Carl Michael Von Hausswolff

A Lecture on Disturbances in Architecture

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A Lecture on Disturbances in Architecture is presented as "an intellectual platform for further discussions" on the topic of "looking at architectural space through the medium of sound" (according to the press release). An actual lecture this is not; instead, Carl Michael von Hausswolff gives listeners seven sound art pieces masquerading as illustrations for an academic presentation -- in fact, a survey of his installation and sound art between 1997 and 2002. An excerpt from a recorded and released lecture by R. Buckminster Fuller (in other words, a snippet of what this album disguises itself as) works as an anti-introduction. "The Importance of Good Heating in Colder Climates" consists of thick grey noise -- listeners can guess it could be the magnified sound of a gas heater. After a minute of a painful high-pitched tone ("The Small Unnoticed Room," related topic: uselessness) come three variations on frequencies. One of them, "Why Similar Aesthetics Collide," lets two closely pitched sine waves flap against each other. "Illustration of High Ceilings Inhabited by Angels" (hmm, what could he be referring to?) consists of a long, soft ambient piece, very aerial, as one could have guessed. "When Thick Walls Seem Vanished" is the most interesting work here: Listeners hear huge, echoing knocks over a track of white noise -- like checking a wall for the presence of a beam in very slow motion. Humor factor aside, these pieces are meant to be (and better) experienced separately on loudspeakers. Minimal in constituents and movement but not necessarily minimalist, this album puts the listener in the middle of a room and plays tricks on his or her ears. Not as gripping or immersive as some of Hausswolff's previous discs, but on the other hand it adds a witty conceptual dimension.