5.6.11

Camilla Hannan


For Australian sound artist Camilla Hannan, sound is a potent psychological tool that alters mood and perception. Through her radical reinterpretations of field recordings of abandoned spaces, factories, and other industrial sites, she collects remnants from those cold environments and transforms them into paradoxically romantic landscapes of textures and drones.

"Primary concerns in my work include perceptions of sound in everyday life, the construction of artificial sonic locales and techniques of sound spatialisation. My source material comes from location recordings, which are digitally processed into abstract textural soundscapes using a variety of sampling processes. (abbreviated bio,
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Camilla Hannan
More Songs About Factories
(Cajid Media, 2005)


Despite her lack of releases over the years, Camilla Hannan has remained an active member in the Australian sound-art scene, notching plenty of installations, performances and commissioned soundtracks to her belt. More Songs About Factories then, is a rare document in which we are given a window into Camilla's process realized through a medium that, for whatever reason, she has decided not to actively pursue. Personally, I'd like to see more of her work given a physical release, as this album is a fine effort, featuring 5 tracks of obfuscated field recordings.

Although these works have all clearly been processed, and despite what the above bio describes as transformation into a paradoxically romantic landscape, Hannan doesn't mask anything heavy handedly – aside from the fourth movement that I can only take a stab at was sourced from closely mic'd type writer machines (see sound sample). The sounds are interesting enough in their own right, and Hannan is aware of this, so her job becomes one of finely tweaking the movements to make them perfect. Take for example the eleven minute center piece, and strongest album track, the "factory song" in this instance careens through various states of mechanized thrumming, at times densely billowing and at other times sputtering gently. The sounds feel oddly familiar, like those of the my urban environment, the vent I often pass on the way to the liquor store, or the sound of squealing trains that bleed in from the harbour. Not the most "artsy" packaging you'll ever see. In fact, if I saw this among a row of cds at one of the local music shoppes, I fear I'd likely overlook it. Nonetheless, very good!



A track by Hannan was also featured on the Eric La Casa and Philip Samartzis curated Magnetic Traces: A Survey of French and Australian Sound Art, a remarkable compilation featuring stereo versions from multichannel compositions from preeminent French and Australian sound composers.

1 comment:

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