For the 2015 edition of Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche Festival (September 26, 2015), I constructed a tiny, really tiny, house; installed in the middle of the closed street, straddling the center line. The house was only large enough for me to sit in with the electronic equipment I use to perform experimental audio works in a live setting. During the performance, I remained in the micro house, creating extended improvisational compositions broadcast from an amplifier sitting by the front door. Micro(sound)house marks the intersection of microsound, micro houses, the live performance of spectacle, and the real world social implications of urban sprawl/density.
My own practice as an audio artist takes inspiration from microsound, part of early millennial developments in post-digital glitch music, albeit with an ear towards reverse engineering those valorized binary accidents in an analogue environment. My process uses audio cassette field recordings and pop media samples interspersed with snippets of close, intimately physical sounds from contact mics and open-air recordings of tapping, scraping and banging on objects in my studio. These randomized source tapes are sampled, looped and processed to create a lo-fi patchwork audio collage that emerges quite unpredictably as the piece is constructed. Through this process I aim to create something meaningful from the mundane, to assemble fragile vignettes from auditory detritus that would otherwise go unnoticed, making this a project of reclamation.
I’m primarily drawn to the idea of performing inside a tiny tiny house because there is a genuine absurdity to the image. However, I initially came to the idea in considering the festival theme of interstitial spaces, thinking around the prevalence of infill developments in Saskatoon, maximizing lot space. I’m a finishing carpenter in my day job. For the most part, the houses I work in seem too large for me to live in, so I’ve been thinking about how to ‘fit into’ smaller living spaces. Micro(sound)house brings together my art practice and my profession in the trades in a way that is both literal and uncanny.