An Electro-Acoustic Sound – Listen to Oscillatorial Binnage

In One Square Inch of Silence, award winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton recalls the original legal act that formed America’s National Parks, The Organic Act, 1916 of which he writes “seven words worth repeating, a thousand times if necessary: “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”.”

While Hempton is discussing the original silences of forest and dale, one can only wonder what he makes of today’s urban environments and the music and sound art that fill their small music venues inspired by the incessant din and screech of industry. Often referred to as a noise quartet, Oscillatorial Binnage is in fact more in search of silence, and the original resonant sounds of unpolluted, or at least untreated materials. Growing up in an age where applying immense effects such as reverb and bass is all too easy to achieve a sound, in Oscillatorial Binnage we seem to have found the very act of coming together to discuss, to rehearse or perform to be in fact an act of meditation, where after all the chatter of the day, a period of intense listening can occur, an exchange of silences as much as of noise. This is nowhere more distilled than in our album offering Agitations: Post-Electronic Sounds.

One of the hand-built spring pieces on “Agitations”.

Probably best categorised as sonorous, reaching drone music rich with intriguing details, the instruments are found objects and hand built, unique oddities. This new release Agitations: Post- Electronic Sounds comes out on one of my all time favourite labels, Sub Rosa. Back in 2006 SubRosa were sending me by far the best and most surprising CDs for airplay on my show Six Pillars on Resonance104.4FM.

As far as the nature of our “unimpaired” sound goes, left for future generations (now I’m imagining a future where people no longer venture outside in person at all and there’s no natural sounds left to enjoy) we hope we have pioneered a new kind of listening. You might judge for yourself, especially if your speakers are good, on the below YouTube playlist, featuring each track on the new album below.

The CD comes with an incredibly detailed booklet of images and a thesis on the term ‘post-electronic’ , while charting some of our related work, including recordings published in The Wire magazine. Let us know what you make of it!

Hempton, G., and Grossman, J. One Square Inch of Silence, 2009. Free Press, New York, p.322