Originally Published in May 2004
Concert is American composer Brandon Labelle’s collection of installation soundtracks for works created over the past few years. On “Automatic Building” a wooden structure is assembled / disassembled, a slow dragging sound of planks scraping on concrete structures in a 15th Century Florentine villa (see the album cover) with organic echo full of musty cobwebs and soot. “Transportation & Recycling (proposal to the mayor)”, the lengthiest track on offer at 22 minutes, was originally presented at the Ybakatu Espaco de Arte in Curitiba, Brazil, and speeds with the sounds of zooming motorcars and rush-hour traffic, Labelle’s intention being to converse with his audience by mirroring the city outside by using sound and other elements including pieces constructed of PVC, fabric, wood and sound devices. In Denmark, he presented “Event and its Double” where a specially created structure replicated color and shape elements at the local Museum of Contemporary Art in a sonically spacious homage of sorts to Cage’s celebrated “Black Mountain Event” (1952), while “Learning from Seedbed” refers to Vito Acconci’s famous 1972 Sonnabend Gallery living performance sculpture/installation. Labelle uses the original ramped gallery floor, though allows the viewer to get one step closer to the unknowns below the surface: instead of Acconci’s antics – mysteriously heard but not seen – Labelle contact-mikes the meandering of the audience itself and this crawling exploration of discovery is then relayed into the room as a broken, contorted and minimal collection of pops and excerpts.