Australian electronic artist Todd Anderson-Kunert’s new album Conjectures (Room40) is a deep warm reductive work of drone for Moog System 55. Its low frequencies and minimal aesthetic bring to mind the universe of Éliane Radigue, though also so much more. To get a sense of what else was happening in Anderson-Kunert’s musical world we took the opportunity to ask him what was on his stereo during its creation.
Here is a cross section of things that I was listening to when I was recording ‘Conjectures’, and while I’ve totally enjoyed compiling this list, limiting it was a challenge. But here are some key listens across a variety of contexts, I hope they offer some sonic variety for you.
During the recording process there was a lot of simple questions I was asking myself, like how a sound starts and ends, how they combine, and how time affects composition. So I was really trying to find new things to listen to that challenged my listening structurally or temporally. Adding to this I really enjoy emotion in sound, so a larger contemplation was happening in regards to how all of these are delightfully complicated within the emotion/s of what you are listening too.
I also really love new textures. Textural interplays. And approaches. I really like listening.
Henryk Górecki – Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Symphony No 3., Movement 1.
The strings at the start of his version are low, smooth, and soft, so much so that I always have to turn it up further (and further), and then when the build starts I slowly get swamped in the whole piece. If you listen through speakers, and they can handle it, it’s a unique experience for a first listen. I wanted to start with this as I have a love of intensities, but this one is incredibly melodic. I don’t have any issue with melody. All sounds are sounds, I struggle to categorise them.
Charlie (OPI) – Body of Water
I was fortunate enough to find myself in Wellington early last year, and was able to share a stage and conversations with Charlie (OPI), which continue to this day. Their attention to detail and space in this album is phenomenal. Please listen to this album, from start to end, in a quiet place, preferably while moving. I listened to it for the first time at dusk on a long rural train journey, the light had completely dissipated before the end of the album. I can wholeheartedly recommend that experience.
Sarah Davachi – Buhrstone
This is from ‘Let Night Come On Bells End the Day’, an apt title, and lead me to seek so many more albums. I was about to use the word ‘unsettled’ to describe this, but that’s probably more a description of me while listening. By this I mean that her music triggers simultaneous reactions in different parts of my emotive sensibilities, and it’s incredibly delightful. This was often an early, cold morning listen. Frequently in the car, often driving to MESS to record.
GX Jupitter-Larsen – The Romawave
GX Jupitter-Larsen’s work is broad, but in this breadth the conceptual motivations remain clear. He does not dilute a pool with excess, he strengthens through the construction of parallels. I do like noise, but I am particular. I am particularly fond of GX’s work. This link is a more illustrative piece. There are many albums of his to choose from, I’d recommend navigating this space personally. While I know this may sound dismissive, it feels conceptually appropriate.
Eliane Radigue – Kyema (first part of Trilogie De La Morte).
Create a spare block of one hour, one minute and twenty two seconds to listen to this piece. Listen to it in it’s entirety, not via YouTube with ad breaks, distractions, recommendations. When finding this link my listening was interrupted by an advertisement for steamed instant vegetables. Find a copy, and put it on. You should be comfortable, don’t leave the sounds until they leave you.
Hekla – Hatur
This album affected me so much that it inspired me to learn Theremin. I am currently a little bit above terrible. Hekla however is not, and has some incredibly melancholic and beautiful compositions. Favourite listening time is in the evening, in a quiet house, when I’m feeling a little on edge.
Ryoji Ikeda – 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
I wouldn’t recommend listening to this album in a car. I did, and I’ll admit it was amazing. The fan was on in the car, and the sonic vibrations were interacting with the wind sounds and their tactile feeling. I’d move my head to look for traffic and the sonic environment would shift again. All sounds affect space, this just addresses it differently.
Okkyung Lee – Dahl-Ta-Ghi
Kulma – Pan Sonic
One of my first serious experiences of electronics and amplification was seeing a double bill of Pan Sonic and Sunn 0))). Probably explains a lot… The album I made was on a specific synthesizer, it’s hard not get distracted by those details. When I researched Pan Sonic, I found that they had a lot of home made equipment they used, one known colloquially as ‘the typewriter’. Live experiences can be life changing, as can Acousmatic listening.
I tried to put this album on at home or in the studio while doing a secondary task, and each time had to stop. It would distract me in the best possible way, it demanded my ears to listen to it. A nice reminder. And hence, just stop and listen. Whatever time of day. Was also lucky enough to see her play a live solo set, another recommended experience. My mind/ears were delightfully blown by the amount of different sounds and intensities coming from one instrument, an inspiration for both recording and performance. Bob Bellerue – Yamaha Deluxe (Track 1)
I briefly crossed paths with Bob Bellerue when I played some shows in the USA a few years ago, another lovely human. I feel like this album deserves an important mention as I listened to it at the very end of the recording process. I remember listening to it at sunrise in it’s entirety, blue skies, morning sun, strong coffee. A broad palette from a singular instrument, I do like creative limitations, and an important contemplation in moving forward from finishing this album.