Merz Arrangment

Merzbarn, Cumbria

May 2012

A work made during a residency at the Merzbarn project ran by Littoral Arts Trust and later exhibited as part of Attributed Sound an audio visual collaboration.

During a residency at the Merzbarn project, which is a project centred on the site where Kurt Schwitters worked on his last Merz piece before he died, I turned the Merzbarn structure itself and it’s contents into an instrument. This involved field recordings of the sounds of water dripping on and from the building, contact with the structure and material of the barn, using the acoustics of within the barn and also collecting objects from the barn. From these collected objects I arranged a sound sculpture inspired by the freedom of Schwitter’s fragmented works and went about ‘extracting’ sound from them with a contact mic. The following video shows the performative ‘extraction’ process at the Shippon Gallery studio.

The resulting track built up from the individual recordings holds the frantic energy and possibility sensed when reflecting on Kurt Schwitter’s work and where he worked. The track which builds and breaks with textures and rhythmical noise mirrors the idea that something unfinished (Schwitter’s last work)/broken or in flux can be hopeless but infinitely hopeful and potent.

Please follow the Attributed Sound project site to the Listen section for my track ‘Sound Sculpture: Merz Arrangement’.

www.attributedsound.com