Clould cover

Marc BehrensClould

Crónica 220 CD

Release: 25 June 2024

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  1. Clould (1st Movement)
  2. Clould (2nd Movement)
  3. Clould (3rd Movement)
  4. Clould (4th Movement)
  5. Clould (5th Movement)

The title Clould convolutes the words cloud, hinting at humankind’s fascination of supposed supernatural beings that lived in clouds or created them, and could, a potentiality. Historical mythologies are placed in the context of 21st century airborne mass transport that propels large groups of human beings — passive by force — through a space that once belonged to mythological beings and energies. And to the clouds, of course. The Clould cycle of electroacoustic music pieces and its preamble Aiear together consist of 95 minutes of music, five microstories, the libretto for its fifth movement, a number of aerial photographs and text charts, and a performance concept including the first three movements. This CD features the complete five movements of Clould, composed between 2011 and 2023.

Clould is composed with sounds from inside airplanes and airports recorded in various ways: from the check-in luggage, with electromagnetic sensors, from the onboard entertainment system, or just straight with normal mics. Voice recordings from in-flight announcements have been processed until machinic chimeras appear — the ultimate disembodied voice. By fragmenting such recordings down into individual syllables and recompiling them into new, sometimes unintelligible fantasy sequences of various interconnected and orchestrated voices, phantom words and sentences can be heard. As the Clould cycle is based on an English language understanding, a libretto-style transcription of the final 5th Movement reveals English words and onomatopoetic exclamations. This dedicated system very loosely refers to the concept of bījamantra (or bījākṣara: seed syllable) used in Tantric Hinduism and Buddhist Mysticism, in which certain syllables, like “oṃ” for example, contain sonic essences that make manifestations of a certain element, entity, or deity.

Music, images and text by Marc Behrens. Original sound and voice recordings made during, before and after 36 passenger flights between 2005 and 2014, and in 2023. Human voice models culled from naturalreaders and fromtexttospeech, both dotcom. Some airplane ding recordings culled from freesound, dotcom, licensed under CC0. Choir on track 1 recorded 1990 with Ho. Turner at Johanneskirche, Darmstadt. Tracks 1–4 composed and produced 2011–2013, track 5 in 2023 during a fellowship from the German Musikfonds (NEUSTART KULTUR). Tracks 1, 3 and 4 premiered in September 2011 at Culturgest, Lisboa; track 2 in November 2013 at Crónica 10° Aniversário at Salão Brazil, Coimbra; track 5 in September 2023 at Audition 10, an outdoor collective listening experience at ex-Messel US. Rifle Range, Germany. Track 2 was previously released on DEGEM CD XV (Edition DEGEM, 2017). Airport runway runes pantographed from airportcodes, dotcom. Cover photograph taken on a flight from OPO to FRA, March 2013.

Acknowledgements: the staff at Bundesforstbetrieb Schwarzenborn, the Crónica staff, the Tsonami Arte Sonoro staff, Atom™, Emídio Buchinho, Ana Carvalho, Rita Castro Neves, John Dack, Natascha Daniel, DeDe Handon, Markus Heuger (Studio Akustische Kunst at WDR 3), Volkmar Hoppe, Till Kniola, Raphaël Languillat, Julia Mihály, Martin Neusiedl, Gabriella Passananti and Tito Castelli, Denise Ritter, Sara Rodrigues, Ottmar Schnee, Domenico Sciajno, Jan Stütz and Lisa Freieck, Ho. Turner, Peter Voigt, Clemens von Reusner, Gregor von Sivers, Eva Weingärtner, Stephan Wolters, Carlos Zingaro.

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