Listen to two new pieces from Marina Rosenfeld’s forthcoming albums on Room40


Room40 are releasing two albums of extraordinary musical manipulation from New York composer Marina Rosenfeld. The piece above is from Joy of Fear. It’s a work that merges the physicality of playback with recorded sound as a unique performative entity.

This is what she has to say about it:

“The record starts with the concrete gesture of putting the needle down. The operation produces an immediate doubling: vibrato as form (a mechanical wobble) and content (Casals?). Which register is the meaningful one?”

This is what Room40 have to say about her:

“Since the early 1990s, when she created the first 17-woman sheer frost orchestra, Rosenfeld’s works have foregrounded participation, sociality, transdisciplinarity and a feminist approach to noise, vocality and acoustic architectures. She has created monumental sound works in such spaces as the Park Avenue Armory, the Museum of Modern Art, the Serralves Foundation and Western Australia’s Midlands Railway Workshops, and has mounted recent solo exhibitions at Portikus Frankfurt, The Artist’s Institute, and upcoming in 2021, at the Kunsthaus Baselland. Her music for dance includes live performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and works for choreographers Ralph Lemon and Maria Hassabi. As a turntablist, working with a unique palette of original dub plates, she has also been active as a composer and improviser, collaborating with such figures as George Lewis, Christian Marclay, Annette Henry aka Warrior Queen, Okkyung Lee, and Ben Vida, among many others. Rosenfeld is currently a research artist with with Experiments in Art and Technology at Bell Labs Nokia in New Jersey and co-chair of the MFA in Music/Sound at Bard College.

This second piece is from theforestthegardenthesea and is long form hypnotic listening with a little bit of turntablism thrown in for good measure.

This is what she has to say about it:

“All the sounds were samples of one sort or another, pre-degraded by my cassette deck capture method. I would compose suites of plates, then play them myself on 3 or 4 turntables, or form ensembles to play them, one record per person. All methods of manipulation were valid, but we gravitated toward the analog— guitar pedals and the like. I think the idea was to generate versions— to conjure situations, essentially. To keep it going, I would heat metal pins before performances with a lighter and insert the hot metal into the inner groove of the record, one per plate, with the result that the tonearm hit an obstruction eventually and— voila—a lock groove. This primitive strategy suited me well, adding what sounded like a rhythmic thud (for example on track one at around 17 minutes) to the mixture of mechanical sounds and effects.”

Both theforestthegardenthesea (you can find it here) and Joy of Fear (you can find it here) will be released on the 3rd of July 2020.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.