Being There by Grisha Shakhnes

Grisha Shakhnes | Being There
Unfathomless (CD/DL)

Recorded in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel the new recording from Grisha Shakhnes is uniquely set apart from other field recordings in that it is that of both indoor and outdoor sounds, contained and free. These sounds penetrate through personal space and were sometimes incidental. Shakhnes explains his making of Being There as follows:

When I record, I can only think of the intended result in terms of things like structure, volume or duration. I don’t approach recording with a preconceived concept, and I try to keep my mind clear. But connections to the real world become evident when the music is played.”

Of course his sense of both observation, and allowing the outside to seep in without explicit permission speaks volumes about his sense of trust, but then again it is only one hour in the scope of all time – so conducting the edit is crucial. Occurrences At The End Of A Curve, for these intents is incredibly perceptive even when out of ‘control’. There are repeating patterns, like low-formed oscillations that are barely perceptible at times, entering the fray. Much here sounds of erased tape loops, dusty drones that have bare surfaces and move from slight forms to hollowed out spaces.

I feel as though my sensitivity is being challenged by the muffled atmosphere, there is quite a bit of suppression, although every once in a while a few birds fly into the frame of reference, as does a car horn. I’m left sort of eavesdropping into one’s personal space, evidently a rather new home for the artist himself. And while our personal spaces are being breached by Silicon Valley and surveillance on a regular basis we are sort of only slightly maladjusted to a post-1984 world these days – as we have given “permission” via fine print legalese to those who wish to market to and watch us daily.

For my ears this leads to the potential of discussion of ye age-olde subliminal messaging – but Shakhnes inverts this by offering up this play on internal/external worlds breaking bread serendipitously through sheer proximity. On It’s A Good Day To Stay Outside (which runs nearly 44 mins) the title gives a sense of hope to those who still accept the fact that there is a vivid world with its many facets awaiting our presence everyday. One where artists make marks to communicate with the outside world, however introverted, etc. The gravelly tactile spirits rise, and other crow-like sounds offer something quite post-apocalyptic, however – like this ghost town is dotted with the detritus of those who once walked on this particular soil. Or is this a mere illusion…an active geiger counter? Towards the end overlapping radio transmissions invade all channels, and cancel each other out. Save to say, there is a lot of mystery built into the minimalism of Being There. And I like it here.


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