Cole Peters

Visual/sound artist

Four Unbindings

EP (digital download)

2023/09, LINE Imprint

Stream and purchase on Bandcamp

Over the course of recent years, I have come to consider much of my work in sound as an act of delineation.

The positioning of microphones and the timing of their listening defines both a physical and temporal boundary, cleaving one space from all others, one duration from all others. A subtler delineation is also made in the act of recording: one between acoustic events and their phenomena of origin. In this way, carrying out my work becomes a function of reduction — of space, duration, and acoustics. This is, to be certain, an extremely formal ideation; yet in considering my work in this way, I have found a deep reservoir of curiosity and fascination.

The compositions comprising Four Unbindings have emerged principally in consideration of this conceptual framework. These pieces are intended to function first and foremost as formal investigations removed from external context. Or, simpler: these pieces are strictly about what they sound like. (In many ways, I consider this work to be an auditory analogue of explorations I have previously made through the medium of photography — particularly the series Heir, 2018.)

And yet, being themselves formed strictly from field recordings (processed minimally for dynamics and frequency spectra), one cannot help but listen to these pieces with an ear towards origin and identification. In this tension lies a particular fascination for me: the opportunity to observe the listening mind’s response when encountering sonic material that offers little beyond a brutalist formal content.

It should perhaps be noted that throughout the early history of field recording, reductivist strategies (however poorly considered) were not infrequently wielded in the carrying out of ecological and cultural violence. It therefore follows that the lens through which one renders a formalist contemplation of field recording should be exacting. My priority in these works has been the veneration of unattended acoustic phenomena deriving from interactions between the built and natural world. Many of the anthropic conditions from which these phenomena originate, however, deserve a close and ongoing scrutiny.

Sounds for tracks 1–3 recorded 2022 in Treaty 1 territory, Central Canada. Sounds for track 4 recorded 2023 in the ancestral lands of the O’Odham and Piipaash peoples, Southwest US.

The title ‘Vegas Room’ is derived from the book ‘There Is No Antimemetics Division’ by qntm.

Recording, assemblage, mix and photography by Cole Peters. Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.