Glass mastered CD. Packaged in clear vinyl sleeve with folded insert and additional art card on 350gr satin paper. Limited edition of 160 hand-numbered copies.
Two bodies of water, contained in man-made channels and held back by barriers. Such is our desire and need to control nature, that we have used this resource to aid our industrious endeavours, often at the expense of the local area and environment. Steel, wood and concrete stand tall, holding back huge volumes of water to be channelled to produce electricity, cooling processes or simply be stored for future use. Often these processes contaminate the water – some bodies we visited are so poisonous they no longer support life, although from our point of view they are beautifully clear and limpid...
The sound of water infiltrates the fabric of the materials used to control them and this became my focus. Recording these sounds through the surfaces and materials of the restricting structures I hoped to retain some of the energy passing through them.
Then in a process of self-reference, I played the recordings back through the materials, documenting the results, and repeated this process a number of times. The sounds became more tonal and some frequencies were enhanced, just as others dissipated. Recording both directly from the surfaces of the materials and extremely close to them, I hoped to capture the vibrations passing through the structures but also the air in close proximity to their surfaces. The results have very little audible space and are rather claustrophobic, but also quite varied.
Both projects called for a performance to result from the recorded material, which then did allow these sounds the space they required, changing the way they are perceived. I advise listening through good quality speakers rather than headphones or earbuds, as the work requires this distance and to be able to move freely within the listening space, just as water would flow from an opened lock gate or a broken dam.
Postscript: The title 'Dry' is an obvious reference to the subject of the work being water, but also that the recordings were not processed using software plugins (where one uses the terms wet and dry to specify the amount an effect is used on a source) but by the recording and playback process itself.
(simon whetham, December 2019)