Formed in Manhattan to produce concept albums, sound installations, and live performances, the collective creates immersive audio excursions from field recordings which they gather from all over the globe. Previous works have seen them collaborate with Berghain, Nan Goldin, the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Patti Smith.
For Before Music There Is Blood, their new mini-album, they have collaborated with some of the world’s most prestigious music conservatories—including Shanghai's Conservatory of Music (China), The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory (Russia), and the Conservatorio di Musica S. Pietro A Majella in Napoli (Italy). They entered the hallowed courtyards, corridors, and classrooms of these three academies to record hundreds of hours of these elite students practicing and rehearsing.
“The piece questions what is music, composition, and ultimately what is harmony,” they explain. “It is an attempt to capture notes out of their context—bleeding into each other through the walls, windows, courtyards and alleyway of the conservatory.”
These unexpected melodies are the result of an impromptu, anarchic musical composition of all instruments, where composers, centuries and civilizations are echoing each other in one acoustic space—ghostly fragments of conversation, skittering percussive stabs, burbling synthesis, oscillating swathes of droning strings and hushed, gauzy ambiance.
Max Loderbauer also supplies a rework.
To give Soundwalk Collective the last word on the topic “Our microphones wondering through the architecture were the silent spectators of the music left behind.”
02. Xiao Youmei Corridor
03. CaiYuanpei Hall 27
04. Rimsky-Korsakov Court
05. Rimsky-Korsakov Court [Max Loderbauer Rework]
Before Music There Is Blood is scheduled for April 7 release, with "Auditorium Scarlatti" streamable in full below.