Review: Anna Lerchbaumer – Falling Objects (smallforms, Jun 16)

a0209886001_10Unsurprisingly, there are more than a few falling objects on this new release from sound artist Anna Lerchbaumer (among other things, the creator and proponent of the acclaimed “mayonoise” technique), but Earth’s gravitation is far from the only force at work. A great deal of attention was paid to placement and spatiality during the original recordings, so there would be a lot of compelling density to explore even if they were left unprocessed, but Lerchbaumer puts her materials through the proverbial wringer, or perhaps a series of multiple proverbial wringers. On Falling Objects, the natural kinesis of the dropped, agitated, and otherwise affected items is extrapolated into complex, artificial concrète arrays, not exactly upending the presence of conventional space but certainly building upon, gouging, and even distorting it. Interspersed throughout the suite of three short tracks are speech samples presumably lifted from some sort of physics education program, and the basic, familiar explanations given by the voice form a delightful contrast with the gleeful deconstructions and reorientations that take place in between. Lerchbaumer’s methodology allows for the occasional unexpected noise intrusion or frenetic glitch spasm, but the piecemeal object layouts most often coalesce into lush gardens of resonating tactility that echo the work of contemporaries Rie Nakajima and Stephanie Cheng Smith. The relationship between the diminutive duration of Falling Objects and its artistic fecundity is quite analogous to that of the dissonance between a presumed lack of musical value in everyday objects and their actual musical value: one might make an initial prediction of inauspiciousness, but after experiencing them no one can deny the strength of the results.

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