A Row of Trees
The Journal of The Sonic Art Research Unit
‘Projection Trails’ is a collaboration between Claire Nichols and Fabian Jendle which emerged from Nichols’ series Variations.
Whilst Nichols was artist in residence at Hangar, Barcelona, she developed Hangar Variations, an evolving audio-visual composition using torches, mirrored glass, contact microphones, and found materials. Across the Variations series, Nichols uses materials that are discarded, and have a sense of being caught in a temporal loop between abandonment and future potential. Here, these included roof tiles, sand, recycled wood and steel. Each material carries a sense of its past life and function, but also holds an other-worldly quality in its visual and auditory tactility. Often, the materials do not have one set form: they are piles of sand that can be dispersed, roof tiles that can rock and reverberate; mirrors holding transitory reflections, and torch light that creates temporary shadows. They offer the possibility of an evolving relationship; moveable graphic and geometric configurations that open up an abstract space of possibility. At Hangar, Nichols’ evolving sculptural composition entered the field of expanded cinema and foley as her improvisations with the found materials, torches and mirrors simultaneously cast shadows and reverberated live sound via the attached contact microphones.
Recognising there was scope to deepen the sonic realm of her improvisations, Nichols initiated a collaboration with musician Fabian Jendle. Experimenting live at Hangar, they constructed an environment and soundscape in which layers of sonic texture could accumulate, saturate, dissipate and be rebuilt. They recorded audio samples of object interactions which became tracks that Jendle processed via a modular-synthesizer-like setup; spatialising the sound and generating rhythm. In the moment of performance with light, objects and live mic’d sound, Nichols and Jendle created a space for interaction, improvisation and transformation, a space in which the objects developed a new life and language in light and sound.