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_h__T__n_y​-​Th_rd P_alm (R_st__eth)

from I. Nothing. Lack (Psalm 23) [ep] by John Harvey



I transferred the digitised recording of MacMillan's recitation of Psalm 23 to cassette tape. Thereafter, the magnetic particles that adhered to it were erased, layer by layer. Following each pass, the outcome of the subtraction was re-digitised. After five applications of the process, the original recording sounded like a fierce noise.

The phased passes were then arranged in order, beginning with the most degraded, and proceeding, through a sequence of fades, to a pristine rendering of the original, at the end. In this way, the process was analogous to the effects of dementia on memory, wherein the most recent memories (corresponding to the beginning of the recitation) are erased first while the earliest memories (corresponding to the end of the recitation), remain intact. Highly distorted versions of the punished tape recordings are also incorporated into the composition in order to further erode the integrity of the audible material and evoke a catastrophic failure of information and coherence.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


from I. Nothing. Lack (Psalm 23) [ep], released March 6, 2018


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus 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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