Recorded in 1993 and reissued as a three-inch CD by Adam Sonderberg's Longbox label a decade later, Wasps reminds us that before evolving into a painfully arid conceptual artist, Francisco López was a mesmerizing sound trickster. This work belongs to his field recording years. It is a simple study on a how a complex drone can change shape -- or at least be perceived differently -- by simply making it louder or softer. The title gives the key: the drone is a recording of buzzing wasps. By listening to it grow and fade out, you will hear wind through a tunnel (or a conch), highway traffic, and everything else in the wasp's environment. The piece begins and ends with a slow fade that makes it rise from, and go back to, nothingness, but the process is still years away from what will became López' trademark stretches of complete silence before and after the "main" part of his works. Essential López.
Share this page