Brussels — Belgium
Martiensgohome is a sound collective who has been fooling around with recordings for more than 15 years. They present the resulting soundscapes every Thursday on Radio Campus Brussels (9:30 pm on 92.1 fm) . Each programme consists of a one-hour-long improvisation, using sounds recorded that week or taken from their extensive field-recording archive. The core of the collective consists today of four musicians, often augmented by guest musicians. martiensgohome is also performing live whenever possible, preferably in special settings, composing site-specific interventions or playing unconventional venues.
Description of work with field recording
Since its inception in 1996, the Brussels collective martiensgohome has collected, treated and played various forms of field recordings. Starting as a radio show, still broadcasting on Radio Campus Bruxelles (92.1fm) every week, the collective has focused from the start on non-musical sound sources. Noise, machine failure, contact-mike recordings, radio statics and larger scale field recordings, every available sound is examined, tried out, deformed or kept intact, and assembled to take part in an improvised counterfeit soundscape. No hierarchy is established between them, and small sounds, background hum, or glitches, are treated with the same respect as more explicit, more significant or more musical sounds. All those recordings are later abstracted, blurred, distorted, warped beyond recognition, taken sometimes as far as possible from their origins, and set in motion in a sonic fiction, a narrative of mystery and contingency. In this respect, the realistic, representational, quality of the recordings is secondary to their aural properties, to what they can see in them, to what they can make of them. Their radio programmes and concerts consist of different moments, various locations, multiple acoustic spaces and times woven together to produce a hybrid place, governed by a composite chronology. It remains nonetheless a place, an ephemeral and artificial site, but a bearings of sorts, complete with movement, activity, liveliness, sometimes even inhabitants. It is a fantasy, a truth lying somewhere between a lie and a fiction.
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