Boomkat Product Review:
Master of reflective melancholy, Tape Loop Orchestra presents their soundtrack to the titular catalogue/exhibition of Keith Ashcroft - a 41 minute tapestry of willowing ambient classical strings and synthesised choral vox inspired by his studio’s proximity to the painter’s. It comes in two editions -a signed "artist edition" book and CD (100 page), and a slimmed down booklet and CD (20 page). Both limited to 100 copies each. RIYL Basinski, The Caretaker, Lawrence English.
"Artists’ studios often exist in abandoned or rejected buildings, no longer used as they were intended. In these spaces, artists repurpose, rearrange and divide sites into new spatial enclosures. MDF boundaries mark out space for creation whilst giving the inhabitant a sense of scale, and a limit, to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the infinite world beyond. Thin walls also conceal artists’ labour, enabling ‘invisibility’ through which magical operations can occur (any bewitching quality found in the work would be lost by peeking behind the curtain).
Through the wall that separates Keith’s studio from mine, I am granted the experience of listening to him paint. Brushstrokes glide softly and slowly, at other times rapid and rhythmic, and on occasion there are harsh stabs as though he is trying to break through the canvas into a space beyond (i.e. my studio). In return, Keith hears muffled sound from my side of the wall, the vibrations pushing back, supported and finally captured within the canvas.
There is an uncanny ‘absent presence’ running through this series of paintings, like ghostly hauntings neither leaving nor returning, but hovering in and beyond the temporal space of the canvas. Despite their pervading presence, the paintings conceal information, beyond and behind the surface, to the extent we are instinctively aware of there being ‘unseen spaces’ in attendance. It is from these hidden areas that sounds originate, like spectral presences waiting to reveal themselves. Voices are suspended between embodiment and disembodiment, and out of tune pianos are played by unseen hands drifting in from cavernous chasms. The overlaying juxtaposition of different spaces in both painting and stereo allow the experience of being in one space physically, whilst experiencing another – being in two spaces at the same time.
Keith and I both construct facsimiles from real events, fusing different temporal-spatial elements to create a third fictive space. The wall between our studios does not maintain a boundary, it acts as a point of merger, a space where our practices overlap, coalesce and fold into one another, allowing for something unexpected to develop from the collision. An amalgamation or conceptual resonance occurs, where the paintings make us hear differently and the sounds make us see differently, facilitating a three-fold experience, with each work taken alone or changing the other."