Boomkat Product Review:
Andy Votel presents this beguiling sound poetry tape by Rick Myers, a prolific multidisciplinary artist involved with bringing that seminal 'Broken Music' compendium back to life. His books are held in special collections at the Library of Congress, MIT, MoMA New York, Stanford University, Tate Britain, and Yale University - and he has recently published trade edition artist books ‘A Bullet for Buñuel’ with Primary Information in New York, and ‘AbyssssybA’ with Nieves in Zurich. He is also Votel’s former partner in pioneering Manchester hip hop crew Violators Of The English Language, as things come full circle with Votel’s assistance publishing this work on tape. It’s an intriguing artefact, highly recommended to Milan Grygar and Fluxus fiends.
Now based in Massachusetts, USA and completing work on that Broken Music reissue, ’Obstacle #69: Sentences In a Magnetic Field’ catches Myers having a go at sound poetry himself with suitably head-scratching results. The A-side features Myers reciting lyrics into a mic, held just so that “pressure was exerted on my lungs and my voice was modulated by the text score”. The resulting recitation is hard-panned and haphazardly morphed by the medium itself, as the magnetic resonance builds in a strange hum and causes words to drop out.
On the B-side the recording follows physical impediments to drawing “An instrument held in the right hand obstructed by a device held in the left hand…” producing a hum that merges with haptic scrabble as the words fade into the background, like we’re privy to some cross-fade between magnetic fields. The resulting drawings appear on the inlay card, made in an edition of 100 and hand assembled by Votel for your pleasure.