Tim Olive is a Prairie-raised sound artist and improviser currently based in Kobe, Japan. He regularly releases music on his 845 Audio label, both on Bandcamp and on CD, the latter in editions of 100. Faune and Boro document Olive in duets with Canadian musicians Martin Tétreault and Doreen Girard, respectively. Originally a guitarist, Olive lists his instrument on both releases as simply magnetic pickups, though they’re coming in contact with a host of other materials.
Faune, with Martin Tétreault on turntables and electronics, was recorded in Montreal in 2013. Separated into four segments, it begins with crackling sounds and a ratcheting undercurrent, the crackling soon giving way to the shifting pitch of oscillators; the second segment concentrates on what sounds like a human voice, though it eludes absolute identification, creating a kind of eerie aria. Some sounds establish a kind of continuous state, often a gritty drone, which gradually mutate into or are simply displaced by other sounds, while brief episodes of static and skittering bits of sonic grit establish a foreground and a keen sense of spatial structure.
While the events and voices of Faune insist on a continuous attention to interactive detail, Boro, a 2018 first-time meeting with Winnipeg-based sound artist Doreen Girard, develops a more abstracted quality, with recordings of the duo “overlaid and minimally edited” to create a single twenty-six-minute piece. The layering both extends and randomizes the interaction, developing dense fields of low-level events and simulating a brilliant improvising quartet of largely indistinguishable members. Girard plays the tsymbaly, a Ukrainian hammer dulcimer; eschewing any traditional use, she creates a certain hollow resonance that in one segment effectively foregrounds Olive’s whistling electronic musings. Both mysterious and compelling, Boro eventually recedes into the quietest of bell-like tinkles.