Zorka Wollny and Anna Szwajgier expose the process of hearing and turn it into an act of listening. They form their acoustic interventions as audio plays. They listen to the audiosphere to then be able to express the identity of the structures with the use of sounds. The artist’s duo has been for many years putting its actions at the intersection of architecture and sound, exploring the mutual interpenetration of these two disciplines. Their actions have been carried out, among others, in institutions, museums and factories. The result of the duo’s experiments, located on the margins of music and architecture, are the audiocassettes that function as independent musical forms. Detached from the idea and concept, they constitute intriguing sessions of concrete music.
Bartosz Nowicki. Raz Uchem raz Okiem.
From the beginning, one is hit with the minimalism of the means used, such as the spoken word and other mouth-produced sounds, all transformed by the phenomenal natural echo of the building that becomes one of the main instruments involved. Other sounds are also very intriguing. In some moments it seems as if one can hear synthesizers, but most likely it is a reinforcing bar being dragged along on a concrete floor. Sometimes the digital grain of white noise is heard, but it is actually a hissing chorus.
Regardless of the sources of sounds, they themselves are nothing less but intriguing. Everything is enhanced by the overwhelming silence in which both the sounds coming from the audience (if it was present there – steps, conversations, grunts, laughs) and those made by the performes are submerged in. Therefore, you can receive “The Greatest Hits” not only as an audio documentation of the event but as a field recordingof the event. Besides that, the (probable) use of unamplified objects, the lack of synthesizers, the focus on acoustic sounds brings to mind the philosophy of the avant-garde recordings of the Osjan group, called by its creators not so much a musical group but rather the “natural sound theater”, with the title of one of the albums being the “Ritual of Sound and Silence.”
“The Greatest Hits” are important for one reason in particular – they emphasize the importance of a space where the recording takes place – for example, it is not only industrial (though not industrial-like) space of a shopping mall, but also a chapel or even a hill that plays cicadas. The spaces recorded are not treated here merely as a pretext to include them in the title of the piece. The artists emphasize that different spaces and architecture can also become an instrument or a sound processing element, even if by their natural reverb. There are not that many Polish music albums that emphasize space and architecture seen as sources of sound….
Maciej Wirmański. Kultura Staroci.
It’s time for a real hit. Zorka Wollny and Anna Szwajgier do not have to be introduced, after all, these are well-known artist and their THE GREATEST HITS are really the best hits. Recordings collected over the years, formed in a pile by the publishing collective-Super-, have finally appeared in a solid form. On the cassette, pretty as always, this time even more interesting in terms of its content.
Piotr Strzemieczny. FYH