Libertatia Laboratories — Audio Experiments

In both musical and visual art, my approach is essentially a matter of collage. This is, perhaps, not so far from the method of synthesis that guides my historical and theoretical work or from the dynamics of poetry. I am quite conscious that all of this activity is a matter of construction and that construction is often a matter of bricolage. We work with what the world has left us — and the creative activity is the reassembly of some of the bits in ways that appear useful.

The current batch of recordings are very much products of the pandemic, concerned with repetition, the passing of time, monotony and the textures of life lifted out of longstanding routines, the navigation of elements outside our direct control, etc. The first-phase recordings being reconstructed are evidence that these are not exactly new concerns, even if the stimuli have changed rather dramatically.

hors du troupeau — “relays & reconstructions”

All of the 24+ hours of recordings produced for this project began with a single generative Wotja mix, “Positive Teal,” which was repeatedly allowed to develop for hours. Various instances of the resulting music were then shuffled together, reconstructed with different instrumentation, etc.

The project page includes extensive notes on the process and journal entries documenting its progression.

  1. one hour one hors du troupeau 1:00:12
  2. one hour two hors du troupeau 1:00:11
  3. one hour three hors du troupeau 1:00:08
  4. one hour four hors du troupeau 1:02:47
  1. two hour one hors du troupeau 1:00:04
  2. two hour two hors du troupeau 1:00:13
  3. two hour three hors du troupeau 1:00:04
  4. two hour four hors du troupeau 1:00:38
  1. three hour one hors du troupeau 1:00:13
  2. three hour two hors du troupeau 1:00:11
  3. three hour three hors du troupeau 1:00:11
  4. three-hour-four 1:00:48
  1. four hour one hors du troupeau 1:00:05
  2. four hour two hors du troupeau 1:00:10
  3. four hour three hors du troupeau 1:00:08
  4. four hour four hors du troupeau 1:02:49
  1. tag-ends and new beginnings — one hors du troupeau 1:00:04
  2. tag-ends and new beginnings — two hors du troupeau 1:00:01
  3. tag-ends and new beginnings — three hors du troupeau 1:00:02
  4. tag-ends and new beginnings — four hors du troupeau 1:00:02
  1. first reconstruction hors du troupeau 1:00:17
  2. second reconstruction hors du troupeau 1:00:11
  3. third reconstruction hors du troupeau 1:00:25
  4. fourth reconstruction hors du troupeau 1:00:30
  5. fifth reconstruction (bonus) hors du troupeau 1:00:13

hors du troupeau — “music for strange elevators”

This is elevator music, designed to be repeated and subjected, during the construction phase, to prolonged looping as I worked at other tasks. The game was to work the edges of what would ultimately fade into the background, starting each construction with variations on a randomly generated piano motif. The sonic palette was fading memories of outdoor shopping malls and on-hold music.

  1. down when I should have pressed up hors du troupeau 2:16
  2. piping in the cheer hors du troupeau 1:53
  3. another rainy day hors du troupeau 1:36
  4. the atrium lift hors du troupeau 1:20
  5. haven’t seen that technician in years hors du troupeau 1:48
  6. rising above the city hors du troupeau 1:20
  7. a strange elevator hors du troupeau 1:30
  8. interlude: up and up hors du troupeau 3:50
  9. ’tis the season hors du troupeau 2:28
  10. interlude: standing clear hors du troupeau 4:30
  11. shadows and memories hors du troupeau 1:52
  12. serious business hors du troupeau 1:52
  13. there is no thirteenth floor hors du troupeau 2:00
  14. sometimes the air feels thin hors du troupeau 1:36
  15. still stranger elevators hors du troupeau 2:30
  16. up when i should have pressed down hors du troupeau 2:16

Guinea-Pig Fleet — “Hiroshima Tattoo” (2021 Reconstruction)

Guinea-Pig Fleet was a project, originally active roughly twenty years ago, exploring my reactions to technology and technological threat, with a heavy emphasis on the early atomic era. Hiroshima Tattoo was perhaps the most approachable and musical of the recordings associated with the project, a simple lingering with the scars left on our collective memory. The 2021 reconstruction has been gentle, softening some discordant sections without, I hope, flattening them in any way.

  1. The Greatest Achievement of Organized Science 3:43
  2. A Shadow Etched in Stone Guinea-Pig Fleet 46:43
  3. Flowers of September (Second Flowering) Guinea-Pig Fleet 3:12

Guinea-Pig Fleet — “Fire Raids: Tokyo” (2022 Deconstruction)

  1. Prelude: Daylight Overflight Guinea-Pig Fleet 15:05
  2. Marianas, March 9 / 50-Second Intervals Guinea-Pig Fleet 13:56
  3. The Monotony of Evil (300 Miles of Superforts) Guinea-Pig Fleet 5:54
  4. Tokyo (Above the Flames) Guinea-Pig Fleet 18:20
  5. Sweep Conflagration / Kototoi Bridge Guinea-Pig Fleet 21:35
  6. Identifying the Dead / Stench of Flesh / Cleaning Out the Bomb Bays 16:50

Guinea-Pig Fleet — “Fire Raids: Toyama” (2022 Reconstruction)

  1. Target Toyama (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 1:00
  2. American Ingenuity (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 20:05
  3. Marianas (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 1:03
  4. VLR (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 21:25
  5. Midmission (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 1:10
  6. The Peace That America Will Bring (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 26:38
  7. Mission’s End (2022) Guinea-Pig Fleet 1:02

The front page of the Libertarian Labyrinth archive features a sort of ground floor feuilleton, with a mix of art, audio and translation. These are the tracks that have appeared there.

  1. three twenty six hors du troupeau 5:39
  2. For All the Brave Pianos Lost at Sea – Third Movement hors du troupeau 6:28
  3. For All the Brave Pianos Lost at Sea – First Movement (draft) hors du troupeau 7:30
  4. Damaged Atmospheres – One Libertatia Laboratories 1:02:18
  5. Genbaku Dome Guinea-Pig Fleet 41:14
  6. Rainy Christmas Eve hors du troupeau 4:40
  7. above the city (drinking in the view) hors du troupeau 3:22
About Shawn P. Wilbur 2609 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.