Andrew Leslie Hooker
In Emptiness There is Truth
(Call No Man Happy Until He is Dead)
CD (E153)




A soundwork commissioned for the 2010 edition
of the Ravello Festival, curated by Achille Bonito
Oliva, Stefania Miscetti and Gianluca Ranzi.

Voice: Seijiro Murayama
Voice recording engineer and EQ: Stefano Pilia
Original stereo mix: John Duncan
All other sounds, recording, editing and mixing
by ALH

“In relation to this soundwork, the extended overtones
created by the clashing frequencies of the ‘ghost chorus’
could indeed be read as faint glimmerings of a sublime
imperative. This imperative, brought into harmonic relief
by means of the intervallic ‘beatings’ of voice and ‘voices’,
admits the possibility of a transfiguration of the criminal
void by means of a deliberate intensification of those
glimmerings into an immaterial, abstract reality completely
removed from any form of social/political/temporal control.
It is almost as if by charging a terrifying, ‘physical’ empti-
ness with an implicative, narcissistic terror, the means
of negotiating the far greater terror of a ‘metaphysical’
infinity, i.e. non-existence, is manifested as a form of
rhapsodic contemplation aimed towards interiorising and
indeed occupying the void, leading ultimately, and of
course theoretically, to non-action.”
— Excerpt from La Follia Dell’ Arte
Full text [PDF]

Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi
Edition of 200 copies

See also
Andrew Leslie Hooker (E203)








Review

If you take a conscientious look at these notes, the conceptual
ramifications underlying this music will unquestionably be better
deepened than contenting yourselves with a mere review’s
synthetic account. Personally speaking, it is a curious coincidence
that the city hosting this site-specific composition in 2010 was
Ravello (in the Italian region of Campania), where your reporter
was literally stunned by the place’s dizzy heights many years ago
(the local vistas on the sea are absolutely breathtaking). A similar
type of mental suspension reappeared after subjecting myself
to sequential listens of In Emptiness There Is Truth, which in
essence consists of 45 minutes shaped by an extremely ductile
“ghost overtone choir” replete with feedback signals and what
the composer calls “lower-case sonics” (I didn’t understand if
actual voices, perhaps treated, live in the mix). Amidst the
wrinkles of this psychically influencing substratum, Murayama
emerges with a series of hagridden vocalizations halfway through
a silently strained gargle and the gasping of someone in dire need
of oxygen. The whole creates a state of floating anguish, under-
lined by a sense of aural instability not too distant from certain
metamorphic environments typical of Roland Kayn’s cybernetic
creatures, though definitely more “minimalist” in its asphyxiating
reiterativeness. Circumstances of the very John Duncan’s aesthetic
are not irrelevant to this recording, either; not only in the gist of
the sound, but also as far as complex human implications are
concerned. Ultimately, a statement born for an external environ-
ment whose acoustic validity is confirmed in a home listening
scene. But several attempts are required to really get into the
core of the matter.

Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes