Petrification and Strife by Philip Sulidae


Philip Sulidae | Petrification and Strife
Hemisphäre の空虚 (CS/DL)

Australian composer Philip Sulidae has released a delicate minimal work titled  Petrification and Strife, encompassing two lengthy pieces for the imprint he manages, Hemisphäre の空虚.  Like other label releases, the simplicity is in pure black and white, like the uncomplicated cover art that spells out its contents. With open mic in hand this is a survey of surfaces, of in-situ found object play, with small twists and crackle along the way. I feel as if I am sitting in the crook of a tree limb that is vaguely swaying in the wind, catching the air just so. Likely, given its title, there just may be a small firestarter with this wood, but either way, this is so completely wide-eyed it will delight the most curious.


I can truly appreciate the slowness here, the anticipation of these playful micro-actions is discernible. Other than the greatly amplified tactile sounds Sulidae does not seem to throw in too many curveballs, effects or otherwise, it’s a pure reserved, atonal work. On the flipside, Strife continues on these themes, though with a distant wind suddenly I’m experiencing this sense of ghost town. Being someone that has visited a few actual abandoned towns over many moons, I can tell you that they do not actually sound like this, however, in the sense of aural cinema the recording has this sense of presence.

Objects tumble, ratchet, float, sizzle, slosh and otherwise do so sans dialogue. The human presence is left to the imagination, and it goes into a rather primitive space in the minds eye. The addition of the outdoor elements of air and ocean really embolden the agile processes taking place. These isolated movements and manipulations are quizzical in the way in which that are laid out, there is no sense of rhythm or repetition, this is true musique concrète in the classic sense. It’s a very active sound, stirred up squarely between its silences.


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