telegraphy by the sea

by jim haynes

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"i prefer to abstract recorded sounds to the point that i can't remember how i made them," says rust-tinged artist jim haynes. "this way i can't go back and reverse engineer anything." the source material for telegraphy by the sea spans four years and several continents. during the time between conception and completion, mr. haynes perfected fragments of the album in numerous contexts, including an exhibition in melbourne, australia, a marathon six-hour performance at the diapason gallery in new york city, and a fortuitous encounter with a rainy stairwell. mr. haynes submitted an early version of the album to sound artist giancarlo toniutti, who provided caustically constructive -- yet graciously enthusiastic -- criticism, sending him back to toil away in the depths of his sonic workshop for two more years before emerging, blinking in the harsh light of day and drastically higher gas prices, with the finished product clutched in his battered, grime-stained hands.

as a result of this process, mr. haynes has forged a breathtaking album of mangled field recordings and droning techniques perched at the allegorical intersection of electromagnetic landscapes and meteorological phenomena. here, it is not uncommon to find exasperated blasts of air bellowing in harmony with a swarm of mechanical locusts and a tumbling landslide of jagged rock. yet mr. haynes grounds the bulk of the album in a dynamic play of sinusoidal drones. at times, these timbral flutterings waver into asymmetrical smears of holy-minimalist splendor; at others, monolithic grey slabs of drone collapse upon themselves into turbulent oceanic currents. if comparisons must be made, perhaps telegraphy by the sea parallels william basinski at his most fortified or the hafler trio at his least arcane.

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released September 26, 2006

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