hand cut bottles, sound composition, 20 audio speakers, electronics, plywood base, ash
From Steve Roden’s website inbetweennoise
duet (your magnetic ashes) began with the discovery of an old cassette tape of a rehearsal of my high school punk rock band (seditionaries) during high school, circa 1980. a few months after discovering the cassette, i got a phone call out of the blue, telling me that the guitar player, dave bornstein, had died. we had lost touch around 1983, and i hadn’t spoken to him in over 20 years.
after listening to the cassette (with a renewed sense of time and loss), i decided to take some of the moments where dave was playing by himself – tuning, noodling, playing riffs and exploring the instrument…
because these moments were so intimate, i decided to use the recordings of those solo moments as source material to create this work using fragments of his guitar sounds. usually when i work with existing recordings i simply manipulate the sounds via guitar pedals, tape modulation, etc.; but in this case, there was a need on my part to participate more deeply, leading me to create new sounds on my own guitar – so that these two voices – his and mine – were able to play together… and so i after creating a track with processed sounds of his recordings, i played guitar along with him – hence the title…”duet”.
of course, one can hear that all of the guitar sounds (both his and mind), have been processed, mainly by eliminating their attacks so that they would be more ethereal, as a kind of “after sound”, enhanced by the use of various analog electronics, pitch shift, and fragmentation. in the end, the sound becomes a fragile presence is meant to be played quietly – sound hovering in space as a kind of memory.
the glass bottles were hand cut and the bits of soot and ash are from the cutting process evoking a kind of alchemy and/or spirit. the delicate nature of the glass objects, cut roughly by my own hand is an attempt to offer an experience of intimacy and mediation on memory.
exhibited in a room with ever changing sunlight, the colored shadows of the sun moving through the glass from different points in the sky, creating visual forms that were constantly shifting in reaction to the sun as if the work itself was alive… yet in the end, the work exists as a meditation on life and death, on the movement of time, and memory, as well as an offering and memorial to a very dear departed friend.