book 01

ogg/flac, 2009, moka bar, recorded in shanghai, september 2009

A improvisation with my book instrument.

download link: olaf hochherz – book 01 (flac, ogg)



Review by Richard Pinell:

Book 01 is the title of the download, which is available from Tim Blechmann’s Moka bar net label here. Regular readers might remember how taken I was with Blechmann’s duo work with Hochherz, one example of which can be downloaded from the same link above. This release contains a single twenty-three minute long track recorded using piezo contact mics and a book. Which book I am not sure, but that doesn’t matter. The music then is very quiet, consisting mainly of small squeaks and splutters of sound that very very gradually grow in volume and intensity as the piece progresses, but even at their height require the volume dial turned up to make much sense of them. Otherwise we hear a continual background hiss which reveals itself to be more detailed than pure white noise if you hike the volume right up, and occasional pops and clicks that may or may not be intentional.

It is the question of intent vs accident or incident that interest me in this release. As a straight piece of music it is fine, a nice little study in small sounds, particularly good to listen to if someone is hoovering downstairs at the same time, as happened for one of my listens this morning. The way the small sounds disappear into the every day background, or the way sounds from outside the CD player seem to appear in the music is particularly interesting on this release. Only bringing the volume right up brings some clarification to this. How much of what we hear though is deliberate? As the music consists of little more than hisses and splutters early on, a few random pops appear at a higher volume.  Are these deliberate? Or just the result of working with a vaguely precarious method of making sounds?  Does any of this matter? Would a particularly loud pop sound out of place and be deemed unacceptable?

Sorry for all the questions. I am not so sure that this is a particularly conceptually driven release, it does after all stand up as interesting detailed music in its own right, but I do find myself wondering about these things. Should I be analysing every little scratch and tremble in the music. Do they matter? The relationship of the book to the whole  thing intrigues me as well. perhaps because I began reading the Noise and Capitalism book today as well, a work that seems to relate to this music in more than one way, even if only in my head. As it is free, I’m interested in others’ thoughts on this release, let me know if you give it a listen.