Narrow Angle
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TitelNarrow Angle
Concrete sound recordings made between September 2005 and January 2006 in Taiwan, an island with three names. Composed 2007-9 "During the last ten years I occasionally recorded at subway trains and stations in various places, but in A Narrow Angle: Taipei Metro Easycard 500 NT$ I focused on a very particular aspect encountered in the Taipei Metro (hence 'narrow angle'). This piece is the second of three parts: part one focuses on recordings from crowded urban game parlours; part three on recordings from around a Taoist temple at the edge of the forest north of Taipei. A Narrow Angle: Taipei Metro Easycard 500 NT$ is based on recordings of the sounds of automated barriers in several Taipei Metro stations, specifically when passengers activate them with their electronic tickets (Easycards). Two different signals can be distinguished: a tone (sine wave) when there is sufficient credit charge on the card and entrance is granted, and a squeak (sawtooth wave) which notifies the passenger when the card needs to be recharged. Within groups of barriers the beeping tones are slightly detuned (which also depends on the position of the listener). Thus, a shifting microtonal play of varying density results. This is mostly noticed during rush hours, and clearly stands out from the shuffling noise of the large masses of commuters." Two days in a different city, its skyline a bit worn down, with traces of recent fires, warped plastic façade elements flaking off buildings, a burnt out KTV sign at the top of a rotten concrete tower. Walking down the street with an artist friend, we come across a peculiar kind of shop, its name alluding to a 'Magic Mushroom'. Through the window we can see a number of machines, their unfamiliar elements suggesting an obscure purpose. We enter to check out what the place actually offers and are greeted by a middle-aged man in a white laboratory coat. In answer to my friend's mocking questions he explains to her (and she translates to me) that he uses a unique magic mushroom to heal any problems in your body. To channel and accentuate the energy present in the (dried) mushroom, he uses some computer chips. The chips are stuck into the meat of the mushroom, and the resulting bio-cybernetic chimeras are embedded into resin. Excerpt from The Mushroom, one of the five texts accompanying A Narrow Angle First edition of 300 copies (label info)
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