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Tiny Portraits - Jim Haynes

by Flaming Pines

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From familiar places of comfort to which we return over and over, to singular adventures to totally new regions, this edition of Tiny Portraits examines what it means to visit.

Cody Yantis visits friends in his home state of Colorado, Italian Xu returns with his family to a favoured holiday spot in Italy, Ulf A. S. Holbrook, a Norwegian, is a tourist in Croatia, Jim Haynes leaves the USA to take on an artist residency in Estonia.

All have produced pieces reflecting on these many different ways we visit, and the ways sounds both familiar and unfamiliar shape these experiences of difference and renewal.

This is an unedited recording using two contact microphones in each of the stereo inputs of a digital recorder on the high-tension wires of a 130m mast on a weather research station. One of the channels captured the resonance of the wind, creating a very complex drone harmonic; the other channel is a recording of an russian polemic broadcast through radio. At the time, I did not have a radio on my person; rather the two contact microphones formed a primitive radio antenna with the digital recorder acting as the receiver. I do not speak Russian at all; and upon this discovery, I asked fellow sound recordist John Grzinich about it. He too does not know Russian; but we both postulated that this might be a NATO propaganda broadcast, given the military might that Russia had been wielding against former Soviet republics and that Russia had violated Estonian borders to kidnap an Estonian espionage officer for a trumped up charges in Russia. While our collective conspiratorial minds were deflated a bit by the actual purposes of both the weather station (not a disguised NATO-funded radio tower for western propaganda akin to the Finnish broadcasts of western television into Tallinn in the early '80s) and the sermon (a hellfire and brimstone Russian Orthodox sermon about Jonah and the whale in parallel to the debauchery of modern culture -- the translation of this I owe thanks to Rostislav Rekuta), this recording is a rare document of a very particular event in time and place that I chose not to corrode or deconstruct.
Jim Haynes, San Francisco, USA


released July 4, 2017


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A label focused on field recording, sound art and experimental ambient music.

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