||John Duncan &
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Our Telluric Conversation
Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $18.00
23five Incorporated proudly presents Our Telluric
Conversation -- the second collaborative album from
John Duncan and Carl Michael von Hausswolff. This is an
album which Duncan describes as having been galvanized
by magnetism. In a semantic sleight of hand, Duncan and
Hausswolff reveal magnetism through a duality of meanings.
One on hand, they speak of the physical phenomenon of
charged objects that exert an attraction or repulsion
upon other objects; yet on the other, magnetism can be
defined the psychological influence wielded by charismatic
individuals. Our Telluric Conversation maps out
the complexities that emerged through the collaborative
pursuits of these venerated sound artists.
The tools that the two employed for Our Telluric Conversation
are common to their respective catalogues of recordings,
with Duncan bringing his shortwave, data streams, and
uncanny use of the human voice while Hausswolff employed
oscillators, sonar, and wire tapping microphones. The
album opens with the mechanical rotation of modulated
sonar, providing a hypnotic pulse which slowly submits
to an obstinate surge of rumbling noise, that in turn
collapses into focused white-noise turbulence and tone-bent
SSB transmissions. All of this abruptly detours with a
protracted spoken narrative from Hausswolff who whispers
a Pynchonesque text about a maggot-infested individual
who seeks to remedy his affliction by communing with cobras
and geckoes. Afterwards, Duncan and Hausswolff entertain
the seduction of the long-form drone constructions; however,
their sublime minimalism is so brilliant in its beauty
as to be piercingly acute through the purity of honed
sinewaves. The final entry from their Conversation is
the perfect marriage of the established Duncan and Hausswolff
aesthetics, with a spare low-frequency hum deadening the
sonic architecture before a static charge of crackled
ether supplements the auditory smoldering.
Our Telluric Conversation stands as a bold, expressive
piece of sound art, confident in its multiplicity of perspectives
caught in a constant flux of attraction and repulsion.
The recording comes with a 40 page booklet with an interview
between Duncan and Hausswolff about their histories, ideas,
and methodologies; furthermore, the packaging is completed
by a curiously tactile O-card, which has been embossed
with braille and covered with a rubbery coating.
For almost a quarter century, John Duncan has constructed
a radical body of sonic provocation through noise, field
recordings, installation, and perhaps most notably shortwave.
His interests have long been grounded in the psychological
implications of sound, and how it has the ability to bring
ecstasy, hostility, empathy, abjection, etc. to the listener.
Always questioning himself and the world around him, Duncan
remains one of the most dynamic artists of the contemporary
Carl Michael von Hausswolff is a Swedish composer currently
working in Stockholm. His work involves studies of electricity,
frequency, intonation and even paranormal activities within
the framework of a challenging conceptual ideology of
sound. Hausswolff's audiovisual installations have been
shown at biennials in Istanbul and Johannesburg, and his
music has been performed throughout Europe and North America.
He is also co-monarch (with Leif Elggren) of the Kingdoms