Jos Smolders, "Spaces"
"Spaces is a series of compositions based on recordings in museums. Each work builds on a binaural recording of the environmental sounds a museum and each has been processed based on different concepts. The approach for processing and adding of electronic sounds was inspired by an artwork that was hanging in the museum space. So space and artwork form a unity.
As a composer and mastering engineer I am extremely sensitive to the sounds around me. But I’m also a keen visitor of museums and while there I always listen to what the museum sounds like. Museums are spaces where people encounter works of art and are given the opportunity to contemplate on this experience. Some do this silently while others keep chatting their route and only vaguely take in what is presented. There’s a lot going on and each museum has its own sonic character.
I have started collecting sounds in 2008. Snippets from these recordings have been part of many works in the years that followed. In 2015 however I decided to construct a complete sound work revolving around the sounds that I recorded. That has become A=F=L=O=A=T. This track was part of my annual musical gift to friends and colleagues and received positive feedback. Then, begin 2017, I decided to make a next move and see if other recordings could be evolved into real compositions. Gradually the concept formed, by composing, experimenting, returning to museums and study the artworks and actually the whole sonic environment of the museum.
Listening to a museum makes you aware of the spatiality of a museum. The, sometimes, huge halls where art is presented also seem to make space in my mind. And so I thought that space would be a good metaphor for the first dimension that I want to express. The second dimension is the work of art itself, which is a silent object. It just hangs there. But it represents a whole universe of thoughts and ideas that the observer can take in and tumble around and around in his mind. My own observations I have translated into the electronic layers on top of the binaural recordings.
The music on the CDs has been laid out as spacious as possible, leading to long almost silent intermissions between the tracks. In the hope of a listener with a wide-open mind-set."
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