MYSTERY SEA 35 | Cherry Beach Project | [silo 11]


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-"Cherry Beach is located at the end of a small, artificially created peninsula on which various heavy industrial facilities and toxic no-man’s lands decay. The area is infamous as a site out of public sight for police to engage in ‘off the record’ activities. Our location was within a complex of vacant waste oil storage facilities on Cherry Beach. While recording on the night of June 5th, 2004, we were forced to abandon our equipment after discerning that violent activities were taking place in one of the seemingly abandoned structures nearby. We returned at dawn to retrieve our equipment, which we were able to do successfully, only to be pursued out of the area and down the beach by two unidentified men. Fortunately we escaped unharmed, with our recordings intact. Since this time the entire compound and all of its reverberant structures have been demolished, leaving only an empty lot. The material presented here has been selected from two days of recording on site, but otherwise left untreated and unprocessed."

Joda Clément/Nigel Craig, November 2006


Joda Clément is a young canadian composer of great promise, as already emphasized in some reviews related to his debut disc for ALLUVIAL, "Movement + Rest"...
With an acute ear for details, Joda blends subtly ambient sounds with processed ones stemming from analog or acoustic instruments...
Here with his friend Nigel Craig who gave the impulse to this work by pointing out the specific used location, he pushes everything a step further, rooting out the spirit of the place, while manipulating objects & instruments in situ... this quasi "animist" approach & revisitation makes us enter into another dimension, as Joda & Nigel channel unknown & unvoiced forces, going deep into the invisible universe...

Sometimes everything merges
to an astonishing extent
Listening to the pulse of the night,
full of silver shades,
the air is filled with threat
Bent in "Silo 11"
We absorb its decaying aura,
a body of strange connections,
inner engraved memories,
vague but intense feelings
letting the inky sea flow within...
Bringing back all what's lingering
those tranquil ghosts still singing
"Silo 11" is a fount of knowledge
a training locus
a ford to acumen
enabling you to circle the Instant
and catch the long gone by...
an antenna into the world of meaningful silences...


01. > 06. untitled
part 1
part 3




VITAL WEEKLY 560|Frans De Waard
From the ever so nice city of Montreal, with no beach in sight (not that I seen at least), comes Cherry Beach Project, which is a project of Joda Clement and Nigel Craig. The latter we don't know, but the first we know from his fine CD on Alluvial Recordings 'Movement + Rest'. In the harbor of Montreal there are a few unused silos which are used by visual artists, such as [The User] in the past, which are subject to music here. Using the vast amount of natural reverb of the location, the two bring music that is different than many of the others on Mystery Sea. It's hard to tell what it is that they do, but it seems to me they play back sounds from electronic sources back into the space, along with perhaps acoustic objects. The sounds seems to be flying away in space. Soft shrieks, careful strumming of long strings and perhaps a low bass rumble here and there. Normally I don't like the use of artificial reverb, but here it works quite well. It reminded me of ABGS' 'Bunkerschallung' from many moons ago and this release is a particular stand out in the Mystery Sea catalogue.
vital weekly

AQUARIUS new arrivals #259
The latest in the Mystery Sea label's ongoing exploration of "night-ocean drones", which as we've mentioned in the past, is precisely what these discs sound like. Dark, moonlit nights, rippling black seas, and drones, glorious drones!
Cherry Beach Project is the Canadian duo of Joda Clement and Nigel Craig, and Silo 11 was indeed recorded in a silo, at Cherry Beach, an industrial wasteland, on an abandoned peninsula in Toronto, know as a place, where "off the record" police activities occur, and all manner of crime. The area has since been demolished, but on the nights of recording, the duo were forced to abandon their equipment in the midst of some sort of violence, forced to return the next day to retrieve their equipment, only to be pursued by several unidentified men. With that sort of story behind the recording of Silo 11, one might expect something more jagged, or harsh, or extreme, but instead, the sounds here, are glistening and delicate, massive stretches of shimmering space separating low end thrums and sparkling upper register glimmers, each note hovering gently like dust motes caught in moonbeams. Drops of water, send sonic ripples skyward, deep cavernous groans and distant chimes swirl lazily in wide open fields of reverb, huge barely audible rumbles permeate the proceedings, offering up subtle sonic support, bumps and random percussive thumps surface occasionally out of near silence, but just as quickly fade away. Definite nods to Japanese field recordists Toshiya Tsunoda, as the silo is as much a part of the action as the sounds created within it. So mysterious and dark, spacious and abstract, minimal and haunting.
Like all Mystery Sea releases, LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each disc numbered, and gorgeously packaged in striking full color artwork.

