The East River Project Vol. 1, 2006

— EP

Gretchen Bennett and Yann Novak are proud to present there ongoing collaborative installation piece The East River Project. The Installation combines online downloads and direct street encounters to activate the public space of the neighborhood they inhabit, The International District. The web site is a base camp for the street installation, where you’ll find a downloadable map with the perimeters of the installation and a downloadable MP3, as well as instructions on its use. The order in which the walk should be experienced is completely open, so each view of the work is unique, to preserve the element of discovery.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting project Bennett and Novak have created a hand made and signed CD / Decal set in an edition of 25 and released on Novak’s own Dragon’s Eye Recordings. The CD contains a new score by Yann Novak produced entirely from Bennett’s field recordings of Brooklyn. The CD is packaged with a white decal for the consumer to place in their environment to further blur the boundaries of the installation.

Track Listing

  1. Brooklyn in Seattle (altered)

Read Reviews

  • This limited edition CD-R is something of a souvenir from a soundwalk staged by Seattle artists Yann Novak & Gretchen Bennett. The concept behind the event was to superimpose the Brooklyn sonic landscape into there own city, compounded by stencils on the sidewalks of Brooklyn icons.  This CD-R renders the original concept somewhat moot through the fragmentation of the Brooklyn field recordings into a gentle snow of digital pixilation. The passing garbage trucks and barge blaring its horn in the distance intermingle with a synthesized urban din, and become simply non-placed signifiers for any major metropolis on the globe. Novak and Bennett’s blurred soundfield is non the less impressive, its glitched filigree amassing into a snowblind haze.  The original soundwalk (complete with map and audio) is available through there website; the deconstructed offerings of The East River Project Vol. 1 is presumably the kind of impressionistic, emotional sensibility that the two hoped their audio tour will impart.
    – The Wire

  • Considered away from the physical space they were originally designed to accompany, both the Intermission and Auditorium discs are two parts of the same parcel, Eno’s On Land stripped of the land, music for empty airports. Intermission’s 60 (minute) cycle hum epitomizes both Brian E’s definition and Satie’s precepts regarding “furniture music.” The drones here simulate the respiration of a giant’s lungs, pensive movements of clammy air that assume fictional shapes, suggestive of things heard but unseen, tangible and palpable to the touch. Registers set at the intended low volume, this symphony of minimalist existentialism wreaks a subtly hypnotic havoc on the inner ear, and is totally immersive sans its tactile raison d’etre. Auditorium’s soundwaves ripple more malevolently—this invert “maximalist” music is the cochlea of that giant’s ear vibrating like an earthquake’s aftershocks. I can imagine that the fluttering bass frequencies grounding this recording made for uneasy listening in the art-space. At home, the surrounding affectation don’t get in the way of the speaker cones, which tremble under the weight of the steam blasts and disintegrating hisses that emerge from Novak and Droun’s hiccuping harddrives. The collaboration with Bennett, the 27-minute “Brooklyn in Seattle (altered),” continues Novak’s obsession with bringing cityscapes to febrile life. Using Bennett’s recordings of Brooklyn’s traffic noise, street tonalities and random urban didactics, Novak’s resultant sonic canvas transmutes the brick and mortar landscape into something alien and exotic yet puzzlingly familiar, Brooklyn as viewed through the tattered celluloid of Blade Runner, tics, wisps and clicks simulating a Gotham acid rain. Housed in an ultra-white digipak embossed in a bas relief of the lower borough, only 25 of these spectral jewels were minted—well worthy of acquisition.
    – e/i Magazine