THE DIM COAST
180g, white vinyl, one-sided, long playing record
RECORDED BY DOUGLAS MOFFAT
TEXT BY DANIEL CANTY
A DIM COAST [coastal_1] / ORAL RELEASE
MASTERING BY JAMES PLOTKIN
LACQUERS BY CHICAGO MASTERING SERVICE
PLATING BY MASTERCRAFT
PRESSED BY RIP_V
DISTRIBUTED by ORAL and THE DIM COAST
design by black sheep design
Montréal Phonographe LP by the dim coast
This project begins with a daydream. What would the island of Montreal sound like if it were a vinyl record? If you could somehow place the island on an immense turntable, what textures would be revealed in its surface?
Answering these questions began with the development of an all-terrain stylus that could transduce the textural changes of the ground plane into physical sounds.
The dream of the sound of impossible surfaces is not new. In an essay from 1919, Rainer Maria Rilke wondered what sounds the skull might reveal if only it could be traced by a stylus. A few years later, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy while contemplating new potentials for the phonograph, exclaimed ‘I wonder how your nose will sound? ’
This record continues in this spirit of imagined sounds etched into the polished surface of the record. Attempting to make the impossible tangible, yet never achieving a convincing verisimilitude. Instead, it is hoped that the sounds released here will continue to provoke further sonic daydreaming.
– Douglas Moffat
How to record a difficult surface? That is more or less the question raised by one Douglas Moffat, of whom I never heard. He created a sort of construction which acts a stylus. So the surface, the real earth surface that is, becomes a sort of phonograph to be played. In twenty-five pieces, all around thirty to fifty seconds, he scans the earth in and around Montreal, and each of those pieces is documented with a picture. Moffat choose the winter days it seems to record the city of Montreal, perhaps because snow is easier to record? I am not sure. It sounds weird, that much I do know. Like scratching the surface and being amplified quite a bit. This is one of those things where it makes perfect sense to release it on vinyl, but perhaps a DVD of it would be nice. How does this contraption work? Now, just listening to it, and without knowing what it is about it makes perhaps less sense, and one could easily mistake this for a serenade of contact microphones. However, if you study text and images closely enough it makes perfect sense and you'll see a true piece of art here. Very nice, also, but perhaps on an entirely different level. (Frans de Waard)
DOUGLAS MOFFAT trained as a landscape architect and has worked in offices in Montréal and Vancouver. His work explores the ground where sound and the built landscape collide. Including field-recordings, electroacoustics, and landscape architecture, his projects aim to take musique concrète to its natural architectural conclusion – building spaces to be listened to.
Financial assistance provided by Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Thank you to the fine people of Québec for funding art and culture.
Montréal Phonographe in ON SITE
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