Composer, filmmaker and photographer Phill Niblock, who runs the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in SoHo, writes noble, hypnotic, majestic microtonal drone music for electronics and instruments, guaranteed to mess with your head. Niblock’s big 24-track digitally-processed monolithic microtonal drones very gradually change their timbre and pitch characteristics without melody or rhythm, according to an almost imperceptible, geographically slow notion of movement.
His films are painstaking studies of manual labor, giving a poetic dignity to the sheer grueling slog of fishermen at work, rice-planters, log-splitters, water-hole dredgers and other backbreaking toilers. Beyond the stunning sounds and hypnotic, repetitive images, Niblock deliberately designs systems wherein his materials intersect in unintentional, yet uncanny combinations to which the audience can’t help but superimpose its own meanings and forms.
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