Published Mar 25, 2020It is certainly quiet, this impressive collaboration between acclaimed artist and author Edmund de Waal and former punk rocker turned actor/producer/avant-gardist Simon Fisher Turner. A Quiet Corner In Time demands — and deserves — your full attention.
The project originated as a sound work developed to accompany a de Waal installation at West Hollywood's Schindler House. The building itself is a work of architectural art designed by Vienna-born R.M. Schindler and has served as an arts venue since the mid-'90s.
Entitled "—one way or other—," de Waal's installation featured a combination of new and old sculptures. Each piece held a connection to the house, its design and history. Migration was its central theme.
Fisher Turner's contribution has tremendous range; it is quiet, as stated above, until it is startlingly loud. It is big and then small and then big again. We hear drones, slamming doors, tea cups, porcelain and even horses' hooves. Some of these sounds will remind Ryuichi Sakamoto fans of his more esoteric work, and sure enough, he and Fisher Turner shared sound files in preparation for the recording.
The found sounds were recorded in Vienna and L.A., an elegant nod to Schindler's move from one home to another. It all feels a bit random at times, but in fact there are multiple layers of meaning throughout the album. Besides Schindler House (home to John Cage at one time), there are references to de Waal's life story and Fisher Turner's earlier recordings. No knowledge of any of this is required to appreciate A Quiet Corner In Time, but it's all there for inquisitive listeners. (Mute)