wh055 V/A – Far Afield: A Webbed Hand Compilation

Far Afield

Somewhere in the spectrum between Musique Concrete and Phonography, is a vast gray area that is disowned and disputed by either side. This compilation treats this no-man’s land as its playground.

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Field recordings they are, with some processing, but not just walls of rhythmic noise. Sounds of nature, sounds of the city, using the non-instrumental rhythms and melodies of the source recording as the focal points, coaxing the music and beauty out of unplanned, un-orchestrated events. This 2-CD compilation was curated by Fred Yarm.

Curator’s Statement

The idea behind this compilation was to challenge phonographers and musicians to find a middle ground between their two crafts by sculpting field recordings into creative compositions without using traditional instrumentation (unless captured in the field). The terms passive to describe the phonographer’s process of capturing sound and active to describe the composer’s process were used; however, this sparked a great debate over how passive the phonographer’s craft is. In reality, phonography can be quite active in the choices of location and timing of the recordings, the placement and movement of the microphones, etc. However, in relative terms, the phonographer’s product is rarely as ordered as a musician’s composition and a composer’s product utilizes sounds that are generated for his or her specific purpose. This compilation allotted the artists the opportunity to find a middle ground in the realm of musique concrete.

The results that I received were astounding. The tracks represent everything from highly composed tracks telling stories or capturing the essence of far away locales to straight field recordings that the artist felt did not need any processing to demonstrate the beauty of the situation. Cracking ice on a lake, cicada songs, rusty gates, dripping water, moving trains, and a handful of other captured sounds provided the instrumental palettes for these compositions. Many thanks are to be given to the artists who accepted this challenge to coax such delightful music and beauty out of unplanned and un-orchestrated events. Their work far exceeded my expectations on many levels. In addition, I would like to thank C.P. McDill of Webbed Hand Records for his encouragement to initiate this compilation and for his efforts to see Far Afield into fruition.

Frederic Yarm

Tracklist (Including URLs and contact info; this is a double-CD release):

First Disk

  • A01. Quiet American – Khulna Station (for Andrew Raffo Dewar)
  • A02. Erick Gallun – Open Field Decay
  • A03. Lyndsey Cockwell – DWP
  • A04. Don Bosco – Watching
  • A05. Doug Haire – The Hand Off
  • A06. John Hanes – Tuscan Gate
  • A07. o.m.s. – n.m.a – format2002edit04m
  • A08. Carlo Giordani – Valle Rossa
  • A09. John Roach – The Two Shades
  • A10. Christopher Fleeger – Painting
  • A11. Direwires – Dayslumber via the Train
  • A12. devslashnull – Von Roll Grate System Test: 1984
  • A13. Raphael Lyon – Virginia Beach
  • A14. Scott Smallwood – Basement Well
  • A15. The Outsider – Aurora Storm

  • A16. Angus Carlyle – The Sea Swells Again

Second Disk

  • B01. Carlos Santos – Crossing Point
  • B02. Pete Stollery – Banchory Ears
  • B03. Giuseppe Rapisarda – Dalla Finestra
  • B04. HarS – SportNational
  • B05. Uveaele – Lava d’Or
  • B06. Aaron Lewis – Long Pond 2/1 10am
  • B07. Steve Bradley – SO2 Emission
  • B08. Robert Horton – Insect Trust
  • B09. Eric Bollman – 14th Street
  • B10. Davide Morelli – Foto.01
  • B11. Thanos Chrysakis – Afar…Sounds Begin to Ooze
  • B12. Martiensgohome – White Chapel Moose
  • B13. Ambrose Pottie – Chainwash 16
  • B14. Seht – Death in Strip-mall
  • B15. Archive – Imprint
  • B16. Fred Yarm – Downspout Gamelon

About the curator: Fred Yarm is a Boston-area experimental DJ, phonographer, theremin player, and sound artist. His discography and other information can be found on his website: http://www2.ennui.net/~yarm/

Visit the download page to stream or download this album.

One thought on “wh055 V/A – Far Afield: A Webbed Hand Compilation

  1. Wow, this is really a great compilation.
    As a bird fan, I really like like especially track number 16 :-) Thank you!

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