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The Aesthetics Of Everything For Nothing
3“CDR, (17’57’’ ), 60 copies, printed cardboard cover
1000füssler 026, released in November 2014
The piece explores the sonic possibilites and audio-aesthetics of toddlers toys.
By using binaural microphones, sharp editing and some pitch and resonance treatments, I was able to record and use all the rattle elements, the small motors and tiny bells that are hidden inside those toys.
1. The Aesthetics Of Everything For Nothing (17’57’’)
mp3 excerpt 1 | mp3 excerpt 2 (hachoir edit)
Assembled and mastered in 2014 at Shiver Mobile.
Francisco Meirino, born in 1975, is active since 1994 (as phroq until 2009) in experimental music and live performance. His music explores the tension between programmable material and the potential for its failure, he is primarily interested in the idea of recording what is not supposed to be: gear failures, the death of PA systems, magnetic fields and electro-static noises and in how failure can become something more than just annoying. His music is fascinating by its physical intensity and detail precision. He mainly works with the computer, reel-to-reel tape recorders, magnetic fields detectors, piezo tranducers, field recorders and home-made electronics.
More than 150 live performances in various venues and festivals in Europe, Japan and North America. Over the years, he had the honor to collaborate on studio and in live with great artists such as: Dave Phillips / Scott Arford / Michael Gendreau / Michael Esposito / Randy H.Y. Yau / Lasse Marhaug / Gerritt Wittmer / Kiko C. Esseiva / Jason Kahn / Leif Elggren / Astro / ILIOS / Tim Olive / Mike Shiflet, among others.
He lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland.
We need no Swords / UK
Each release is interesting and compelling in its own way, and while they occasionally seem to explore similar interests which I’d suggest is something to do with the repurposing of everyday objects into mysterious sonic artefacts and integrating them into a series of shifting, electroacoustic collages all three exist entirely in their own space and are well worth checking out.
Francisco Meirino’s The Aesthetics of Everything for Nothing takes as its starting point the sounds made by children’s toys, recorded close up with binaural mics and edited into a seamless, flowing blanket of noise.
I’m not normally a fan of this type of work all too often it seems to be a case of winding a lot of things up and listening to them clack and whirr until they stop. I’ve heard enough of that when my own children were small so I figure I don’t need much more.
However, there’s something about the Meirino’s composition that marks it out from all those other wind-up merchants. I think it’s a combination of the detailed recording, which renders the subtleties and variations of the toy motors in hi-def clarity, with Meirino’s own meticulous editing and post-production, that just lifts this piece into an almost Futurist sonic collage.
I particularly like the opening section, a series of rustles, ticks and grazings that sound positively unearthly, like cyborg dinosaurs hatching from vast eggs. Then at around eight minutes, there’s a lovely disorienting passage of overlapping thrums and clacks, which drop out abruptly in place of a mournful metallic ticking, before things blast back in for a final cacophonous section of phased drone, The Nutcracker meets The Art of Noises.
Paul Margree, january 8, 2015, weneednoswords.wordpress.com
Just outside / France
The sound sources for Meirino's intriguingly titled piece are toys, recorded very closely (inside, even, one gets the feeling) and edited into an 18-minute composition. The sound-world is vast and active, replete with squeaks, deep thrums, crackles and much more. I often have a sense of wandering through a dense jungle. A loud but brief cascade of bell tones leads to a lovely clearing where, past nearby rustles, one hears more distant sets of bells, of metal balls scurrying over wooden surfaces--a wonderful few minutes before a rather harrowing storm arrives, with a harsh, shimmering wave oscillating from speaker to speaker over what almost sounds like an old wooden pier straining and groaning against the surf. This subsides, a warning-light buzz and a few raindrops lingering, before another of those bell ripples closes things out. Impressive, immersive and very enjoyable.
Brian Olewnick, Just outside, February 07, 2015
The Soundprojector / UK
Like a forager for wild mushrooms, Francisco Meirino searches for, and harvests, interesting sounds from children’s toys. Whether the toys in question belong to his own children is not clear. I would imagine the kids would have been quite grumpy without them during the period when these recordings took place. Over the years, in an idle moment round at a friend’s house who has kids, or more recently surrounded by my own children’s rapidly expanding collection of plastic shit, I have often played absent-mindedly with a musical toy to see whether it has the potential to produce an interesting non-intentioned noise. I have found that I can get a reasonable if repetitive lo-fi House track out of a spiral sheep toy round at my in-laws’.
