John Duncan & Paolo Parisi
Conservatory (San Sebastiano)
All Questions / Maschietto Editore

Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $42.00

John Duncan has long privileged collaborations, declaring that "exchanges of experiences with others are essential" for him to produce within the sonic laboratory that has offered so many exceptional recordings of provocation and seduction. In 2005, Duncan received a commission from the Italian artist Paolo Parisi for a sound component to complement a pending installation for brightly coloured plastic tubes and eviscerated cardboard sentry houses. Throughout his career, Duncan has been known for his use of shortwave radio sounds as the springboard for his psychologically intense compositions; but slowly, he has been introducing the human voice into his pantheon of sound sources. For Conservatory, voice is the only source he is using, in particular he's amplifying and stretching the gasps, wheezes, and hisses that occur during the act of breathing. Through his manipulation of these sounds, Duncan cultivates a vast network of gaping blasts of air that collectively build into a ghastly, frigid drone emanating from a unscrupulous cryogenics laboratory. The 64 page book that accompanies Duncan's CD mainly focuses upon Parisi's methods and concepts, with plenty of images for those who did not get the opportunity to witness the installation to fill in the blanks.