Christina Kubisch - Mono Fluido (CD Important)

The spark that created these long-shelved recordings dates back to 1980 when Kubisch was asked to make a soundtrack for Fabrizio Plessi's prize winning film 'Liquid Movie.' Necessarily restrained by the context of the film, Kubisch later decided to rework these recordings out of their film context, using simple speed manipulation of her 8-tracks tapes. 

The sound sources are flutes, plastic tube, a windscreen wiper, glass and her breath. What she ended up with were long tones. A simple sound manipulation device (tape speed) of the mono recordings and simple placement bring about a stillness in the 32 minute, and appropriately titled, 'Mono Fluido.' Interestingly a layer mutates into what appears to be -but isn't - shortwave radio flutter in the background, like a quiet chattering behind the meditative tones and undulating pulses. There are no electronically produced sounds here.

In contrast the second track, the 9 minute 'Ocigam Trazom', has her more familiar working method of creating an electro-magnetic installation. When asked to produced her interpretation of Mozart's opera 'Magic Flute' she set up an installation at the Palazzo della Permanente outside Milan' Teatre della Scala. In a very minimal setting,16 cables were placed overhead sectioning the room into 8 areas, each representing a character in the opera. Those present would wear the induction headphones to hear the sounds of each section. 

For this release those sound shave been compressed. The deep purring of cats, an electronic Synthi EMS synth, the Adhan (a call to prayers for Muslims), and an opera singer.

Like the first track, the recording is taken out of its context and presented here as a newer piece. At once a fragment of the installation and a separate piece in itself, the emergent collage unintentionally has the air of some of Andrew Liles' more surreal Bellmer-esque moments.

As ever with her releases the album comes with some particularly beautifully structural drawings for the installations. It's a pity this was released on the tiny cd format. The more worthwhile LP format would have given a better opportunity to read the drawings more carefully.

A more poetic description of the album's contents is the front cover art by, I assume, Kubisch herself. A close up on hand written sheet music with a drop of water allowed to drop once upon it, causing the black ink to separate into it's constituent colours.

Her recordings, like her substantial installations, bring about a magic and wonder at the possibilities of apparently simple structure and concepts. HM