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1x Vinyl 12" LP
Jun 29, 2023
Petteril (James Gilbert) has been creating audio collages and improvisations with these concepts in mind.
A box of old photographic slides uncovered at a house clearance centre with a £5 asking price. On the slide's a collection of shots from the 60’s–70’s: British rural life plus various trips around Europe and a trip to the US. The lives of Bill, Jean and Edith (and Pippi the budgerigar). The relationship between the three is unclear but they seem to live together—or at least spend a lot of time together—they seem close. They like to travel and garden. What became of these people? Presumably, they have since passed away given their apparent ages in the pictures and the dates scrawled on the slides and boxes. What happened? How did these slides come to be here and were there no family or friends that wanted to claim them?
Initially, the discovery feels uncomfortable, intrusive, upsetting even. The lives of these people—whoever they were—were lovingly recorded, only for the resulting documentation to be discovered decades later in a musty, tattered box, buried amongst other people's ex-belongings. It feels sad. Considerations on the transient, the ephemeral. It feels inescapable that—regardless of intention—this is in some way a commentary on the value of a life. On the value of Bill, Jean and Edith's (and Pippi’s) lives. But studying the slides in more detail it is clear that the 3 subjects shared many happy times and experiences. They are always smiling and there appears a sense of genuine camaraderie and affection between them. A passion for photography too.
So should we be sad that these lives are seemingly forgotten? That £5 is the asking price for the physical documentation of years of adventures? Or satisfied that the imagery represents lives happily lived and shared. The value of these physical items (ie the slides themselves) is not equal to the value of the actual lived experiences of the subjects or the lesson that Bill, Jean, Edith (and Pippi) can teach us. Realising this provides an invitation to recognise a simple truth: the value of a life is in how it is lived in the moment. Exist and enjoy it—if you can—because in the face of impermanence that’s all we can really do. In the moment neither the beginning nor the end really exist.
Petteril (James Gilbert) has been creating audio collages and improvisations with these concepts in mind. The music is not so much about the slides or the people on the slides, (although both the imagery and the music evoke a kind of nostalgia) but concerned with the whole philosophical discourse that ensued. Improvisation (with various instruments, physical, analog and digital) is a key consideration based on the aforementioned theme of being in the moment. Generative elements also represent that transience and the fleeting nature of moments coming and going, flowing from one moment to the next. These evolving beds of sound and improvisations coupled with Tape loops, field recordings and more are chopped, layered and collaged, processed, layered, collaged and processed again.
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