Various Artists


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Itineraire is a strange project with its roots in the mail networks of the 1980s, a fairly common form of collaboration among sound artists who deliberately worked outside any kind of mainstream or institution, taking inspiration from early industrial groups like Throbbing Gristle, P16.D4, and Nurse With Wound. Frans de Waard initiated this "itinerary" with a work that sounds like a small outdoor construction project, with hammering, scraping, and various bird and nature noises in the background, an appropriate symbol for a Do It Yourself mail art. De Waard forwarded his piece to industrial/noise artist Asmus Tietchens, who added some electronics, vocal samples, and processing to the original, then sent it on to Achim Wollscheid. Wollscheid proposed that not only should they transform the piece of music, but there should also be an object which they could all transform, as a metaphor for the specific transformation method used. De Waard started the itinerary with a piece of Styrofoam, which was cut up by Tietchens, dissolved in acid by Wollscheid, dried and bound as a rattle by Frisian sound artist and paleolinguist Giancarlo Toniutti, and finally designed into a brooch by Bernhard Günter. Photographs of the object at all stages are included with the packaging. Wollscheid also transformed the music through filtering and editing to a series of sonic snapshots gradually diminishing in volume from an initial harshness. Toniutti's version is repetitive, like a process piece, perpetual motion patterns with quiet rhythmic rattles (perhaps from his rendition of the object). Günter provides one of his trademark quiet pieces, low murmurs with non-pitched scrapes, crackles, and spurts. The arrangement of the pieces on the CD is in reverse order from the transformation, concealing the mechanisms used for generation, but bringing the initial quiet fog into the clarity of an afternoon spent peacefully working outdoors.

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