On P.A. / HARD LOVE, New York based composer and conceptualist Marina Rosenfeld generates a universe of radical sonic collision.
Between 2009 and 2011, in a series of monumentally scaled sites including New York’s vast Park Avenue Armory and Liverpool’s Renshaw Hall car park, Rosenfeld developed an idiosyncratic sound-system, a quasi-sculptural assemblage of customized horns and subs, which she called simply P.A. She used the system to reposition resident noise from the sites alongside traces of her own voice, and a heterogeneous palette of other electro-acoustic elements. Equal parts tuned atmosphere and active performance, the series of works was notable for its subtle yet potent exploration of voice and amplification in space; its highly iterated play of reflection and distortion; and its challenge to conventional phantasies of intelligibility and publicness in amplified sound.
In 2012, Rosenfeld invited vocalist Annette Henry, a.k.a. Warrior Queen, to contribute original vocals for an album version of the project. Recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, Henry's pointed responses to Rosenfeld’s compositions acted as catalysts for transformation, propelling the original compositions in new and unexpected directions. Okkyung Lee’s virtuosic cello, which often traces over earlier recorded iterations of itself, further elaborated the complex and contingent nature of the collaboration.
The resulting music is explicit and ambiguous, anthemic and elusive. Its spikes of uneasy beauty ask urgent questions of the listener – of language and form, of intimacy and ultimately of the complexity of address, both private and public.
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Still probably my favourite thing that Kevin Drumm has released. Makes my entire body oscillate. Should ideally be listened to at very high quality, on very good headphones, in the middle of the night. Boma Ye