Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"a hauntological last hurrah"--The Quietus reports on The Ghosts of Bush House, a project in which a  fellow who works as a studio manager tat he BBC World Service, which is being decimated by huge cuts, went around its soon-to-be-closed HQ at Bush House on the Strand and recorded nocturnal atmospheres and reverberationa, which he then wove them into a H-ological mood-piece. He also worked in elements taken from "the World Service’s ancient reel-to-reels", an echo perhaps of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.  This chap usually goes by the moniker Robin the Fog but the artist name he's going by for this project is The Fog Signals.

"I was working a lot of nightshifts... and as a result would often have the place largely to myself during the small hours of the morning. On my journeys around Bush House...  I used to love listening to all the sounds around me: the creaks and rumbles of the old building echoed up and down the stairwells and through the corridors, even the most mundane of noises suddenly taking on a new significance in the half-light. Like so many historic buildings around London, Bush House is constructed of Portland Stone, which is a wonderfully resonant material to work with... the stone construction of the walls coupled with the high ceilings gave you this extraordinary reverb. I would whistle to myself on the landings and then listen as the whistle fluttered round the space for what seemed like an eternity, transforming as it did so into something much stranger, as if the building was adding a few tones of its own. I liked to think these were the sounds Bush House made when it thought nobody was listening!

"No artificial echo or electronic effects were used in the making of the album... These are genuinely the sounds of the space."

Ghosts of Bush's chimes with the H-ological preoccupation with the Public Sphere as something that's faded away, something to mourn... but also to celebrate/cherish/protect as per Danny Boyle's Olympics ceremony.

"I’m an ardent believer in the World Service and in public service broadcasting in general. It’s an incredible ambassador for British affairs and is renowned for its integrity and trusted the world over."

"The nicest compliments of all have been those who compared it to the produce of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, an organization which has been a huge influence on my work and which I always used to fantasize about joining, despite its closing almost a decade before I joined the BBC."

You can listen to and name-your-price purchase The Ghosts of Bush House here. "All proceeds will be donated to BBC Media Action (formerly The World Service Trust), helping in their mission to 'harness the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and assist women, children and men to claim their rights'."

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, poetic, best fiver spent this month. Many years ago I heard for the first time The Who's I Can See For Miles through a Long Wave French radio station and bad reception added some magic effects to the song, magic in itself.
    Going to TGOTBH, it's like psychophonies but devoid of fantastic origins and in full quality. I'm sure the best way to listen to music is through the radio, be it pop songs or these shady sounds which are music to my ears.
    In spoken radio I could tell the station quite acurately just listening to the way the voice sounded. Immortalising its soul in this album, we could say this building went to Heaven and will live forever.