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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

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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