John Duncan & Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Our Telluric Conversation
23five, Inc.
CD

Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $18.00

Press Release:

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 era.

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 of Elgaland-Vargaland.