anne-james chaton

événements 09


anne-james chaton

événements 09

1 ticket "ticket T+ OPTILE ratp — bus tm rer dans paris t sncf — carnet — stif stif stif — 005676486 i 0803 b 14"

"poor literature", that’s how french sound poet anne-james chaton calls trivial workaday texts like receipts, metro tickets, newspaper headlines and so on. he collects these kinds of texts for years now, always on certain "événements" – media-related occasions which are of particular interest, and converts them into music. on raster-noton, he releases his »événements n° 20 to 28«, which deal with, among others, the investiture of barack obama or michael jackson’s death.

the fragments of literature and their musical arrangement remind, due to their precision, of the performance of a human beat boxer. chaton cuts, loops and samples the spoken texts and assembles them into staccato-like and hypnotizing tracks. the text itself is treated like an instrument; its repetition, its inner rhythmic condense the song and push it. apparently random chosen phrases are isolated and their original message is transformed, their former simple meaning is extended.

anne-james chaton:
"I’m not musician and I don’t compose music. I 'write' the sound: it means I use techniques from literature to compose ›événements 09‹. all the sounds from ›événements 09‹ are coming only from text and voice.

main text is build with 'poor literature' (receipts, promotional flyers, customer loyalty cards,…) coming a day. at the end of the day, this collection builds a short story, because each document shares information like time, places, actions, names of people,…

back sound track is build with the headline of a news paper of the same day. I record the headline with lo-fi microphone, really close to the mic, then 'plosive' letters like 'b', 'p', … create crashes and bass in the sound, and when I build a loop of the part of the sentence it creates the rhythm. for example, ›the king of pop is dead‹, I listen different part of the sentence, like 'the king', then 'king of pop', then 'pop is dead', and finally I keep the text-loop which creates the better rhythm.

after this first operation, I increase gain of some part of the text loop. for ›king of pop‹, I increase 'of' and 'pop' letters. last operation: I eq part of the text loop.

for the complete album, I choose 9 world events in 2009, the death of michael jackson, barack obama's investiture, revolution in téhéran… when the world event happens, I start to collect documents a day. then it creates a mix between my really 'common life', increase by the kind of documents I use to write it, and heavy world events. the loop coming from headlines is more like antique chorus.

important thing is also for me to work with coherent technics and materials, so that’s reason why I work with 'low intensity literature' and 'low fi' recorder. it’s also because, presently, in our society, everybody is all time and everywhere reading thoses kind of literature and listening and recording sound on low fi machines.

it also tell about the 'latency' of the press and writing in general compares to the mainstream of tv or radio, because news papers comes the day after the event, for example death of michael jackson happens 25 june, but the ›événement n°23‹ is 26 of june, day after, when headline was printed on news papers."