NNN Cook – ‘Singing Monads’ C20
Singing Monads are my kinetic sound sculptures utilizing hanging cymbals with motorized wooden-wheels attached to them. The motorized wheel, once powered on, rolls and strikes against the cymbal in such a way that it excites a dance of shimmering overtones with ever shifting patterns of metallic harmonics. Conceptually the form of the cymbal is focused on as a study of sacred geometry, archetypes, semiotics, symbols, motion, cycles, and seasons. It also references the Quadrivium: the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology, which states “Geometry is number in space, music is number in time, and the cosmos expresses number in space and time.” From this stems a study of the monad, which the Quadrivium states, “is simultaneously circle, center, and the purest tone.” Professionally duplicated and printed. Recorded by Jonathan James. Full color four-panel J-cards. Edition of 50 on Chrome Tape.
Nyfolt – ‘Gutter Echoes’ C20
NYFOLT MANIFESTO (PHILADELPHIA / ST. LOUIS):Transmission 1: Nyfolt is a multi-faceted / pluralistic Afrofuturist, Neoplatonic, and Cyberpunk sound art / noise group. JoAnn J. McNeil, as a black American entity, presents an afrocentric perspective manifested through her voice, words, and electronics. She is a wellspring of creative / transcendental thought and energy. Nathan N. Cook, as a white American entity, presents his perspective through a personal kind of Neoplatonic / Cyberpunk thought focused on sound exploration / therapy. We are fed up with divisive rhetoric / actions and are seeking communion. Together, through our art, we explore themes of futurism relating to personal identity and working against the isolating effects of racial politics and social stratification. The genesis of our sound is the coalescing of our individual psychosocial topographies. The nexus is our shared interest in the aether and soul that transcends the shell / vessel of the self. The synthesis stems from the earthly / universal commonality of being human. Humanism is our catalyst against marginalizing and alienating ideologies. Earth is our home. Transhumanism aids in our understanding of how to use technology and electricity to diffuse our art effectively. We are investigating immateriality and the metaphysical that at times is indifferent to the flesh. The Neoplatonic aspect focuses on our thoughts, ideas, and philosophies that are not concerned with the superficial and, to a certain extent, reject it. Conversely our genetics, experiences, and identities in the stratified and class obsessed landscape of American society are inextricable and irreducible. We confront the turmoil, frustration, and anger involved in the culture wars and through interrogation transmute these feelings into communion, accord, and empathy. Nyfolt is critical of materialism. Other trajectories are led by intuition, an affinity for the peculiar, and of a desire to avert, neutralize, and extinguish the corrosive and paralyzing effects of prejudice, discrimination, and conformist thought / living. We are humans. Ultimately, Nyfolt is a mystical catalyst for the investigation of our identities / existence with a vision of egalitarianism and social communion from the present to the future. We are people. Our intention is to avoid ensnaring otherness figments. We are in the process of discovering mystical kernels… Professionally duplicated and printed. Edition of 100 on Chrome Tape.
Nathan Nolan Newrohr Cook – ‘Transmutation Passages I-IV’ C21
Cassette edition documenting Cook’s sound installation in the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’ elevator for the Audible Interruptions sound art series in 2014. Audible Interruptions is a series of site-specific sound installations that investigate the sonic identity of the museum’s architecture. First presented in fall 2013 and continuing through summer 2014, the three-part series features works that occupy museum areas— the restrooms, a hallway, and the elevator—that are not traditionally used for displaying art, removing distinctions between exhibition and common spaces. Such utilitarian environments, having a specific and limited purpose, typically do not promote thoughtful analysis and are used in mechanical and unconscious ways. By re-inventing the aural and conceptual landscapes of these areas, the works in Audible Interruptions offer a unique experience, helping us discover new and unexpected ways to interact with architecture and rethink familiar places. Audible Interruptions is a yearlong exhibition series organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by guest curator Kevin Harris, a St. Louis-based artist, musician, and engineer. Nathan Cook often presents live sound art performances that invite unique interactions with the audience and where patience, commitment, and engagement are rewarded with meditative and thought-provoking soundscapes. With Transmutation Passages, Cook uses the controlled environment of the elevator to explore the relationship between sound and space. Four separate pieces rotate over the course of the exhibition, each using sound to encourage a novel way of experiencing the movement of the elevator.
I. Driving: Spatial Displacement Digital stereophonic audio, 6:23 minutes Driving: Spatial Displacement uses cassette recordings Cook made while driving on highways. The raw field recordings from under the hood, outside the car window, and inside the vehicle were edited, layered, and arranged. The result provokes memories and induces the feeling of horizontal movement while the setting of the elevator provides a simultaneous, contrasting experience of vertical movement through space.
II. Network Overheat Digital stereophonic audio, 4:03 minutes The claustrophobic setting of the elevator is paired with an anxiety-inducing electronic score, encouraging passengers to question their level of trust and to what extent they are willing to surrender to technology.
III. Verticality: The Fountain of Bliss Digital stereophonic audio, 5:00 minutes Verticality: The Fountain of Bliss is a layered arrangement of digital field recordings of several local water fountains. The work playfully reinforces the vertical movement of the elevator while inviting poetic interpretations of the sound of falling water, re-contextualized in an unlikely interior.
IV. Enter as Flesh and Exit as Gold Digital stereophonic audio, 4:00 minutes Enter as Flesh and Exit as Gold was created by manipulating the pitch of several electronic oscillators in order to generate subtly shifting waves of harmonic overtones. At first listen, the work is awash in static. The chamber of the elevator facilitates focused attention however, revealing a myriad of pulses and beating patterns. Professionally duplicated and printed. With color double-sided, 4-panel j-cards. Digital download link included. Mastered by Jonathan James. Edition of 100 on Chrome Tape.
Alex Cunningham – ‘Kinesthetics’ C42
Alex is a St. Louis-based guitarist and violinist originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His sensibilities and prowess range from extended technique/experimental playing in solo and group free improvisational settings to performing composed post-rock in Hardbody alongside members of Spelling Bee and Stonechat. The latest entry into the Close/Far catalogue is Alex’s new tape “Kinesthetics” featuring nine solo improvisations on violin. Overall the collection displays a very distinct quality of earnestness and alertness while communicating with a spectacular vocabulary of texture, rhythm, and gesture making it quite a stunning debut solo recording. Professionally duplicated and printed. Digital download link included. Edition of 100 on Chrome Tape.