Excavation is a music of materiality and time - dirty, gritty, physical materiality, and the inexorable passage of time. In this piece, Jean-François works with springs and rods attached to a sheet of metal, and with gentle feedback provoking variable patterns of unsteady rhythmic bouncing. Benjamin explores gesturally the asymmetrical uneven forms of various objects and the coarse jagged textures of their surfaces.
The piece unfolds slowly, driven by the tolling of huge inharmonic “bells” and the tick-tack-tick-tack-tick-tack of smaller brittle “pendulums.” Within this framework appear discontinuous irregular sound objects - rough, percussive, squeaky, grating - separated by moments of suspension. Waiting for the next bell to toll or for some gritty erratic activity to resume - and listening to a slowly decaying resonance or to the ticktack of a pendulum gradually dying away -
we become acutely aware of time, of its slow relentless passage. Then an irregular rhythmic iteration begins, another bell tolls, a scraping raspy soundcreature twists its way impulsively forward - and we are in contact with the earth, with the rough grainy materiality of physical things.
A temporal suspension points us continually back to the now, while the erratic activity of tangible material objects recurrently but directionlessly plunges on.
Recorded during a residency at the Hexagram Black Box, Concordia University (Montréal) on November 18 and 19, 2017.