rue d​’​Aligre

by Danny Norbury

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Danny studied cello at the Royal Northern College of Music and lives and works in Manchester UK. He has collaborated with The Boats, Library Tapes (as Le Lendemain), Ian Hawgood, Nancy Elizabeth and Demdike Stare. His solo work as been released by Lacies Records, Flau, Wist Rec and Brian Records.

Artist notes:

The main elements of the piece were made in 2013, and I brought them together with some further additions and subtractions before finishing the piece this year. The title and the voice fragments come from a small sound walk my friend Emily and I took in Paris. On rue d’Aligre there is a very lively market. Many different voices and many different languages, that for the non-speaker become immediately interesting for their musical surface features—rhythm, timbre, pitch, intensity, etc. If I listen to the field recording of that walk in isolation I’m struck by how vivid the memory is. Almost as if I can feel the weight of my own footsteps again; I'm almost re-tasting the apple I bought. It's strange and endlessly fascinating to me because I don't really understand it. Perhaps it is enough to just accept it.

Around this time I began recording with coil pick-ups; I was interested in their capture of the sound of electrical circuits in operation, which is a sound that is by its nature fugitive, and one that reveals more and more details the closer one listens. Other sounds are from a Dulcitone, a Michelsonne toy piano, an upright piano and my cello.

Morton Feldman wrote that the true nature of a sound was to be found in the decay; the sounds are leaving us. A beautiful thought. I love listening to near silence. I was recently alone at home in the daytime and for some reason had a feeling of great peace. I went to cook something and realised there was a power cut. Then later the power came back on I heard all the sounds that I accept in my life: the compressor of the fridge, a general high-pitched sound that comes from god knows where, etc. And yet, all those sounds will never happen again in quite the same way. They will never be punctuated by a siren, nor by a neighbour shouting at that very moment ever again. That almost nothing that is so beautiful.


released December 7, 2021


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