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CD Feature/ Eric la Casa: "Secousses Panoramiques"

img  Tobias

To some people, music is the soundtrack to their life. To Eric la Casa, life is the soundtrack. His releases are not educational and yet they implicitely seem to ask the question of whether we want art to be an abstraction, driven to the greatest possible height in the 18th century in a bid to reduce the complexity of the outside world - or whether we accept that very complexity and regard it as the expression of actually very simple principles lying beneath it as well as an unspeakable beauty and richness. With an introduction like this, there can be no second guessing as to which stance la Case takes and “secousses panoramiques” is a case in point within his extensive oeuvre.

For this twenty minute Mini-CD, the Paris-based artist visited a wide range of buildngs in his city (as well one foreign exception), ranging from “La Defense” to the Radio France Central Tower and recorded a selection of elevators. Trips could be as short as a single floor or as long as 46 and none of them sounds alike. There’s the smooth snapping doors and subtle emissions inside the Unilodge Building in Melbourne and the droning, inorganic rumblings at 11 Rue Euryale Dehaynin, the chiming metallic sonorities at CNIT’s front door and the intensive and full ride once you’re inside. La Casa has also taped the noises of select machine rooms and traction cables, their chattering and clattering contrasting with the zooming of the lifts. Surprises are omnipresent: A moment of ethereal translucence occurs when the subcutaneously penetrating and pulsating tones of an elevator at a car park mix with far-away muzak, blending into an only a few seconds-short sensation of startling fascination. While individual pices are concise and hardly exceed a minute or two, they have been woven together to form a continous imaginary elevator-ride of indeed panoramic proportions, which will have your brain associating in overdrive, trying hard to identify the sources for these sounds without ever feeling dizzy. It is here that “secousses panoramiques” turns from being a collection of field recordings towards an intricate and detailed composition.

The criticism towards publications like this one is always the same: Why do we need to buy an album with sounds which we can listen to for free in our direct environment? The answer is simple: Because we hardly ever do. Through the work of artists like la Casa, we are made aware of the potential that sourrounds us and infused with the desire to explore it. My direct reaction was to want to ride some elevators myself in a bid to check out what they sounded like. Who knows if you’ll once remember these noises as the soundtrack to your life.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Eric la Casa
Homepage: Hibari Music

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