ab intra, 2008

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Multi-channel audio work encoded for 47 channel The Morning Line Sound System
29 min
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Bruce Gilbert describes his work for 'The Morning Line' as an almost living, breathing organism or at least that's what it sounds like. Sculpted from a multitude of sonic miniatures in Gilbert's unique editing style, ab intra eschews a linear narrative structure. Instead he employs a placement of sound where multiple perspectives and multiple possibilities are the rule, not the exception, arranged in situ in the pavilion. Musical structure can exist, in a sense, "outside" time (Xenakis 1971, 1992), in the sense of abstract structuring principles whose definitions do not imply a temporal order. A scale, for example, is independent of how a composer uses it in time. Myriad precompositional strategies and databases of material could also be said to be outside time. Through association and dissociation, in musical production and theory, ab intra questions the reconfiguration of a space through a singular composition and introduces a swarm of pieces. As Gilbert's contemporary Cerith Wyn Evans stated when asked about a basic tension in his works which have been described as isolated and referential, reductionistic and layered, factual and metaphoric, cold and dense, the work may be perceived by some as unnecessarily complex and perverse, but that's what forms its proportions. – Florian Hecker

*1946 in Watford, United Kingdom | Living and working in London, United Kingdom