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The work of Vancouver-based sound artist, improviser, and composer Rachael Wadham often hinges upon a certain pack-rat sensibility, with sounds scavenged from mundane, remote, or even derelict sources, squirrelled away with humble meticulousness. Even her improvisational playing on a falling-apart zither evinces this sense of coarse rigour, as she displays such a strong extended-technique vocabulary in such an unpredictable and limited medium. Her uncanny ability to extract hidden sounds: melodies—rhythmic motives, and other clandestine goings-on—from deceptively primitive means is also the driving force behind her current work in progress You Are a Great Listener.
You Are a Great Listener is an installation in development, and currently exists as a blog that features an assortment of Wadham’s eccentric and personal recording of found sound. The blog allows the listener to combine the various sounds at will, thus offering a glimpse of what’s at the core of the installation. I spoke to Wadham about her approach to found sound, and about the inspirations for and development of You Are a Great Listener.
Read more in the print edition.
Image: From You are a Great Listener blog. Image by: Rachael Wadham