MxLL – Gestalt
An organised whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.
A collaborative ‘Audio Visual’ project directed & curated by composers Joel Wells & Abi Wade; With a sole focus on creating experimental music works and soundscapes, which have an intrinsic relationship to visual art.
The duo have a passion for collaborating with other visual artists and musicians, exploring alternative ways of creating music, crossing multiple genres, media and culture.
For Musicity x Low Line, Gestalt created 'Ghost In The Machine', a piece in response to the spaces of Vinegar Yard.
Here, Joel Wells shares his insights:
I wanted to explore the feeling of ancestry in the track. A strange mix of nostalgia, loss, connection and familiarity.
Our research of the area brought up some interesting family history. Finding out that my Great Great Grandparents lived just off Bermondsey Street from 1886, giving birth to my Great grandmother in a house on Black Swan Yard, along with 12 other children.
There was a deep sense of personal connection with the space. I was drawn to the towering bricks of the Leather Warehouse, that still stood from that time. I spent hours walking the area and gathering various family archives. Within one Census I able to deduce that it was very likely my Great Uncle had actually worked within those walls as a leather trader, producing goods that would have then been transported along the thames by two generations of Great grandparents, working as merchant seaman on the nearby docks.
“He peers eagerly back into the twilight, out of which he has come in hope that its faint beams will illuminate the obscurity into which he is going” What is History?, E.H Carr.
Gathering together philosophy and history books that referenced ancestry we began to piece together words and images alongside family documents and photographs pinning them to the wall as a palette of inspiration. We based the track around my voice as a symbol of the biological link to the place. Using automatic writing and letting the natural vocal phonetics inform the words for the track.
Using binaural spatialisation technology we created the sense of being inside ‘your head’. Surrounding the listener with the voices that draw audible paths between echos of our collective unconscious and my sense of self.
‘Ghost In The Machine’ is an exploration into the traces left within you, from those who came before.
‘Ghost In The Machine' uses ZD technology, developed by King’s College London’s Department of Informatics with support from the Culture team at King’s.
‘Ghost In The Machine’ by Gestalt releases June 1 as part of London Festival of Architecture.
To listen to ‘Ghost In The Machine’, open the Musicity x Low Line Web App and go to Vinegar Yard!
Photo credit: Gestalt.