Rated : 3 stars out of 5
Silo 11 is built around slowly evolving and dissolving drones and ambience, with a distinctive bleak mysterious air about it. Like walking along a changeless grey landscape made up of derelict industrial units and decaying metal structures & expecting strange figures to suddenly appear.
It’s the work of young Canadian Joda Clément composer with help from his friend Nigel Craig. The pair merges together creaking organic and steel soundworks, with ambient and drone haze emitted from both analogue and digital instruments. Featuring forty minutes of monochrome sound worlds, split into six untitled tracks, but really it feels like one long piece. Very little happens in the conventional musical sense, sure you have mountain and valleys of greying sound, but more than anything this is about building an atmosphere that you can almost see your breath in. It starts & finishes in much the manner, just sliding barely into been & equally just sliding out once more into barely re-settling sound air. Another effective mix of instrumental and found sound ambience and drone craft from the Mystery sea label. Like their other releases it's ltd to 100 copies- meaning if this sounds your cup of bleak tea, go get it quick.
musique machine

TOKAFI |Tobias Fischer  
Many people seem to think that experimental music inherently implies provocation. Which, in turn, probably has to do with the fact that the majority of listeners automatically feels intimidated if a composition defies conventions, breaks implicit agreements or simply disturbs rather than pleases. As this album proves, however, there is a third way. “Silo 11” is an experiment in every single one of its conceptual fibers, it is a journey into unknown territory with a faint suspicion of its destination but no  prior security regarding its outcome – and yet it is never looking for cheap thrills or silly shock effects.
In any case, don’t let yourself be put off by reading about the background to this recording (as interesting as it might be). After all, two guys making noise inside an empty waste oil storage tank usually means that you’re in for a session of industrial madness or witnessing a high-browed intellectual analysis. The first suspicion is more easily refuted than the latter: These bodyless flageolets and limpid rumblings on top of a continuous distant stream of deeply pitched roarings and metal reverberations comes as quiet as a cat in the night, stealing round corners with bated breath and relying on the suspense of anticipation, rather than the horror of releasing the tension. Regarding this as an academic endeavour, meanwhile, would disregard the personal backgrounds of Nigel Craig, the man with the idea to the “Cherry Beach Project”, and Joda Clément, whose Alluvial recordings debut “Movement + rest” was a summary of years of experimenting with acoustic and electric sounds alike and of finding his own and personal approach. Clément especially has been working hard at finding intersections between the purely “musical” and the “environmental” or even “common”. The entire aim lies in getting away from ivory towers, not in erecting new ones. Consequently, there is a fine line between “Silo 11”’s methods and its results: This is not music for an installation, this time the music is the installation. Similar to some of Luigi Nono’s longer works, small islands rise up from an endless sea, offering the listener a place of rest and reconnaissance before disappearing to the bottom of the ocean again. In between stretch passages of emptiness, of vague allusions and bleak, but multifold metaphors. Strangely enough, it’s not frightening at all.
Part of that has to do with the fact that the musicians have refrained from excessive post-production. As far away from you as this place may be, it is by no means artificial or as construed as the chambers of “Saw”. And secondly, Craig and Clément have allowed the outside world in – for a minute,, a helicopter hovers the air outside, its rotors buzzing with a dull, but immediately recognizable hum. It’s a moment with a wink, which takes out all heaviness and adds a touch of humor. After that, you can say goodbye to all notions of provocation and allow yourself to freely wander the landscape of this 40-minute trip.


Joda Clément and Nigel Craig had a dangerous experience in Cherry Beach, an isolated place in an artificial peninsula "on which various heavy industrial facilities and toxic no man's lands decay". After realizing the recordings heard here - which include nocturnal stillness, metallic scraping, insufflations into bottles, dragged objects and breathtakingly evocative distant airplanes - they had to escape after becoming aware of ongoing "violent activities" in one of the nearby structures. Even after having rescued their equipment in the early hours of the morning, Clément and Craig were fronted by two unknowns who expelled them from the area. Knowing this story is important for a better appreciation of these untreated, unprocessed sounds, which seem to represent the voices and the whispers of hidden presences advising the two comrades to leave the place before it's too late. The connection between the raw harmonics of the metals and the passing planes is absolutely intriguing, the threatening reverberant thuds heard in the fifth section letting even the listeners at home raise their heads in alerted preoccupation. Overall, an enigmatically fascinating piece of suburban sound art.
touching extremes

THE WIRE #258 - Outer Limits|Jim Haynes  
Cherry Beach is located in a lakefront region of Toronto that had once been a heavily utilised industrial zone. When the area was abandoned and left to a toxic fate, it also developed an unsavoury reputation as a site for the police to intimidate homeless and drunk denizens. Despite the warning signs, Canadian sound artists Joda Clément and Nigel Craig were attracted by the decayed resonance of the vacant buildings on Cherry Beach back in 2004. Armed with branches, empty bottles, wine glasses and whatever else was lying around, the two surreptitiously recorded a quiet ritual of acoustic activities. Closely responding to the natural reverb of the cavernous metal architecture, Clément and Craig emerged with a wonderful set of slow progressing bellows, sweeping gestures and protracted chimes. More often than not, the Cherry Beach Project offers a far more mysterious and evocative atmosphere than the abandoned building strategies of the celebrated Japanese improvisor Kiyoharu Kuwayama.
The Wire

EARLABS|Larry Johnson
Definitely furthering Mystery Sea's goal of releasing “highly immersive music” and of the fascination with the “archetypal liquid state”. Joda Clément and Nigel Craig bring their own version of deep listening to the label's “night-sea drones“ conceptual series by way of their Cherry Beach Project - Silo 11 CD-R.

