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Felicia Atkinson, KMRU, Carmen Villain, Pavel Milyakov, Abul Mogard and others consider the relationship between architecture and music on this ambitious conceptual project.
Modern Obscure Music's Pedro Vian had a radical idea for a compilation. He wanted to ask a selection of artists he respected to look at the world outside and attempt to rebuild it sonically, translating it for those far away to read remotely. Inspired by early pioneers like Iannis Xenakis (who was an architect as well as a groundbreaking early electronic vanguard), John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Spiegel and others, Vian wanted the artists to develop a dialog with their chosen spaces and to study the similarities between architecture and composition. "An architectural plan can be interpreted as if it were the score of a musical composition," he explains. "Or vice versa: a score can be read as if it were an architectural plan, and in that way compose a space/soundscape."
Turkish artist Büşra Kayıkçı is first to dig into the brief, and imagines Istanbul's uneven ancient-modern landscape using piano flourishes, processed field recordings and gentle electronics. On the minimal 'GTR Chords Movement 1', Pavel Milyakov (aka Buttechno) ruminates in real-time on electric guitar and pitch FX, and Oslo-based Carmen Villain continues her hot streak after last year's genius "Only Love From Now On" with a gaseous reaction to the Norwegian capital's pristine uniformity. KMRU's 'Stretch Mabati' is a particular highlight, rendering Nairobi in vivid colors with saccharine synth drones and subtly skewed environmental recordings, and Pedro Vian finishes the compilation himself with a delightfully blurry imaginary landscape formed from undulating electronics and disquieting bells.