At the beginning of December last year Minuit De Lacroix launched a request. He asked for a contribution, two minutes in length:
” I want you to produce a short piece, it can be 2 mins or more or less. Radiophonic workshop-style, with a wash of electronic sounds like an elephant in labour and eerie sounds of bizarre strings and a long-wave radio…
Weird Dutch noises (maybe a poem from NL in the background), A grand statement. Think about mortality and rejection ;-)” he explained.
Some months earlier …
An out of the blue request from Canada arrives by someone who used the nickname i8u. It was strange to read
I hate you. It was also strange to read I ate you. We all apply our personal mythology when we want to divert a bit. i8u was France Jobin. The distance between her and me was infinite in its nearness. In her series for framework afield ‘these are a few of my favourite things’ she also wanted to include a work of mine.
I composed it when I just got back from Paris. I had new recordings made with a handheld grundig walkman that I had bought for 7 euro ( new, in the original package). One of my favourite recordings was made on my way back to earth’s surface after a visit to the parisian underworld: a panflutist played ‘woman in love.’
Do you hear Barbra Streisand?
I am a woman in love
And I do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
Its a riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight I defend
Over and over again
( here she walks down the stairs)
What do I do?
Turn of the radio.
Normally I use a fourtrack cassette recorder to compose. For France’s piece I decided to walk between the sound sources: a walkman in the living room that played over computer speakers, a walkman in the music room that played over 40 year old speakers of good robust German quality, amd a little radio in the kitchen. The panflute was the leading theme. I liked the result, it made me laugh.
When I thought of Minuit’s piece I decided to follow the same idea. Destroy the mirror with its reflection and use the pieces that lay around like sparkles of sunlight. The table in the music room was scattered with walkman, dictaphones, cassette players, cables and cassettes: a skyline!
Or maybe something else, lile a book of memories. I moved over the table as if I caressed something or someone. With every gesture one of the objects got animated. Within two minutes the journey was finished.
I could not know what exactly the iPhone microphone would pick up, even less what it would sound like. I was atracted by the risk. All had to be done in one take, comparable to a camera shot of two minutes that starts in the streets and follows the actor on his way to a bar, to the exact position where he meets her for the first time.