Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition
Side A: Headphones
Side B: Speakers
'Project' began as a film soundtrack for "The Overcoming of Hazard" by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza, whose 3 monitor installation piece was presented in the crypt of St. Pancras church in London, August 07. It uses four atmosphere recordings, short wave radio and an organ stop - an attempt to confuse inside and out. Mixed with Mathias Gmachl at Loop.ph using Digital Performer, one side is designed for headphone listening, the other for speaker playback. The recording of the 16mm projector was made with the assistance of Al Rees.
AER is the occasional recording name for Jon Wozencroft, art director and editor of Touch. For more information on AER, go here
about the filmmakers:
Karen Mirza is an influential figure in artist film and video, known both for her work and her curatorial practice. She has recently been appointed a director of the new LUX organisation, and has been a tutor in film and video at the Royal College of Art for several years. Her work has been screened at the Tate Modern, Dokument/Art Film Germany, the National Film and Television Theatre, ‘Other British Cinema’, The LUX centre ‘Monuments and mise en scene’ where it preceded Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’, the Whitechapel gallery and festivals in Australia, Holland and Germany. Karen recently completed a new body of work, ‘site/non site’ at Goliath visual arts space in New York. Through her activities as a spokesperson for experimental film, Karen has been asked to present her work at screenings in Paris, Berlin and India, as well as creating an evening for the London Film Festival. In collaboration with David Cunningham and Brad Butler, Karen is currently launching ‘where a straight line meets a curve’, her second film financed by the Arts Council.
Brad Butler graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Documentary Direction. He also has a first class degree in Anthropology from UCL. His documentaries have been screened on Channel 4 and the BBC, as well as the ICA, NFT, Hedah, Amsterdam. Mute Loops, D-Net, The Lux Centre for Film, Video & Digital Arts. Instit. Francais d’Architectur, Paris. Architecture Film Festival, Rotterdam, BBC British Short Film Festival, London. Experimenta Media Arts, Melbourne, Australia. New British Cinema, Cinema de Balie, Amsterdam, The Tate Gallery, London and multiple festivals across Europe and the US. In September 2000 he won and headlined BBC2’s talent 2000 competition, as well as winning the National Student Television Award in 1998. Brad has just directed his first feature length documentary in the US entitled ‘The Tunnel’, launched in Dec 2002. Brad is actively linked to the DocHouse initiative in London and is co-curator of the light reading series. In 1998 Brad Butler and Karen Mirza established no.w.here. Building on their training as film specialists, their vision was to create a cross-disciplinary, multi platform studio for experimental film. no.w.here have grown to become major activists in this area and now manage ‘Artslab’, a not for profit professional studio dedicated to film as a fine art practice. Artslab was launched in January 2003 and is the only lab in the UK to offer the filmmaker hands on manipulation of the film negative in post production and is a central meeting point for Independent filmmakers interested in the preservation of the film form.
The less than evocatively titled Project is a marvellous new soundtrack work by Touch owner and photographer Jon Wozencroft, mixed by Mathias Gmachl of the great Farmers Manual. The piece was penned for an installation on show in the crypt of St. Pancras church last year, based on the film 'The Overcoming Of Hazard' by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza and is presented on this 7" in mixes for both speakers and headphones. The composition draws together four field recordings of "atmosphere", some radio signals and an organ stop, all drawn together into an extremely beautiful, uncommonly musical concrète outing. Given how few and far between AER releases tend to be, this latest in the Touch singles series feels even more special than usual, and like the Chris Watson 7" in the series, it uses the two-sided format cleverly to offer two non-hierarchical variants on a single idea rather than opting for the conventional A-side and B-side routine. Incredible.
The Wire (UK):
Well, I don't have any headphones, so I'm defying the listening instructions, but what the heck? This is a soundtrack (with film projector clickage) produced on shortwave and organ, and it conjures up a more complete filmic atmosphere than most such projects, although the whole 'movie for your ears' thing is a bit out of time. Eh? [Bryon Coley]
Photographer and touch art director Jon Wozencroft takes a side step to music with his first release Project as the musician AER. Two pieces created for a film, one to be listened by headphones and the other by speakers.
Jon Wozencroft is more known for his photographic output than his musical output. As art director and editor for Touch he is responsible for all the artwork for the releases they release. By this followers of the touch label must be familiar with his work. Though for part 3 of the Touch Seven Series Wozencroft for the first time has a release solely dedicated to his musical project AER. After some contributions to compilations project has become a 7" release containing only two short tracks written as a soundtrack for a film by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza that was part of an installation at St. Pancras church in London.
From the liner notes and the titles of the tracks we learn that each track has to be played at it's own way, side A is for headphones and side B is for speakers. So I got my headphones out and played the track Headphones a few times.
The music we hear consists out of soft rumbling sounds, voices, field recordings and the sound of a video projector. A continues slowly evolving sine tone makes the whole complete. The mood of the music is not very unsimilar to that of biosphere in his better periods, though the tension is less. By the use of the headphones some nice stereo elements come out, though if we go over to the second track Speakers which is about the same there seems to be no big difference to me. Some of the field recordings sound slightly louder and the video projector slightly more to the background, but for the rest it's probably more concept than anything else.
Project is a nice release but nowhere as outstanding as the photographic work by Wozencroft, just look at the photo for this release (though does that really need to be mentioned anymore?). Probably if hearing this work in combination with seeing the art installation and film it will work better, for me now it's just a random nice track. Nothing more, nothing less.
Keeps me wondering: could we expect more music by Wozencroft now, and also in what direction would he develop his music the coming years. Keeping the ears open might give an idea in the future. [Sietse van Erve]