by John Harvey

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Voice: 'Was she saying the same thing?'


The circumstances of these recordings were inauspicious to say the least. The three fantasia were played on a woefully out-of-tune piano by a non-pianist and recorded on lo-fi equipment during an afternoon’s convalescence and a monsoon downpour at my parents-in-law’s home in Singapore. They derive from an intuitive play (using pentatonic scales) influenced by Maurice Ravel’s (1875-1937) and Claude Debussy’s (1862-1918) adaptation of Asian music models and by Eric Satie’s (1866-1925) 'café music'.

Information on the individual tracks can be found by placing the cursor on the title, and then clicking on 'info'.


released May 22, 2012

Personnel: anonymous radio announcer, voice, and John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Steinbach upright piano, battery-operated toy, Sony Walkman FM/AM Stereo Cassette-corder WM-F65.

Context: Piano improvisations were captured on 15 March 1988, Singapore. Environmental sounds were captured 5, 6 and 15 March 1988, Singapore. Remastered in Aberystwyth, UK in March 2012.

The pieces, together with the environmental sounds, are extracts from my ‘aural diary’ for 1988: a document of experience, sensation, place, and people made using audio recording.


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

Harvey is a historian of art, visual culture, and sound art, and also a sound- and visual-art practitioner. His research field is the visual and sonic culture of religion, principally. He explores non-iconic attitudes to visualization and sonic articulations of religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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