Anymore I hesitate before I label a release “experimental” because it’s an adjective that has been considerably over applied and now tends to encompass such a wide range of sounds that it no longer carries the weight that it once did. However, in the case of Cherry Beach Project - Silo 11 there’s enough unpredictability present in which the outcome relies more on randomness than on a carefully laid out path or deliberate editing that “experimental” is an appropriate descriptor.
Using the natural reverberation properties of an empty waste oil storage tank as the audio processing tool, various objects (branches, bottles, wine glasses, stones, cymbal, bow, finger piano, water, voices, plastic tubes, structural remnants, etc.) are played/manipulated within its confines and the reflected sounds are recorded directly to digital audio tape. It shares some similarities with Jeph Jerman’s animist orchestra approach except for the important difference that the sounds of the played objects don’t remain pristine because they are unintentionally processed as a result of being affected by the intrinsic acoustics of the storage tank itself.
Even though there are a variety of incongruent and discordant sounds competing with one another, the six untitled tracks come across as highly listenable with some evanescent moments of surprising concord. Deep drones, metallic chimes, bowed tones, distorted timbres, forlorn groans, reverberating drips, deep bass resonances, sporadic percussive bursts, and even the real sounds of an airplane flying overhead making for almost forty-minutes of fascinating listening.


GOS|Ben Fleury-Steiner  
Silo 11 by Cherry Beach Project - fascinating, enviro-sludge--no NOT sunnO))) or Boris--I mean real sludge the stuff of their environment given voice through various manipulations....Joda Clément and Nigel Craig conjure haunting, creaky--indeed, pleasantly damaged music--that was recorded inside an empty waste oil storage tank at the abandoned Cherry Beach facility (wherever that is, actually I don't want to know)...It's strangely affective stuff in the same way Sleep Researcher Facility let the old steam radiator sing its steamy stutter on Dead Weather Machine...Only more active than DWM as Clément and Craig use their various wares to interact with their toxic, corroded, post-apocalyptic setting...This is dark "ambient" music not for category sake but for the actually oily, metallic darkness that Clément and Craig shape and tweak into a mesmerizing language of barren desolation...((((Indeed, apparently during the recording session the Cherry Beach site was invaded by some crazed hooligans who scared Clément and Craig right off site, forcing them to leave their equipment behind [!]...)))

There is a sense of a resonant dread here for sure, but one that evades contrivance, becoming what it must; the anthem to a no man's land transmuted into something altogether alive and creeping....

SONOMU|Stephen Fruitman   --- NEW !
When I was a teenager growing up in Toronto in the 1970s, Cherry Beach was notorious. Despite its innocuous name, the infamous man-made spit hid some heavy and ugly industrial facilities from the eyes of polite society. However, at night, I was told, local cops were fond of taking homosexual men there for informal "interrogations". Urban legend or not? I don´t know, but these rumours have persisted and Joda Clément and Nigel Craig, the creative duo known as the Cherry Beach Project, repeat them (albeit without mentioning the gay angle). Apparently, the entire compound with its "reverberant structures" (including one Silo #11, I presume) has been torn down since the project was completed, leaving only an empty lot - and a lot of bad energy.

The story of Silo 11´s genesis is exciting enough to reprint verbatim: "Our location was within a complex of vacant waste oil storage facilities on Cherry Beach. While recording on the night of June 5th, 2004, we were forced to abandon our equipment after discerning that violent activities were taking place in one of the seemingly abandoned structures nearby. We returned at dawn to retrieve our equipment, which we were able to do successfully, only to be pursued out of the area and down the beach by two unidentified men. Fortunately we escaped unharmed, with our recordings intact." (Whether the source of the threat was Toronto´s Finest remains unknown.)

Processed field recordings are nothing new, but every well-chosen site has its own specific ambiances, resonances and, well, personality. Furthermore, context is all: A secluded cove on Vancouver Island is not the same as an abandoned community swimming pool in Chernobyl. So the very recording itself can emit a benevolent, or malevolent, energy.

The latter of which is certainly the case with Silo 11. The location was apparently suggested to Clément (who usually works alone) by Craig, who also appears to have been the one responsible for adding to the ambiance by moving "artifacts found at the site" around in the space at irregular intervals, while Clément shades or stipples the texture of the recording with analogue technology and acoustic materials, including tree branches, bottles, glasses, bowed cymbals, and plastic tubes, among much other debris.

The locale makes the recording all the more forbidding, of course, now that we know its story. Both found sounds and conscious manipulation have made Silo 11 a very uncomfortable place in which to spend any amount of time. No wonder they ran away. At certain points, especially track two of the six, untitled pieces, there is a lot "happening", as the venue seems to be discharging all its negative energy at once. At others, much less proves to be much more; an eerie near-silence occasionally disturbed by inexplicable aural events is far more ominous that all that sound and fury.

A well-conceived and -realized project.