320 kbps, LAME-encoded
This year we launched a new conceptual single series: The Hearing Experience, a collection of single releases from artists including Lola de la Mata, Astrid Sonne, and Damsel Elysium. The project presents sonic works from each artist exploring their relationship with the act of listening. The singles will be released monthly, starting with leading single ‘KOH - Klee - uh’ from conceptual sound artist Lola de la Mata. The single series will be followed by a live event later on in the year curated by SA Recordings.
Lola de la Mata is the first artist to present their sonic piece for the The Hearing Experience. Her practice encompasses sound art, compositions, workshop leading and multi-dimensional curations. While her background is in weaving, printmaking and Labanotation, her work sits across performance art, installation and sculptural composition which she develops in collaboration with other musicians and dancers who are predominantly female, non-binary and queer. Her musical inspirations come from greats like Eliane Radigue, Holly Herndon and Maryanne Amacher. Lola’s previous works have received praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 3 and NTS and she has received commissions from Riot Ensemble, Zubin Kanga, Nonclassical, Spitalfields Music Festival and many more.
‘KOH - Klee - uh’, is from a wider project Lola is working on titled IUH ea(r) air which is based on her experiences with tinnitus, as a non-emitted sound phenomena. Unlike usual sounds which one hears through the ear mechanism, tinnitus is unique to each person and cannot be heard outside of the ear or by anyone else. It can be a symptom from various causes and is widely misunderstood as it has no known cure. The piece was Lola’s first dive back into music after a medical break she had to take due to tinnitus. The wider project, which is still a work in progress, aims to create individual pieces based on different parts of the ear in relation to tinnitus. Like most of Lola’s work, the piece focuses on the human body and stems from weeks of research, creating worlds surrounding the theme before her sonic exploration has even begun. Immersing herself with this particular topic through film, theatre, books, scientific papers and publications such as Patrick Farmer’s: Azimuth, the Ecology of an Ear.
‘KOH - Klee - uh’, is based on the cochlea. She was inspired by the Rhine and Weber’s hearing test method which uses C2 and C4 tuning forks for air and bone conduction when creating the sound. Although incredibly electronic in its sound, ‘Koh - Klee - uh’ is mostly acoustic, featuring the Canna Sonora, the double bass and the medical tuning forks with only a small moment within the track featuring granular synthesis “it was the only thing that could represent the sound of calcium crystals becoming loose which causes the onset of vertigo, I wanted to create a piece that had the same sonic world as my electronic music but was completely acoustic and could be performed live”.
The single features an impressive line up of collaborators with the unusual instrument, the Canna Sanora, being played by renowned percussionist Joby Burgess, whose work can be heard in Black Panther, Rocketman, Ad Astra amongst others, as well as featuring on the score for Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, recorded remotely from his home. Joby enjoys close relationships with a variety of instrument makers and manufacturers, his extensive collection of instruments is featured on Spitfire Audio’s sample library Spitfire Percussion. In addition to this, Marianne Schofield, playing the double bass, is a member of the award-winning contemporary collective Riot Ensemble as well as running critically acclaimed The Hermes Experiment, who’s debut album HERE WE ARE made the Guardian’s top 10 contemporary albums of 2020.
Drowning out our connection to time, the piercing, rattling and booming sounds of ‘Koh - Klee - uh’ engulf the listener in a dark environment where tinnitus reshapes our hearing, collectively sharing an experience that usually sounds to an audience of one.