Ichneumon (2004)

8-channel piece, duration 7’09”.

The word Ichneumon has a greek-latin source and means «tracer» or «tracker», with etymological relationship to «instinct» and «sensuality». A trace is usually a kind of a negative print that refers to an action that has taken place, it is a frozen image of a movement which can be revived in the psychic hyperreality of the memory. Ichneumon appears as a monolithic block constructed merely from one field recording (in the actual sense) that was made in the fields and woods near my parents’ house. Rather than recreating the original atmosphere (which is impossible and moreover unintended), I was exploring what kind of different «natural» sculpture was hidden inside the material.

Ichneumon is the first multichannel piece that I made, and the spread of the sound in space allowed me to create something that may be reminiscent of cubistic ideas, the parallel coexistence of different perspectives onto the same object, not necessarily distorted but having different focusses. The sound surface would sometimes fall into discrete parts and then reunite and appear as one object with large extension whose vibrations vary along the sides and edges. Form constituting elements are the motions and gestures of formants across space and frequency and the rhythms and interferences of transients.

In the beginning was a distribution of the original sound following a simple eight (seven) proportion series, purely keeping the channels separated. Then carefully neighbourhoods have been established, elements were slowly rotated in small angles or blended to opposite sides, parts taken away to allow for breathing etc. The hum of the motor of a passing airplane is only remaining as short glimpses, but still has a residual reference due to the piece’s name (Ichneumonids being a sort of wasps). There is no preferred «front» or «back» of the circle. Like the Ichneumon, a short-legged cat, the listener is asked to turn his or her head from time to time following a personal instinct.

Ichneumon (stereo mix, excerpt)