The first thing you might ask as you listen to an excerpt of this below is… “Is this even music?” There’s no discernible tempo, time signature, melody… it’s very visceral. Cuauhtemoc Peranda is the subject of experimental artist Holly Herndon’s Body Sound and all Herndon used as source material in this recording is Peranda’s movements and breathing. It’s like you’re in the same room as the two at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, where this was recorded.

You hear Peranda’s feet dragging, the floorboards squeak underneath the pressure of his feet and his lack of breath makes you feel tired, too – you can practically imagine the sweat that’s starting to form on his forehead. Peranda’s dyspneic state around the 5:30 mark on the Soundcloud stream makes you want to get the man some water and a fan. Herndon places you as an observer to this intimate moment, where Peranda dances to an audience of one. With that said, I’m not sure I’d call this “music” as much as I’d call this an “experience.” Check out the excerpt from Body Sound below via the Soundcloud stream and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

Infinite Greyscale is delighted to present a new long-form composition by Holly Herndon. Body Sound was composed by Herndon, in collaboration with choreographer and dancer Cuauhtemoc Peranda, and performed at Stanford University CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics).

Peranda’s body acts like a voice, guiding the listener through this complex yet visceral piece. Herndon restructured the sounds of the dancer’s body to make an arrangement that is simultaneously rhythmic, fragmented, and incredibly physical. In real time, she spatialized the sound-body using ambisonics in a field of 8 speakers, while Peranda performed the original choreography, creating an uncanny duet of physical and virtual bodies. Body Sound is all about the dancer making contact with the ground; a dragged heels squeaks, his rolling torso sends tumbling shockwaves through the speakers, and each stomp of a foot is a blast of sub-bass. Herndon builds on this source material, taking time to bend the sounds into an abstract sculptural form, only to pause again and reveal the dancer’s sonorous breath.

A great sense of optimism resonates through Body Sound. This is the sound of a living, breathing body in space, and a powerfully expressive document of experimental sound art.

Single sided 10”, pressed on light blue vinyl with screen-printed b-side. Numbered edition of 300.
Handmade artwork by Paul McDevitt and Cornelius Quabeck. Screenprint by Ulrich Schmidt-Novak.
Includes numbered insert, photograph, and download code.
Mastered & cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin.

Price $25.83

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