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Steve Roden

Forms of Paper (Remastered)
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REVIEWS OF
Forms of Paper (Remastered)
  • Forms of Paper was released by Line in 2001, remastered by Bernard Guenter and reissued as a high quality download.  While it was one of the heralding works of the “lowercase” genre (a genre of which the boundaries and parameters I never fully understood), there is far too much complexity for it to be pigeonholed into a label that would imply that nothing happens in the recording.

    In fact, quite the opposite is true:  although the piece takes a while to make itself known, Roden’s processing of the sound of book pages becomes a world of subtle beeps and tones, with a greater focus on textures.  While there is a more significant shifting between busy and sparse, it is a more repetitive work in comparison to Proximities.  Not surprising since, in the accompanying essay, Roden points out that this was his first work utilizing Pro-tools rather than just analog tape, and that at the time he was quite fond of using copy and paste in composition.
    (brainwashed.com)

  • Pour les dix ans de sa première sortie (déjà sur LINE), paraît une réédition remasterisée de Forms of Paper. Steve Roden y traite électroniquement divers bruits de feuilles de papier (ce qu’il explique ici). De son action naissent des événements : des 0 et des 1 apparaissent sur un écran blanc, un traîneau passe dans la neige, des puces à la voix tremblotante crissent et craquètent… Dix ans après, on comprend que le papier de Roden est la partition d’un orgue de barbarie muet et beau comme le silence.
    (le son du grisli)

  • Roden’s 2001 album Forms of Paper became, for many, the exemplary lowercase record. And it does seem to fulfill Roden’s own definition as well: “Lowercase resembles what Rilke called ‘inconsiderable things’ – the things that one would not ordinarily pay attention to, the details, the subtleties.”Forms of Paper was commissioned by the Los Angeles Public Library system as an installation in its Hollywood branch. Roden used contact mics to record himself manipulating paper in various ways, then effected these recordings and played them through a series of speakers so that they would subtly infiltrate the surrounding space.

    Unfortunately, as he explains in the press release for last year’s re-release of the record, Roden was unable to listen to the mastered version of the recording before it was sent to the CD manufacturers. The original sound installation had to be made much louder in order to be played on a conventional CD, which made certain sounds audible that Roden himself could not hear in his own mixes. Forms of Paper, then, really is the exemplary lowercase record, not by virtue of its dedication to a set of generic conventions, but because its dissemination was wrested from Roden’s control just as the term “lowercase” itself was, and then made to mean something quite different. That the record still means so much for its listeners more than ten years after its release attests to the importance of Roden’s work. And he eventually came around as well – the liner notes to the re-release end with his confession that “remarkably — with all of the distance between us — this piece of mine and me, seemed to feel as if we might finally be able to get along.”
    (tinymixtapes.com)

  • Die Entwicklung elektronischer Musik schreitet so rasch voran, dass sogar die Nischen schon Geschichtsschreibung betreiben: 2001 fütterte Steve Roden seinen Computer mit Geräuschen, die er dem Reiben, Kratzen und Umblättern von Buchseiten abgerungen hatte, und destillierte daraus eine Welt aus knisternden Frequenzen und knackender Feinheit. Schon bald fand sich unter dem von ihm eingeführten Begri´  “lowercase” eine Avantgarde zusammen, die das Werk zum Vorbild nahm, mit leisen, zurückhaltenden Sounds arbeitete und aus ihnen neue Strukturen errichtete. Längst ausverkauft, feiert Forms of Paper nun eine Neuauµ age. Keine leichte, aber essenzielle Kost.
    (beat.de)