River, musical elements (mainly more or less stretched single tones) sound like crawlind and fading over the cryptic sonic grid that a rainstorm caused inside this site where Richard awaited together with his mics.