As part of the 2003 Valencia Architecture Biennale, Will Alsop and Bruce Mclean together devised an environment that took the form of a kind of department store. This was originally going to be within an existing empty department store but, in the event, the project was realised within the Conventa del Carmen, a disused religious building.
In a part of the building that had not been subject to conversion, I gave concerts which were to be recorded so that CDs could be sold within the ‘store’ conceived by Bruce and Will, with listening posts established in various locations for this music. One concert featured a performance by Anna Friman and John Potter, with viola player Bill Hawkes, and me on double bass and piano. It included performances of the first two recorded laude as well as premieres of two new ones, Laude 12 and 13.
A second recording involved me and Roger Heaton, on bass clarinet and double bass respectively, playing long, slow music through the night – extended versions of laude – from midnight to 4:30am, in specific locations within the old building. The recordings were all recorded by Chris Ekers, using a ‘dummy head’ microphone system and are best listened to on headphones to give the experience of 360-degree sound. With most of these pieces we were placed on opposite sides of the long rectangular space, either facing each other or playing into alcoves in the walls, with our backs to each other, thereby generating reflected sounds. One piece, the second version of Lauda 1, was ended by what seemed to be screaming outside, which turned out to be cats fighting… On two occasions we improvised on the lauda material, playing in the large old refectory, like meditations on the modal mediaeval lines, and exploiting the resonance of this larger open space. One of these had both my bass and Roger’s bass clarinet against the wall and in the other Roger moved slowly around the room, circling the centrally placed dummy head microphone.
This way of recording very late at night is similar to what we did for my installation in the Chateau d’Oiron, A Listening Room (Chambre d’écoute). This installation is still there, and the recording is available on BCGDCD08.
NB playable track is number 1
Gavin Bryars, double bass
2. Lauda 2, 3:06
3. Lauda 3, 2:42
4. Lauda 3 (second version), 6:40
5. Lauda 8, 3:28
6. Lauda 8 (second version), 3:36
7. Lauda 11, 3;30
8. Lauda 1 (second version - cats), 3:38
9. Lauda 2 (second version), 2:56
10. Lauda 3 (third version), 3:18
11. Refectory Space – First Improvisation, 3:34
12. Lauda 9, 5:10
13. Lauda 11 (second version), 2:06
14. Refectory Space – Second Improvisation (on Lauda 1), 6:28