Machines churn automatically, are operated by people, run urgently or calmly, consistent or syncopated and often both / They can sustain temperatures for instance, or mobilize individuals up floors or to different parts of the city / Natural elements such as wind and hail push through the threshold of hearing while side effects such as cold and dampness create a need for shelter and push people indoors / Voices pierce through quiet places, but are buried under the low frequencies inside average cityscapes, or lost inside the swarm of many voices sounding at once in busy restaurants and bars; its communicative value can be compromised by loud machines or enhanced by acoustic ergonomics /
As we move through time and space, sounds reveal information about the environments we find ourselves in / In the moment, we improvise based off of this information; we also act out of habit of exposure even no sound information is identical to the last / Recording captures these sound environments, allowing for a freer listening at a later point, where the subjective experience of the recorder can be lost to the interpretation of the listener and where many narratives are possible at once / Hidden sounds can be unearthed during a careful listening as we latch onto what is memorable or significant / These environments are composed of machines, weather elements and organisms, the last of which, in search of their frequency niche, aim to be heard within a limited auditory space / For example, to be able to survive in urban spaces, birds must adapt to the sounds in their environment and pierce through the barrage of noise created by machines / To survive, they must be heard, and essentially access a niche unlike any other sound /
I’ve found deep enjoyment in story telling for as long as I can remember: reading them, writing them, recreating them for an audience / Whether I use an acoustic guitar and my voice, a pen and paper, or in this instance a recorder, I anchor myself to a narrative, and run with it / While studying the composition of urban soundscapes, I became intrigued by the relationships between organisms and their environments / By jumping into this 60-minute project recording, I was able to transform these sonic interactions I encountered into artifacts / Furthermore, I was able to reflect on the spaces I often found myself in, and explore both the small details and the global directions that make up these environments /
The recordings in this album are testaments to my experiences in Montreal, a place in which I was born, from which I moved, but later returned to and spent most of my adult life in / In these recordings, I find myself lingering at metro stations listening to escalators churning and lights buzzing, in a grocery store during a storm or in a mall going for breakfast with my mom; on the curb of a street listening to an unexpected flock of birds; home while a street sign clamors against a pole in howling wind / I stood still for nearly all these recordings, blending into the environments as an extension of my recorder / I wanted to create something that could transport the listener into specific places at precise times, inside the varied soundscapes and narratives that one might encounter during a Montreal winter //
Joey is a Montreal based music composer and sound designer, working in a wide variety of fields including film, theatre and dance. Using sound to facilitate narratives and create stories of his own, he spends most of his days immersed in a laboratory of noise and electronics, where every object is a potential instrument. His areas of interest include decoding the compositions of soundscapes, researching trends in cityscapes, and experimenting with the idea of une niche fréquentielle, or a frequency niche from which his next story will unfold. He can be found attending workshops and classes, in the middle of deep collaborations or roaming streets and deserted hallways with a recorder in hand.