EARLabs 3
Helix
CD (E63)

Composed between November 2006 and June 2007 by Jos Smolders
(Tilburg, The Netherlands), Christopher McFall (Kansas City, USA),
and Sascha Neudeck (Vienna, Austria). The composers have never
met in person; all the material for this release was exchanged digitally.
Mastered at EARLabs, Tilburg, 2008

The first collaboration was between Jos and Christopher. Sascha joined
the project a while later. The initial material (two compositions) was
prepared by each participant and then exchanged via a web server.
The files were subsequently edited by each composer, often several
times, until arriving at a mutually-satisfactory result.

Christopher McFall says: “I’m still thinking about how the three of us
came together to create this project. A tricky endeavour. I will say that
it’s a very fitting synthesis of the predominant [stylistic] elements
that each of us brings to the table. Sascha’s workings seem beautifully
controlled, exhibiting an elegant attention to tonal structures/static-like
interrupts, coupled with exacting dynamic structuring. The field record-
ings that he used for this project are quite robust. Jos’ compositions
have a [distinctly clear] sound quality. The patterning in his works,
especially those involving voice-based manipulations, is wonderfully
pronounced in both character and dynamic. I see my own workings as
dense textural arrangements and drone-based drifts.”

Jos Smolders is a sound designer and composer. He studied architecture
at Delft Technical University but left to continue the tape experiments he
bagan in his childhood. He also studied electronic and recorded music,
and was co-editor of Vital Weekly for six years. He is a founding member
of the renowned Dutch electro-acoustic ensemble THU20.

Christopher McFall is a Kansas City-based composer.

Sascha Neudeck is a biochemist and musician based in Vienna. He uses
field recordings, electro-acoustic instruments, self-built devices and
Max/MSP to compose his work.

See also Christopher McFall (E42) and Christopher McFall (E96)

First edition of 300 copies






Marc Weidenbaum at Disquiet


Review

[…] what characterises these pieces is their juxtaposition of vast,
remote beauty, coupled with detailed, mundane, intimate reality.
Imagine working on some tedious chore in a Northern European
potting shed while, outside, the Northern Lights rage. ‘jsj’, for
example, hovers not unlike Stockhausen’s Kontakte, then homes
in on some desultory found sounds, obscure jangling and scuffling.
Elsewhere, cyber-fireflies sport alongside muffled, altogether less
grandiose noises which make their own modest but insistent claim
on your attention.

David Stubbs in The Wire