Brandon LaBelle - Music on a Short Thin Wire CD
Being approached by Ground Fault to produce a CD led me to wonder what I would do: I surveyed various scraps of recordings around the house, things left over or half-finished, and speculated on possible scenarios, structures, and approaches. This process of selecting what to release and make audible to a wider audience is a process not only of 'making music', but also of 'contextualizing' oneself; the record label functions to disseminate one's work through its own structure acting as a vehicle that aids in determining the placement and identification of a work. This extends past distribution or packaging -- the label functions to 'identify' one's music according to the labels own identity, history, and interests, and further, to announce it as worthy of cultural attention. This question of context influenced my decision to focus on the Ground Fault label itself as the very source of my own release. Basically, I wanted to use the context, and the very works that have been produced through that context, in creating a work, so as to somehow 'sympathetically undermine' the label as a determining force by allowing it to forcefully determine the musical process. Each track of "music on a short thin wire" was produced by using two of the first eight CD releases by Ground Fault Recordings. Chosing the discs in order of their release dates, I played two CDs simultaneously through separate players, and separate channels, splitting the CDs to a single speaker (one CD left, the other right). Using the speakers themselves as the main sound source -- the paper cone -- I attached short thin copper wires to their surfaces. I then attached the other end of the wires directly to contact microphones. Playing the CDs activated the speakers, and in turn caused the wires to vibrate. These vibrations in essence are direct "sympathetic" translations of the dynamic fluctuations of the music being played, though respond quite erratically. The following tracks are excerpts from these recordings; each track refers to two specific CDs.