Stephanie Merchak – Impacts, Reflections and Feedback
tags: electronic experimental lebanon ambient field recordings granular movement noise processing soundscape techno United Kingdom WITCHFORK
Do you want a physical product of some kind, or just a file? Do you like to collect pieces of plastic, to add to your vast hoard of square or rectangle shapes? Or do you worship another kind of plastic rectangle full of tiny digital sounds? Or, maybe you would like some ART?
Well, the label Arell has an interesting approach to this conundrum. You can have a file, or if you desire more… a download code posted to you on the back of a limited edition B&W photograph. You can collect some and have a mini plastic-less exhibition in your home!
But lets move on to the musical offering of Stephanie Merchak… as soon as this composition starts we feel like we are inside a hall of mirrors, one with all of those weird bendy mirrors. One moment we have huge eyes and an elongated head on top of spindly little legs, then we are the tiniest creature imaginable. The mirrors are reflecting sounds as well as movement, we don’t know which way to look. Our ears are pulled one way and then the next. A disco ball starts spinning high up above us and the lights are fractured, bouncing off glass and eyeballs. It is all so bright, blindingly so. We wish that we had eye masks like you get on aeroplanes, to shut it out. Trying for the next best thing we pull our clothes up over our heads and focus on the sounds. The noises whir and drone as thousands of tiny fireflies circle the glowing mirror ball. We can hear the inner workings of the ball, the motor turning it, like the hum from within the earth. We all reach out to one another, feeling our way through the air, until fingers touch and we are holding hands. Just like children playing Ring a Ring o’ Roses we are in a circle, gently lurching. Through our clothes we can see that the room has become darker, the light is flickering and it is a gentle gold. Without dropping hands we shake our heads free and look around at the maelstrom of fireflies as they swirl in front of us. They rise and fall en masse and we sway, following the shape of their movement. Behind us the mirrors begin to crack – hairline fractures splintering into shards, covering the floor like a glittering mosaic. The pieces of mirror start to form creatures, like glass homunculi, and they move towards us crunching on sharp little feet. We are a little afraid as none of us have shoes on and we don’t want our fragile skin to bleed but the creatures don’t care, they get down low and crawl under our heels into the space under the arches of our feet. They have a little party as if under railway arches and we feel tingling prickles like a hand poked tattoo on the soles of our feet and then they pass on, oozing sharply through our toes. Once they have reached the centre of our group they begin to change back into piles of broken mirror, glistening under the firefly swarm. We watch as the mirror mountains transform into large flickering glass jars that attract the fireflies – entranced by their own reflections. Soon all of the little insects are inside the jars and we drop hands, reach down, and pick up a jar each. The glass is warm against our skin, the whir of the insects fades as they become one with the glass. We leave the hall of no-more-mirrors clutching our sacred jars and step out into the night. These vessels will stay warm forever and will be perfect for an endless loop of green tea.
Most of the 21 postcards have sold out so it will be impossible to collect them all but if you do not wait to long you could get a few! And of course, you will be able to get the digital version to enjoy with closed eyes and open ears!