March 4, 2009
STRANGE FRUIT – Massimo Magee
1: Strange Fruit 19:50
Massimo Magee: Amplifier with headphones and preparations, Ukulele, Wooden Flute, Field Recordings, Sopranino Saxophone, recorded to tape
A ‘still life’ in improvised sound
[AR08] is called ‘Strange Fruit’ because it is, at least in part, about choices. Choices and the consequences of these choices. These consequences that flow on from our choices and our attempts (successes/failures) to control them – the pursuit and relinquishing of control. The amplifier feedback is in some parts controlled, and in some parts set up and then left to its own -punintendeddevices to play out as dictated by forces outside of human control (vibrations in the desk, in the air, etc.). The fierce rain outside which can be heard on the recording is not controlled. The field recordings – momentary portals to another place and time – are set in motion, but not controlled. The ukulele, flute and sopranino saxophone are controlled. Thus the pursuit and relinquishing of control as well as the entirely uncontrollable are all happening at the one time. Many elements of the life of the capsicum in the image on the cover, no doubt, were controlled right from where it was grown, likely designed to produce a round, red, perfectly healthy specimen. Many aspects of its presentation in the supermarket, in a specially designed area placed in with lots of other round, red, healthy-looking capsicums [capsicae?] were also, no doubt, controlled to enforce this impression of a normal round, red capsicum. Somehow, however, other forces outside of control conspired to produce this strange, but strangely beautiful vegetable, and a relinquishing of control (nay, quality control) on the supermarket’s part led to its being placed on display in the capsicum basket for the hungry (and forgiving) consumer to find and photograph. This intertwining of the pursuit and relinquishing of control and the uncontrollable, unpredictable forces of nature led to this strangely beautiful object being created and put in a position for its strange, individual beauty to be observed and enjoyed by others who would otherwise not have seen it.
This piece is intended to be listened to at very low volume, with the sounds of the rain on the recording just at the very edge of hearing, and the other sounds very faint, so that they are subsumed into the sounds of the room around them.