Only Surface Noise is Real:

Only Surface Noise is Real was a part of On Record, as part of Cardiff Contemporary 2014.

The multiples produced, the performance and installation were made in response to the sonic artifacts often present in analogue music formats through their make-up and those applied through the mechanics of extended use. Relating to my own relationships with analogue formats,
my formative years spent with ears cratered in walkman headphones, largely trying to ignore the wider world and listening mostly to recordings made from vinyl and mix tapes recorded from tape-to-tape or directly from the radio.

It wasn't until later that I started to miss the discrepancies in presentation that this afforded…
It is possible that the crackle of a particular record, on a now muffled tape recording, subject to the wow and flutter of a particular player's mechanism has it's own set of references which become embedded in our listening experiences and social experiences associated with listening to, and sharing music.

Within the performance, a selection from multiple single-sided resin castings of a one-off 7" record were played on two record players, via vibration speakers through cymbals. As the acoustics passed through the cymbals into the room, they were also amplified from the surface of the cymbal via contact microphones into 2 x active monitor speakers turning the room into a chamber where the surfaces of the records and cymbals were reflected.

The resin multiples had inherited the grooves from the original record and each casting also created new surface noise via air-bubbles trapped inside the resin as part of the casting process.

20 copies of the documentary zine and a CDR ' Only Surface noise is Real: Prototyping The Performance' were handed out to attendees after the event.
15 copies of the zine, CDR and resing 'bootleg' were given out to artists working in sound who have
supported and through discussion and curating have helped my work to date. These artists are
expected to make a response in time to the product and performance.

The final 3 copies have been reserved for a forthcoming performance expanding upon the event at On Record/Cardiff Contemporary 2014.

Updates and responses to this project can be found at Only Surface Noise

Prototyping The Performance:

Recording of Performance:

Video/Photo Edit:
Only Surface Noise is Visible from Ian Watson on Vimeo.

Thanks to Noel Dacey & Freya Dooley for photographs of the performance and installation,
Thanks also to Richard Huw Morgan for video of the performance.