SEA 15 | Caesar Ursic| [Lithophonia]
sounds and noises are more useful aesthetically than sounds produced
by the world's musical cultures."
John Cage, 1957
a building could speak, what would it say? Might the cold marble floors
and stone walls retain subtle sonic traces of the events and people
of its past? Would we be able to hear them?
original Highland General Hospital in Oakland, California, now stands
silent and forgotten, having cared for nearly a century of patients
and survived two major earthquakes. Recently replaced by safer and more
modern structure, the old Hospital building contains mostly discarded
and obsolete equipment, outdated files, and thousands (if you are so
inclined to believe) of ghosts.
is my attempt to aurally capture the faded residues of human activity
that once resonated through the now-abandoned pavilions, walkways and
chambers of this grand old structure.
For six months I haunted its ramparts, passageways, underground labyrinths
and great halls with a stereo microphone and digital recorder.
All sound sources were 'found'; none were produced or elicited.
Reverberations, vibrations, occasional distant human voice intrusions,
and the mechanized breaths of strange machines left to their automated
chores in empty alcoves and dead-end corridors were collected.
The digitally-manipulated results are presented here in four movements.
I used no synthesizers or musical instruments at any point.
sincere thanks to Daniel Crokaert for his encouragement and many, many
- Caesar Ursic, Sydney, May 8 2004
is a US artist officiating professionally into the sphere of surgery...
This reference is not innocent, as he used his own field recordings
made by pacing up and down the haunted corridors of an old hospital
to concoct his sharp confounding debut...
The result is nothing else than chilling & highly distinctive...
Blurred mechanical rumblings, hollow clanks, silver glowing echoes...
oozings out from traces tattooing the stones...
a sea of encapsulated memories fluttering against nocturnal walls...
eroded maps without codes, dripping interstitial life...
"Lithophonia" is about giving voice to invisible
fluxes, enigmatic rustlings, secret resonances, a reinvented language
built on tumbledown past...
Magnified, each mark becomes an intimate message, an architectural parable
speaking to your soul...
Frozen in time, this is a visit to a whispering temple, a museum of
"Lithophonia" scrapes the surfaces to root
out the most essential vibrations & capture the very core of lost
Definitely a cathartic intramural journey...
02. The Faint Metallic Glow
+ listen !
03. Gradual Decompression > unrar
+ listen !
04. The Past Is Prologue
Extremes |Massimo Ricci
decompression", third track of this CD, is a dark masterpiece alone
worthy of extremely high degrees of laudability. Indeed the whole "Lithophonia"
- made with sounds captured in an old hospital - is a positive example
in many of its aspects. Not afraid to show influences (Lustmord on top
of all) Caesar Ursic's music slides through a world
of forgotten ruins and sculpted sonorities, as to look for the very
sources of microfossil stains. Grey perspectives accompany the listener
throughout, indicating a steady path to obscurity that only seldom is
interrupted by the appearance of a dim light observed through breaks
in the wall. The weight of solitude is an always present heavy burden
and the whole disc is an exercise in sustaining open-eyed nightmares.
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