(a)Tonal Destruction’s the Only Solution
By: (knee shy)
Format: limited edition CD-r in one of a kind handmade packaging
Catalog #: FMSMPRC26
In early 2010 (knee shy), the chosen moniker of the collaborative workings of Los Angeles based artists j. shelley harrison and jeremy kennedy, presented an art/sound installation titled “the Sound of Wall” at Origami Vinyl, a record store/performance space in LA’s Echo Park community.
The piece itself was essentially a large wall mounted string instrument built specifically for the space. The 7-section unit contained in total 111 strings, some strung properly and others prepared with a variety of objects. Amplified both electrically and naturally, it filled the roll of several traditional instrument variants, and encouraged the use of extended technique and improvisation.
“(a)Tonal Destruction’s the Only Solution” was not recorded on “the Sound of Wall”, but during the process of building the piece. The creation of the piece required (knee shy) to look to a number of existing instruments for ideas and more importantly, parts and components. Subsequently, many of these instruments were altered, broken, and otherwise cannibalized by the assemblage.
One such instrument was an upright spinet piano from 1964, the main source of sound during this recording. Starting with the improper removal of the piano’s keys and ending with the cutting of each string inside the body, this field recording captures the torturous and methodic disembowel in its entirety.
Atonal blasts compound with dying chirps as a result of the physical destruction, guided with a mix of care and chaos. Armed with an array of pliers, hammers, saws, snips, and other instruments of destruction, (knee shy) programs an instant arrangement birthed as much in chance as in crafted strokes of violence.
The wood and components taken from the instrument itself have been reused by the artists as raw materials for 4 separate projects to date, including the packaging for this limited release. Other pieces of note include (knee shy)’s “the Sound of Wall”, and j. shelley harrison’s “keys to an eighty-eighth”.
The originally noted “Sound of Wall” installation’s opening event featured an improvised performance, dedicated to Luc Ferrari (whose 83rd birthday coincided with the event), played on the assemblage. (knee shy) sees this as a pre-extension of that composition, and a tribute to Ferrari’s fielding efforts.
“(a)Tonal Destruction’s the Only Solution” is now made available by FMSMPRC as a limited edition release of 30, in a variety of packaging created by the artists from materials recycled from the original piano.
Tyco Riley- (2010)