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Number One

by KK.NULL/Watson/z’ev



Z’EV writes: “In March of 2003 seeing my friends Stephen & Josephine in Los Angeles they suggested that i get in touch with japanese composer/performer KK.NULL. There followed a string of weird email occurrences which delayed our communicating until, as it turned out, we eventually met in Paris on 18 November.After his performance we were talking about a possible collaboration and during his set a possibility had occurred to me. I ran the idea by him and we agreed to proceed with it. The idea had 3 elements: 1 – to use the structure of the NOH THEATRE cycle as the basis for the composition. 2 – to consider the initial sound development in terms of developing ‘characters’ which would then interact with one another through the specific “scene” [which is a fairly non-traditional way to work with sound elements] and 3 – to place the ‘character interactions’ as the ‘figure’ inside of particular sound-scapes as the ‘ground’.

So in January 2004 I returned to London and began to work on my initial character developments. Coincidentally at this time I received a copy of a CD compilation i had a piece on which was released by TOUCH, which also had a piece by Chris Watson. So i got on the phone to TOUCH who put me in touch with Chris who has joined in on the project.

Sometime after I had completed mixing the 5 pieces, I sent a copy to my friend Boyd Rice. He emailed me back: “This is the first avant-garde piece I have heard in years that is truly avant-garde.”

In the production process, Z’EV framed his and KK.NULL’s electro-acoustic musics inside Chris Watson’s field recordings from East Africa. A dynamic dialogue and inside-outside mirroring of natural and synthetic sound is the result: where the click and rhythm of an insect merges with KK.NULL’s drumming; where the calls of the elephants combine with the electronic bass frequencies; where bird and frog song and Z’EV’s harmonic structures produces surprising counterpoints.


released April 2, 2005

Artwork & photography - Jon Wozencroft

Traditional Noh correspondences for their 5 part cycle of plays.

Kazuyuki Kishino: electronics & electro-percussion produced January 2004.
Chris Watson: location sounds recorded in East Africa.
Z'ev: 25 binary-acoustic files produced January 2004.
Edits, assembling and mixes produced 20-24 March 2004.

Chris Watson sources:
1: dawn in acacia woodland. Rapid light and temperature changes.
2: vultures down on an animal carcass in the short grass plains. The intense activity of a feeding battle resolving into the song of a single sooty chat - the fire of midday.
3: elephant herd led by a powerful matriarch, grazing on the edge of a marsh… Gazelles and zebra swish through the long grass… Contact rumbles from the herd females.
4: the on-coming storm; wind rush and the deep smell of change. Low infrasonic thrum. Disorientation and confusion.
5: the amphibian chorus, enveloping yet impossible to locate. Rhythmic dusk and rapid darkness.


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Chris Watson UK

Chris Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative.

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