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Kyriakides, Yannis: Wordless (Unsounds)


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product information:

UPC: 634479248481

Label: Unsounds
Catalog ID: 13u
Squidco Product Code: 7056

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: The Netherlands
Packaging: CD in an oblong sleeve

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track listing:

1. Pensioner_0496 This pensioner from St.Gilles is of Italian origin. She arrived in Belgium in 1951 with her children. Her husband worked in the coal mines. In 1962 they moved to Brussels. Their financial situation was difficult and they encountered many problems with racism. They found whatever work they could in order to support their children who according to her are now settled and living well.

2. software engineer_0106 An interview with a 30 year old software engineer who came to study in Brussels and ended up staying there. He does not feel very comfortable in the interview and he often waits for the interviewer to tell him what to say.

3. cleaning lady_0500 At the age of 10 she came from Morocco with her mother and sister to join her father in Belgium. She stayed 7 years. In 1982 she went back again on what she thought was a holiday and her father announced that she was to stay permanently in Morocco. It was a nightmare, and furthermore, she was obliged to get married. At the death of her father, and going against the wishes of her brother, mother and future husband she decided to return to Belgium. She thought she was going back to paradise, but it turned out to be hell.

4. DJ_0617 The story of a DJ who explains the role music plays in his life. According to the interviewer, the conversation was very pleasant, except for the fact the music in the background was extremely loud.

5. sociologist_0158 A 25 year-old sociologist who likes to observe Brussels and look for the most stunning views, to focus on parts of a city, which are run-down but which always seduce him; and this because it buzzes with people, it loves the outsider, the interaction, the social above all. He wants to occupy public space and provoke people by creating events such as making tea, music, and singing. In the interview he gives accounts of the city's retreats, the adventure of Brussels, his eye is pointed towards a certain ideal of social life. The interview starts with a cup of tea.

6. artist_0640 An interview with a 38 year old artist. The interviewer has just come in from a cold January rain storm, and there seems to be a lot of fun and laughter in the ensuing conversation. This interview was part of a project by Radio Zinneke based around the theme of different interpretations of the term ' experimental'. This long interview was the beginning of a very warm friendship between the interviewer and the interviewee.

7. music salesperson_0618 Entering the record store, Arlequin, in the centre of the city, the atmosphere is relaxed, the interviewee is very shy to begin with, but slowly relaxes by the passing and going of clients and regulars. He talks about his passion for the radio, and the atmosphere in the studio.

8. drummer_0404 A Gambian drummer is interviewed by two children about his life as a musician, the many different percussion instruments that he plays, and the cultural adjustments that he had to make coming to Europe from Africa. The interview is held in Dutch, which for all the participants is their third language. In the course of the interview the children burst intermittently into fits of giggles, which seems to be ignored by the adults. It turns out that some amorous noises coming from an upstairs room are attracting their attention. At the end of the interview the drummer gives an example of his djembe technique.

9. schoolboy_0032 The city seen through the eyes of one of its youngest citizens. The interviewee is a 7 year old boy from St.Gilles. He is certainly not shy or lacking in things to say. he talks about his school, hobbies, friends and future dreams. When he grows up he wants to become a pianist in the opera. He's also not a big fan of the city, he wants to go and live in a tree-hut in the forest.

10. blindman_0425 Born with minimal eyesight, he slowly lost all his vision as he was growing up. in the interview he explains how blind people go about their lives in the world of the seeing and what kind of appliances and devices are used to help. He doesn't rule out anything as impossible, he even names photography as one of his passions. He explains how sighted people experience unsighted people and vice versa.

11. rai singer/ electrician_0522 A singer of Algerian Rai music, who also works as an electrician. He explains to a pupil, his taste for music, his studies and the thoughts of his parents on him wanting to sing. The interviewer is from a 'Passerelle', a class in a school with kids who have recently arrived in Belgium. They spend half a year to a year learning the language and getting to know the school system. At the end of this session the singer gives an example of his talent in a rendition of the famous rai song 'Didi'.

12. pensioned clerk_0197 In sessions organised by some primary schools, children go and interview pensioners in old people's homes. The idea behind this scheme is for the benefit of both generations. Prevention against social isolation and loneliness, the breaking open of certain taboos, the passing down of knowledge and experiences of past ages.

descriptions, reviews, &c.

Another excellent concept from Netherlands electro-acoustic voice & sound shaper Kyriakides. This work is titled Wordless because, in fact, the words have been removed from audio interviews, leaving only the pauses, breaths, gulps and hesitations that connect the words. Under this Kyriakides creates audio environments, enhancing the alien utterances with strange tonal worlds.

"Wordless is a suite of 12 sound portraits based on interviews with and by residents of Brussels from the BNA-BBOT archives. Words from the interviews are edited to leave only the hesitations, breathing emotional reactions and environmental sounds. An aspect of the personality of the interviewee somehow comes across in these in-between sounds, as if stripped of language another layer of communication comes into focus, more emotional , more revealing than what is expressed in words. The soundtrack of the edited interviews is then re-sampled and set in musical structures with wave-based electronic sounds, resonances, pulses and noise. The pieces themselves take the form of wordless narratives creating a portrait in sounds of an aspect of the personality of the interviewee.

The piece was conceived for a 4 channel system where two channels were played back through headphones and the other two through a PA, creating a sense of inside and outside sound worlds, the voices always coming through binaurally on the headphones while the electronic sounds create a sense of spatiality and physicality and awareness of the listening space. Texts describing the interviewees and their stories are projected on a video screen (slowly fading in and out) so that an idea of the person described in the sound portratis can colour how we listen.

Wordless was originally commissioned by the ARGOS Festival, Brussels, Belgium held in October 2004 and premiered there at the Beursschouwburg. Additional funds given by the Dutch Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. Many thanks to: Ive Stevenheydens of ARGOS for commissioning the piece. Anne van Wichelen of BNA-BBOT for helping around the archives. Niko Okkerse of 433fm for supplying the wireless headphones. and all the interviewers and interviewees on the recordings."-Unsounds

Related Categories of Interest:

Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Unusual Vocal Forms
Spoken Word
December 2006

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