1883 Magazine

On May 24th, Rosenfeld Porcini will launch a cultural programme featuring an innovative and experimental approach to the arts; each month the gallery will stage a series of performative events, debates and conferences to engage the public, academics, artists and professionals in a discussion about contemporary art.

For the launch event, Rosenfeld Porcini will host an exclusive performance from Belgian-born experimental sound artist Raymond Delepierre. Divided into four segments for a total of 60 minutes, and incorporating acoustic loops and video projection, the performance will employ uncommon sound associations, emphasized by simple actions in order to create unique emotional responses to the artist’s observations of reality and silence.

1883 caught up with Raymond Delepierre to talk about his upcoming show.

Raymond Delepierre's Electro Equipement

When did your interest in sound art first emerge?

Without applying the words “sound art” on my newly born desire to experiment, it was in 1971 at the age of 8 that I began to tune sound with radios. I would place several radios against each other and make them work together. I would then search for rogue frequencies and transmission rhythms in the range of medium and long sound waves (MW, LW) at the beginning and end of the Hertzian band. By very slowly tuning the radio dial, I could pass from one sonority to the other. I tried proposing personal interpretations of this invisible world I was discovering by making it palpable and movable. These experimentations later brought me to associate sounds recorded on K7 audio in order to create buzz and humm sounds, frequencies captured on the ballasts of fluorescent lamps. Much later I began to incorporate audible traces of the family house’s activity into these experiments. At 13, I bought at an antique a vinyl titled Electronic and Percussion by Max Neuhaus, a French edition from 1968 of a disc opening on a piece of Earle Brown, Four Systems – For 4 Amplified Cymbals. I was immediately intrigued by the sonorities of these cymbals. I had no previous knowledge of such fascinating musical forms. This was an invitation to dive right at the heart of the matter. The extended harmonies were making me forget all about the movement of the instrumentalist Max Neuhaus. These cymbals had their own existence, an autonomous body. I still own this disc, which ends with the Fontana Mix of John Cage.

Can you walk us a bit through your creative process?

In my creative process I become a “sound’s ferryman”. The random encounters with my environment in particular spark my desire to develop new audible propositions. The materials worked need to be issued from the every day in order to create an exception in simplicity. There is no – or barely any – electronic transformation. Only auditory observation, a capture of sound (live or deferred), out of the initial context of diffusion, and listening in order to share my observation. I need matter I can investigate, that I am not familiar with, matter to decompose, to make evolve, which stimulates, regenerates, renews and reinvents itself in order for me to build with it a musicality of the ordinary life. This allows me to create masses, knots and bumps, crossings, arithmetical formulations of sounds, evolving beats, bodily vibrations, time distortions. And finally, there is the tuning of sonorities which I create, my “letting go” over matter; this makes the result unpredictable and emotional. Organic.

What artists inspire you the most at the moment?

In the field of sound, one person feeds my thoughts towards simplicity: Nicholas Collins. Nicholas Collins works on hacking electronic objects in order to present new sound usages. He has been for some time a guide for many of us in the field of sound. He has inspired my work with his effervescent discs placed in water. I am also interested in Pali Meursault’s sound work, in Dawn Scarfe’s poetical propositions, and also in the very singular naturalistic approach of Chris Watson (ex Cabaret Voltaire).

Raymond Delepierre - details Pipe Organoon - Gand 13

Can you tell us more about your upcoming performance at Rosenfeld Porcini?

This performance is almost an improvisation, very unpredictable. I will produce part of the work when I arrive in London. I am capturing sounds, voices, noises. I will associate and filter them in order to give them a group life and diffuse them out of their original context. I am looking for small objects in places I go through, in the city, objects that could perhaps be integrated into my new environment. During the performance, I will place them, at the right moment, on my vibrating table composed of metallic stems from a toy piano. These stems are brought to resonate through the use of electromagnetic generators. This creates deep sonorities that enrich the sound composition I am working on during the performance. A new thing for me, is to integrate a visual aspect to my performance. The goal is not to synchronize sound and image but only to offer a visual environment complementary to the sounds which belong to a universe of infinitely small fragments, the microscopic crop of a detail – I am thinking of the large ear shots at the opening of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet movie.

Your work primarily aims to “dematerialise the daily object”; can you explain?

To dematerialise the every day object can also be translated more simply by the idea of erasing initial references in order to create a new vision – in my case, seeing is hearing. The microscopic and sometimes parasitical part of matter interests me. I like to propose listening as an autonomous living entity. I work with very affordable sound captors (piezo microphones, electro magnetic captors) stuck or hidden in matter itself; this allows me to capture internal acoustic pressures and make them audible. This simple technique of capturing sound allows me to isolate certain sonorities and to magnify them in the space of performance.

As a last question, what does the future hold for you? What’s next on your agenda after POINT.0?

I have many ideas… One of them could be based on the capture of sound vibrations on highway bridges as well as the rhythm of continuity being constantly broken on roads (metronomique). My next project this summer will be based on the creation of a “symphony for underground insects” buried deep under our feet like worms and ants. A small excerpt will be available on May 24th. This work is also an invitation to listen to the infinitely small by making it bigger than ourselves.

Raymond Delepierre - Echo Choir

The performance will begin at 7.30pm, May 24th, at Rosenfeld Porcini 37 Rathbone Street, London W1T 1NZ, and will last 60 minutes – 4 segments of 15 min with intermissions. Tickets : £5 – advance booking recommended http://point0rpgallery.eventbrite.co.uk


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