Richard Chartier

LINE_ED05 | CD | Signed/Numbered Edition of 250 + 10 Artist Proofs (sold out/out of print) | June 2006

Levels (Inverted) was commissioned as part of the city wide Found Sound exhibit in Washington, DC. This six-channel site specific sound installation was exhibited October 15-November 19, 2005 at the 1515 Arts Building within the three story concrete stairwell. The sounds utilized are based on site recordings of the space and towering central flourescent lighting fixture itself. Thick white audio wires draped down from the ceiling and small speakers adhered to the glass panelled staircase.

Due to the spiral shape of the staircase and the speakers positioning (pointing towards the center of the space) different levels and interactions of frequencies surfaced within the space as the glass panes acted as conduits for the lower frequency bands.

Although no recording could quite capture the full physical and visual experience of being in the space with its lights and the viewer/listeners own movement choice, this recording is not meant to be a completed “composition” but rather a stereo approximation of an installation environment, suggesting a listeners gradual movement upwards through the space/sound field, albiet a very slowed down one, in order to note more apparently the nature of each level of the installation’s components. This 60 minute journey reflects opening three cycles of the various looped and tuned components. Due to the quiet nature of the piece itself this work is meant for low volume listening.

Richard Chartier, sound/installation artist and graphic designer, has created critically acclaimed recordings for labels such as 12k/LINE (USA), Trente Oiseaux (Germany), Spekk (Japan), Mutek_rec (Canada), DSP (Italy), and ERS (NL), and Fallt (Ireland), including collaborations with artists Taylor Deupree, William Basinski, COH, and *0 and has appeared on numerous international compilations. His digital minimalist work explores the inter-relationships between the spatial nature of sound, silence, focus, and the act of listening.

Chartier’s sound works and sound installations have been presented internationally including at the exhibits Sounding Spaces at ICC (Tokyo, Japan), I Moderni / The Moderns at Castello di Rivoli (Torino, Italy), 2002 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Resynthesis at The Art Institute of Chicago and with the travelling sound exhibit Invisible Cities created by digital media curators Fehler as well as solo and collaborative installations for Fusebox (DC), 1515 Arts/G Fine Art (DC), Die Schachtel (Milan, Italy), and Diapason (NY). He has performed his work live across Europe, Japan, and North America at MUTEK (Montreal, Canada), GRM/Maison de Radio France (Paris, France), Observatori (Valencia, Spain), DEAF (Dublin, Ireland), Transmediale (Berlin, Germany), Lovebytes (Sheffield, UK), The Leeds International Film Festival (Leeds,UK), The Rotterdam International Film Festival (NE), Garage (Stralsund, Germany), La Batie (Geneva, switzerland), and other noted digital art/music festivals and at exhibits such as Frequenzen [Hz] at the Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt) and A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968 and Visual Music: Syneasthesia in Art and Music Since 1900 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles).

In 2000 he formed the recording label LINE and has since curated its continuing documentation of compositional and installation work by international sound artists and composers exploring the aesthetics of contemporary and digital minimalism. The premiere release on LINE, Chartier’s Series as awarded Honorable Mention in the category of Digital Music by the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica, 2001 (Austria). In 2006 he was commissioned by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to create the site-specific collaborative sound performance work Specification.Fifteen with Taylor Deupree for the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibit.


Richard Chartier's Levels (Inverted) really is a wonderful piece of work. Coming as part of the limited 'Editions' series, each CD is hand numbered and signed and the run is a meagre 250 copies for the world (hence the higher price than the usual Line and 12k releases). I count myself extremely fortunate to have got my grubby hands on this! The work was commisioned as part of 2005's Found Sound exhibit in Washington (I assume). The sounds are sourced from on-site locations and are deconstructed and manipulated with finesse, passion and a great deal of style. As ever with Chartier's work, there's a beautiful coherence to the way he structures and arranges the piece and, although it's more abstract than, say, Tracing or Archival, there's a real delicacy and fragility at work here. For those who are fans of his work this is simply a must, particularly in view of its limited nature. Equally, those that enjoy contemporay minimalist music should investigate this aswell. Understated, exquisite... just superb. Highly recommended.