Jez riley French - portable music

Digital Download - 3 audio tracks – 64' 26" + pdf


1. score for a footbridge 22:00
2. score for a locale 22:26
3. score for geothermal ultrasonics 20:00

NB All three pieces on this release have duration as a key element and also explore frequencies that are inaudible on computer speakers. Please take this into account when listening to this extract.

Using unprocessed field recordings each of the three pieces on "portable music" represents a different aspect of my work in recent years, exploring focused and micro listening, intuitive composition, durational frames and interaction with environments and situations. A continuing fascination with the ‘moment’ as a key to both overcoming expectations and a forming reactions is, for me, elemental as is a simple pleasure in exploring sound as a material.

"score for a footbridge" focuses on the sound of a civic structure resonating at a particular time, building gradually shifting tones, recorded with highly sensitive contact microphones and adapted geophones.

"score for a locale" (Topolo) documents a performance in a small hillside village in italy, featuring musicians, audience, the village itself and its surroundings to create a piece dependant of the willing attentiveness of all involved.

"score for geothermal ultrasonics" delves beneath the surface of sounds above our range of hearing, recorded with ultrasonic detectors, and initially perhaps seemingly uninteresting. For me, accepting these sounds as elements in a composition or performance is a way to re-focus ones listening and perceive microscopic variety and interaction.

Using intuitive composition, field recording, improvisation and photography, Jez has been exploring his enjoyment of and interest in detail, simplicity and his emotive response to places and situations for over three decades. Alongside performances, exhibitions, installations, he lectures and runs workshops around the world on field recording and the act and art of listening. His range of JrF specialist microphones have become widely used by recordists, sound artists, musicians, cultural organisations and sound designers and have had a significant influence on the development of field recording and sound culture in recent years. He also curates various projects exploring the broad ideas surrounding field recording as a primary art of sound / sound art.

Recent work includes commissions for Tate Modern (UK), Artisphere (USA) and for organisations in Italy, Iceland, Japan, Spain and the UK. A section of his piece for Tate Modern was also chosen to be part of an installation for the ‘500 years of British Art’ series at Tate Britain. In recent years he has been working extensively on recordings of surfaces and spaces and developing the concept of photographic scores. Jrf is particularly associated with extended recording techniques, including the recording of structural vibrations, contact microphone recording, ultrasonics, infrasonics, internal electronic signals via coil pick-up's and recordings made with hydrophones.

Amongst his key recent works are pieces capturing the sound of the dolomites dissolving, ants consuming fallen fruit, the Tate Modern building vibrating, the infrasound of domestic spaces around the world, glaciers melting in Iceland and the tonal resonances of natural and human objects in the landscape.

Photo: Pheobe riley Law

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Jez riley French - portable music

MP3 sample

Track 1:  Portable Music (extract)

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