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File under: Field Recordings

Claudia Molitor


Label: Uniform Books

Format: BOOK

Genre: Sound Art

In stock


Located on the train journey between London St Pancras and Margate, Sonorama is an audio work by composer Claudia Molitor that offers sounds and voices for the otherwise silent view from the train. The work is downloadable as an app for listening with headphones.
Imagining the journey itself as the ‘score’ Molitor has composed a cycle of works and collected interviews, readings and archival material which respond to both the present, and the history of the route. With each track relating to a different point or area on the line, the work has been informed through a collaboration with historian David Hendy and the British Library. The tracks imagine topics as diverse as visio-centricity, Roman history and hop-picking, with a variety of contributors such as flautist Jan Hendrickse, saxophonist Evan Parker and writer Charlotte Higgins.

Sonorama: Listening to the view from the train, is a companion to the audio experience. It reproduces the complete graphic score of Molitor’s interpretation of the journey, locating the thinking behind the composition and the selection of other material.

Claudia Molitor is a composer and artist whose work stems from a curiosity in unnoticed and fragile sounds, structures and thoughts, exploring the hierarchies at play in listening and seeing. Recent projects include Promming (with listening stick), a headphones piece for the 2012 BBC Proms Music Walk, Sounding the View, the culmination of a workshop exploring the sounds heard in the view from Tate Britain in 2013, the desk-opera Remember Me…, produced by Cryptic, which was performed over forty times around Europe throughout 2013/14 and Vast White Stillness, part performance, part installation, commissioned for Spitalfields Festival 2014 and performed at the 2015 Brighton Festival.

Kew. Rhone. would never trouble the charts, it aspired to higher things, and yet, re-released in various formats over the decades, curiosity about this categorically elusive work has grown. Now its authors and some of its connoisseurs have broken silence to discuss the record and to reflect upon the times in which it and they themselves were forged. Peter Blegvad, Kew. Rhone. ’s lyricist and illustrator, excavates each song in turn, uncovering themes and sources. In the second part of the book, a consortium of writers and artists respond to the album in various ways, illuminating without dispelling the mystery of a work designed to resist interpretation even as it invites it. With contributions from: Amy Beal, Carla Bley, Franklin Bruno, Sheridan Coakley, Jonathan Coe, Jane Colling, Andrew Cyrille, François Ducat, John Greaves, Doug Harvey, Lisa Herman, Jeff Hoke, Dana Johnson, Andrew Joron, Glenn Kenny, Frank Key, Simon Lucas, Karen Mantler, Harry Mathews, Tanya Peixoto, Benjamin Piekut, Margit Rosen, Philip Tagney, Robert Wyatt, Rafi Zabor and Siegfried Zielinski.

Robert Wyatt: “They say that the term ‘very unique’ is an oxymoron, but I don’t think so. Everyone is unique, but a man with two heads is VERY unique. ‘Kew. Rhone.’ is a record with two heads. Two great minds, with a singular vision. Peter’s imagery is wonderful. John’s music is wonderful. There’s more real content on this record than any other I can think of. And, it’s perfectly executed. ‘Kew. Rhone.’ IS very unique.” Andrew Joron: “One of the few rock albums I’d consider genuinely surrealist in spirit and composition.”

Peter Blegvad is a musician, songwriter, graphic artist, writer, teacher and broadcaster. Born in New York, he lives in London with his wife, the painter Chloë Fremantle. He has been writing and recording music since the mid-1970s with Slapp Happy, Faust, Henry Cow, the Golden Palominos, John Zorn, Andy Partridge and others. He has supplied BBC Radio 3 with many dozens of ‘eartoons’ since 2002, winning a Sony award in 2003 and another in 2012 for one of his longer radio works (collaborations with sound designer, Iain Chambers). His weekly comic strip, Leviathan , ran in the Independent on Sunday from 1991 – 98 and The Book of Leviathan was published in 2000 by Sort of Books. A French translation was published by l’Apocalypse in 2013 and won a Prix Révélation at the Angoulême Festival. He is Senior Tutor in Visual Writing at the Royal College of Art and has taught at many other institutions in the UK and abroad. In 2000 he was Awarded the Ordre de la Grande Gidouille by the Collège de ’Pataphysique, Paris, and in 2011 was elected president of the London Institute of ’Pataphysics. He co-hosts the Amateur Enterprises website (www.amateur.org.uk) with Simon Lucas

File under: Field Recordings
Cat. number: ISBN 978 1 910010 03 7
Year: 2015