Assembly Box

Another cassette from Morgan Evans-Weiler’s label Individual Lines, this one by the sound artist Layne Garrett. He recorded Assemblages (INDIVIDUAL LINES 013) in Takoma Park in Maryland, and all we know about it is “sounds stacked via cassettes and/or digital 8track”, a short description which calls attention to the process and methodology of its creation. It’s a fascinating listen and quite a mysterious one; while parts of it do suggest a “happening” of some sort taking place in the open air, there are many unexplained sound events which intrigue the mind. It sounds like home-made machinery or odd metallic sculptures is being manipulated in ways we don’t understand, in a performance whose meaning is hard to divine. There are other, stranger sounds, which are even more elusive and difficult to account for. A lot to listen to, and all concealed behind the cryptic image of what I assume is a diseased and swollen tree trunk in a photo taken by Katie Heffernan. Layne comes to us from Washington DC and also plays in improvising duo The Cutest Puppy In The World with Bryan Rhodes. Many of his experiments can be heard on his home page, where there are links to sound files in the Internet Archive. From the cryptic, concise utterances printed here, many of which read like personal diary entries referring to places and people we couldn’t possibly know about, I get the impression he’s the kind of artist who embraces serendipity in all his processes; a student of the John Cage school, perhaps. From 3rd November 2014.