But enough of my nonsense it is worth me reproducing the liner notes for this single seventeen minute piece just so you’re in no confusion as to Fransisco Meirinho’s intentions here: “The piece explores the sonic possibilities and audio-aesthetics of toddlers’ toys. By using binaural microphones, sharp editing and some pitch and resonance treatments, I was able to record and use all the rattle elements, the small motors and tiny bells that are hidden inside those toys.”
What he means by “resonant treatments” I think has resulted in some sounds being laced with a very noticeable bass thump, even with my hi-fi’s bass control at nominal position it was very noticeable and I found I preferred to roll off the bass a little to stop this effect becoming distracting.
Children are natural destroyers of things and Meirinho takes his cues from their inquisitive natures and their interactions with their toys as instruments of learning about the world around them. On the sleeve, label head Gregory Büttner’s comment “it’s quite an instrument” is an understatement; an instrument, or instruments, which, in Meirino’s hands, transcends its simple designs. Some very abrupt dynamic shifts results in a rich mix of the varied sonic material. There are some pleasing surprises dotted here and there; a loud pop and a what sounds like a weird, detourned GRM /STEIM-style hit around 5:40; an imaginary broken roulette wheel getting closer and closer around 8:30; and a colossal amplitude boost at 12:00 that sounds like The End Of The (Girl’s) World.
All source devices are presumably processed with high quality studio apparatus; the results being great detail and fidelity with a robust bass-end you would never normally associate with the sounds of kids toys. None of this stuff actually sounds much like the kind of toys I’m familiar with; in fact I wonder if Meirino hadn’t drawn attention to it I probably wouldn’t have made the connection. I assumed that was his intention all along, although ultimately, he chooses to give the game away: The Aesthetics Of Everything For Nothing ends with the clear, unprocessed chime of a baby’s wind up.
Paul Khimasia Morgan / thesoundprojector.com/2015/10/06/im-your-toy
Le Son du Grisli / France
Sur The Aesthetics of Everything for Nothing, Meirino fait œuvre de balayage ou joue à la roulette ses instruments : deux jouets (un hochet et un cube d'éveil). Dans la roulette en question, il jette des résonances, d'étranges râlements, des larsens ou des tremblements, tous sons traités et même soignés. Si l’intensité est croissante, la pièce change progressivement son propos bruitiste en tendre et remarquable berceuse.
Guillaume Belhomme, 2015/08/17 grisli.canalblog.com
Bad Alchemy / Germany
Seinem 'Focus On Nothing' (auf Aussenraum) lässt FRANCISCO MEIRINO (vor dem Kuss bekannt als Phroq) hier gleich The Aesthetics Of Everything For Nothing (1000füssler 026, 3" cdr) folgen. Sein Spielmaterial dabei war Babyspielzeug, das er in eine huschende Armee winziger Aliens verwandelte, aufgeblasen zu XXL-Protagonisten und -statisten eines Goblin-Blockbusters. Jede Ritze eine Schlucht, jede Wollmaus ein Nebelgebirge, jedes Geräusch ein Krabbeln unzähliger Spinnenund Ork-Glieder, jedes Schleifen und Tickeln ein Kieferwetzen und Zähneklappern. Jede Aktion im oder ums Laufställchen herum ein Rollen von Belagerungsmaschinen, ein Kullern und Kreiseln herodischer Wunderwaffen, einschließlich einlullender Psychostrahler, brausender Druckwellen, sirrender Lufthächsler und ordinärer Hackebeilchen. Holz tockelt gegen Holz, Feldherren würfeln mit Knöchelchen, Stoßtrupps kaskadieren. Und plötzlich ein Klingklangsignal und alles erstarrt. Stillstand macht unsichtbar. Denn Vater schaut nach seinem "Schatzzz".
Rigo Dittmann / Bad Alchemy 84