Secretary of Sensation
Belgium £13 (including postage)
Europe £15 (including postage)
Rest of world £17 (including postage)
Edition of 200 copies
2. Pathetic Machine
4. PVC Burn
5. Mostly Static/Always Waiting
7. Les Coordonnées de la Mer
Composed, recorded and mixed 2014–
15 by Asha Sheshadri in San Diego, CA, and at the ACRE Project in Steuben, WI.
Isolde Touch is Asha Sheshadri,
a composer and multimedia artist based in Southern California. Secretary of Sensation is a seven-chapter narrative occurring in OUR TOWN (1052–1119). Voice, synthesis and original text.
The music Asha Sheshadri makes as Isolde Touch is boldly literal. Perhaps literal is inexact; concrete is closer, as
her sounds have a clarity that ties them directly to their origins (a piano is exactly
a piano). Conceptually she deals in abstraction, but sonically she’s unafraid to let her sources shine through like light beams where they could easily be buried in fog. That approach adds meaning to
the title Secretary of Sensation – this is organized music whose physical effects come with a creative agenda, even if that agenda can be interpreted in many ways.
But I like the word literal too, because
of the way Sheshadri’s uses vocals and spoken word. The last three songs here have some form of voice leading them, and two are centered on human
speech. In those cases, the voice has
a formal, computerized tone that feels both detached and intimate, like the in-ear intonations in Her and Synechdoche, New York. This effect makes Shesadri’s
soundscapes uniquely hypnotic – as much as I try to listen to the words as words, they always hit me as sound and music, a trick that’s not easy to pull of with something this literal, and boldly so.
Marc Masters at The Out Door