Utopia E3: The full catastrophe of life
The Utopians’ love of music, and a perfect moment by the sea in France are the starting points for today’s Utopia pieces, via Laurence Colbert from Oxford and Marinna Guzy from Corvallis, Oregon.
The Full Catastrophe of Life – Laurence Colbert, Oxford, UK
“We’d just played four shows in four days in four different countries [in the band Ride].
I was on a high; it felt perfect. I was on a beach at St Malo, and I recorded the sound of the waves.
I returned to the ‘full catastrophe’ of life, something unbalanced, imperfect, and very different to that even moment of sound, space, solitude, satisfaction.
What if I’d stayed there in that moment? Would I not be cheated out of the truth, of life?
Utopia as an idea is fascinating for reasons such as this – but would it ever satisfy the complex and changing needs of man or woman?
Looking at the woodcut map, the tower in my square (E3) looked out into the sea.
I imagined staring out of the window from a Utopian world… somehow missing something, somehow looking for more.
Wouldn’t Utopia, perfection, be like a slow death?”
The Beauty That Emerges From Conflict – Marinna Guzy, Corvallis, USA
“My initial points of departure for this piece were the literal visual representations depicted in the 1518 woodcut.
I identified the obvious sounds occurring within my quadrant: the river, the ocean. From there, I conducted a close reading of More’s text to determine additional elements of sonic importance present within the text.
The Utopians’ love of music caught my interest the most, so I sought to interweave musical elements into a pastoral landscape.
I wanted to convey a sense of otherworldliness, while maintaining a believable soundscape.
Perhaps the strains of flute heard are a shepherd, wandering the riverbank, wiling away a relaxing afternoon.
Finally, I wanted to immerse the listener in the landscape.
My soundscape work experiments with binaural presentations, and I thought that this would be an appropriate final format to render three-dimensionality within this stereo work. This Utopia is peaceful and serene, but it has a bit of an edge.
The beauty that emerges from conflict is the most powerful. This is the essence of my Utopia.”