The Sons of God


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The stage is filled with furniture, appliances, and objects found in any house or apartment. Two actors inhabit this decor, choreographing daily life in its most quotidian details before violence escalates and the furniture gets partially destroyed. That is in a nutshell the nature of Kent Tankred and Leif Elggren's (aka the Sons of God) performance piece-cum-installation Refurnish. Premiered on November 16, 1995, at the renown art space Fylkingen in Stockholm (Sweden), its soundtrack came out seven years later. Presented as a continuous 79-minute track, it consists of a small number of paradigm shifts between stillness and action. On one side of the coin we find a synthesizer soundscape, not quite as annoying as new age music, but still hinting at that direction. On the flip side is a symphony of chairs dragged around on a wooden floor and similar "furniture sounds" which may or may not have been performed live (liner notes remain mute about recording details). Like many of the Sons of God's albums, this one presents the aural ersatz of a work of art that the listener is invited to reconstruct in his or her head. Whether it works or not depends on what you were planning to get from the experience. As sound art, the piece lacks some depth, although its final ten minutes of more aggressive noise and even softer soundscapes bring up a number of interesting questions about humans' perception of chaos and order. If you are already acquainted with the Sons of God or Elggren's work, you know what to expect; if you are not, Refurnish may not be the best place to start.