Coelacanth (1999-2006) was the sound art collaboration between Loren Chasse and Jim Haynes, operating the tools of an imagined science to explore the various possibilities for sound to originate from traditionally non-musical materials. Alchemy, as a systematic if impossible attempt to transform base metals into noble ones, is an adequate parallel to Coelacanth’s arena of research. We encourage sympathetic relationships between carefully chosen materials and sounds, and push them in ways that they might transcend their purposefulness. Copper, stone, glass, sand, shortwave radio, rust, wind, water, and mud are the active participants in our events and situations, providing both metaphoric potentials and visual sensibilities for Coelacanth’s activities. From these situations, we invoke a sound that is an aggregate of sustained harmonics, continuously evolving sound forms, and broad gestures of textural details, and which could be described as a 'broken minimalism.'
While compositional patterns and themes are evident throughout the Coelacanth body of work, we do not seek to demonstrate any particular techniques; nor do we execute specific, premeditated conceptual strategies. We predisposes ourselves to accept the inevitability of change within our work and the necessity of risk in its manifestation. If anything, we welcome the accidental and even encourage it in our work.
Public performances have become a crucial element to the Coelacanth agenda, as we have made a concerted effort to develop visual displays that are equally as expressive as our sound constructions. In previous works, we have constructed elaborate set designs and installations which house shattered Christmas bulbs, heaps of rusted metal, surplus scientific gear, and piles of branches.
released July 7, 2001
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