We are London based collaborative artists. We first met at university where although having shared interests our practices were separate. Our first collaboration manifested as a band, with the music we made having connections to the sculpture and installations we we’re making individually.
We make music in the same way we make sculpture, with the same formal concerns. Our first sculptural collaboration was an attempt to represent sound physically, In the same way as a score or notated music. We want the work to suggest presence through absence, to give a feeling of the ‘other’. Taking as an example John Cage’s 4:33, what interests us about this piece is its frame work. It has a beginning and an end. The piano lid is opened and then closed. This framing of nothingness is what we explore in our own work. Negative space for us has the same physicality as the walls, the ceiling, the floor, It's a material as tangible as clay.
On our sound:
Last year we released an album, It is a self produced album of 7 tracks. We see the tracks as more sculptural, in the way the compositions play with foreground and background. We have worked on making the music feel more immersive as if you have entered a space and the landscape is being described to you. Also even though there is a 'sound' to the album we have tried to make each song its own, each one is its own contained world.
We make songs like you would a sketch, sometimes starting with a basic structure and slowing building or editing until something forms that feels complete. So the composition becomes an organic process of experimenting... and also balance, how one part sits with another. The idea of balance, I would say is the most important factor to our sound. There is always a very melancholic tone to the music we make. I would also say it is the hardest tone to make. Your trying to find a mid point, between a happy tone and a sad one. Its also how I believe the music has this other worldly feel, Its always in-between, it can't be placed, its never fixed.
When I tell people we have been making music, the first thing they ask me is, what does it sound like? I usually say like a soundscape, which is true, but really I think it sounds like us. It feels like everything we have done so far, from running a gallery, to performing, making sculptures and installations have led us to this point. Our initial intention when we decided to make a album was to make something different, to push ourselves further, and to take a risk. Now we are starting to have some distance from it, and are able to process it, I can see the connections. We have made a sculpture with sound, which is in fact what we’ve always been doing. I guess with our past sculptures the ‘sound’ was a silent one, the sound or non sound acting as an absence. By framing that absence you create a tension, this tension is felt. It was an attempt at giving a physicality to that which is ephemeral.
That brings me back to our music. Maybe the difference would be with music we start from nothing, a blank canvas. We have no starting point. So like a painter might put a wash over a canvas we might begin by added something simple and abstract, a way of killing the white. Somewhere in this early stage there might be a section we find interesting and can be taken further, refining what started as an experiment. That might then become another starting point, allowing the end of this section to trail off again into something new, then repeating the same process. A way of building through layering. In this way we never know what the track will be, It finds us before we find it.
I would say we spent three years making the album from scratch. Working full time which gave us a bit more freedom financially to slowly buy the equipment we needed. Working weekends and evenings on our album. We now essentially have a home recording studio, a studio with in a studio. We spent two of those years figuring out what kind of sound we wanted to make. We made around two albums worth of material in what was a long process. The seven songs we chose for the album we actually made in the final six months. So the album itself was actually made relatively quickly considering the work that is in them. That was only possible due to the ground work we had put in before.
The tracks on the album are in the order that we made them. What you hear at the beginning of the album I would say is much more structured. The structure of the tracks feels more rigid, as the album progresses the sounds become much more gestural, sculptural. Towards the end there are moments that are completely structure-less, the sound becoming waves rather than blocks. This is what has really clicked for us as an art form. We have realised how sculptural sound can be, and how using the technology that we are you can really mould the sound. It feels like a process of finding a weight in something that is transient. I feel like I haven't heard anything that sounds like the music we have made, which I’m only saying because I feel like we are thinking about sound in a different way. I think there is a energy in what we are doing, we really want to take it as far as we can.
We are currently half way through making a second album, a continuation on from where we left the first one. Our idea at the moment is to make make three albums, forming a trilogy, that has a beginning and an end.
- 'We are using your language to communicate' debut album, The British Sound Archive, British Library, 2016.
- Micro Talks, Sluice, Campbell Works, November, 2016
- Diversity of practise, Havering University, April, 2016
- Critical Practise, University of Kent, 2012
- Stale Air, in a Room, before Motion, SE8 Gallery, London, 2017.
- A gesture to 'the Other' August 2013.
- To solidify a negative space, the magnifcent basement, London, 2011
- A poor kind of future, SHIFT, London 2010
- Lights out listening group, Superstition, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, August, 2016
- Lights out listening group, Shona Island, December 2015
- Exchange project, part three (Oblique Exchange) Apt Gallery, September, 2013
- Multiplied Art Fair, Hosted by Christies, October, 2013
- JT Project, James Taylor Gallery, London, 2010
- Five years gallery, London, 2010
- Unwanted sights and sounds, e.t.c gallery, hackney, 2009
- Anon, whitechapel, 2008
- The red painting, gallery 52a, regent studios, london, 2008
- Twelve steps down, shorditch town hall, london 2008
- ARTLICKS Annual, ICA, 2012
- LUPA, 2012
- Acoustic Sessions, Angus Hughes Gallery, 2011
- SUPERNORMAL Festival, 2010
- 100 CLUB, 2010
- This Happy Band, Nunhead arts festival, 2009
- White record Release, part 1 & 2, the george tavern, 2009
- Bow Arts Trust, 2009
- Degree show after party, 2009
- Wilmington Arms, 2009
- Kurious music klub, 2009
- Disolvenza, The Hub, 2009
- Montague arms, 2009
- uniform, The Hub, w/ Martin Creed
- Art Jam, 2008
- catch22, 2008
- It Happend Here, The Rhythm Factory, 2008
- Vibe bar, 2008
- Gibbos bar, 2008
- The Hub, 2008
- SHIFT. 2009 to 2012
- SLUICE artfair, London 2011
- BATS II, Mile End Pavilion, London,
- Acoustic sessions, Angus-Hughes Gallery, London, 2011
- Station Magazine, 2012
- Braziers Artist International Workshop 2010
- Owen Rowley Award, London Metropolitan University 2008
- Ellen Clarkson Award, London Metropolitan University 2007