In 1952 John Cage declared ?Silence?. For 4?33? an expectant audience heard only each other; a new listening had begun. Almost 50 years later, Inspired by Cage, Seiko Mikami created a listening space inside a small anechoic chamber. His work was entitled ?Dismembered Body? and appeared at the ICC, Tokyo, where people where invited to sit and listen to amplified sounds of their internal organs. Two examples of how the removal of sound can create a loud, vivid and impromptu silence. So, to listen is to hear and silence is defined as relative to its surroundings. It becomes a sound in itself via the removal of sound rather than the addition.
The brief information which adorns the plastic sleeve housing the CDR created by Temples, states that the ?pieces explore the deafening roar of silence. This is music of subtlety and patients that should be absorbed rather than listened to?. My anticipation for a work of subtlety teamed with experiments in listening, and a ?silent? approach to music where met with a quiet rumble. Thick, heavily welded walls of noise encased a muted melody. I experimented with playing the piece both quiet and loud, in-turn, finding two very different experiences. I cast my mind back a decade to Autechre?s ?Tri Repetae?, in which the liner notes declare ?incomplete without surface noise?. This then led me to carry the sound outside and listen at a distance. Thus, the pieces became wraithlike amongst the respiration of suburbia. This was listening without focus, embracing ambience non-listening and silence (in musical terms). The sound became part of its surroundings colouring them like a tiny drop of dye in a bath of freshly drawn water.
This is one of the better drone outfits that I have been treated to of late. ?Serpentine? is made up of two long tracks, clocking in at just over 40 minutes. It is the first solo work of Kevin Michael Richards, who manipulated recordings performed on baritone guitar. A promising debut on the wonderful Reverb Worship, a label whose ever increasing output is steadily getting better. I suggest taking a drive on a clear evening, packing a tent and a stereo and finding a spot deep within the woods. Set up your sound system a few metres away, lay down upon the floor and listen to the sounds blend in varying colours that only you will ever hear. 7/10 -- Peter Taylor (6 August, 2008)