Original work by Annie Bandez & Paul Wallfisch

Fred, The Koan of Uncertainty. Parts 1 & 2

This is an extract. The full piece is 24'00".

A theatrical study in the obsessive anthropomorphisation of tropical storms, in a a tense and building soundscape. Using only the female voice as source material, Fred plays out as sculpted utterances, guttural and menacing, and a tall, overarching presence in sound.

Fred was the name of a much-reported tropical storm heading towards the artist's home in storm-battered Florida while this piece was being made. A local TV station broadcast constant news under the headline: “The Cone of Concern.“ but the artists imagined it a koan, a meditational riddle that Buddhists use to help unravel greater truths about the world and themselves.

What does the gathering storm, electrifying the air, sucking all into its path of destruction and manifesting as a gathering noise, tell us about ourselves? And what if the filter for this is Miami news broadcasts, tripping over themselves to find sexy descriptions of what might happen?

Where painstaking tape-manipulation was a key trigger in the development of sound art, this piece takes it into overdrive - using software plugin effects and humour to deconstruct Annie's poetry to extremes. The word Fred is broken into separate letters which are reconstructed into a thunder so intense that you can't help but laugh. And at the heart of the chaos are strict rules, everything divides into eight and the repetition guides the listener into a meditative state - a koan in the eye of the storm.

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