Christina Kubisch - Magnetic Flights - CD
Two brand new pieces from one of the most exciting, active & relevant members of the first generation sound artists. Magnetic Flights is a perfect follow up to Five Electrical Walks (IMPREC167) and it is being released at the same time as a collection of two of Kubisch's unreleased archival pieces, also on Important.
Magnetic Flights is entirely made of electromagnetic field recordings of international airports and inside airplanes. The recordings of this piece were made by Christina Kubisch on her travels in 2007 from and to the airports of Bukarest, Manchester, Chicago, Seoul, Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich, Frankfort, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, Pisa, Milan and London. The sounds were neither altered electronically nor changed in any other way. The only tool which was used, and only for a part of it, was a filtering program (DINR).
All recordings were made with the help of special sensitive wireless headphones, by which the aboveground and underground electromagnetic fields are detected, amplified and made audible. The headphones are custom made, developed by Kubisch, and constructed by the engineer Manfred Fox, Berlin. The sounds are much more musical than one could expect. There are complex layers of high and low frequencies, loops of rhythmic sequences, groups of tiny signals, long drones and many things which change constantly and are hard to describe.
Magnetic flights consists of three parts with a short special sound at the beginning, and another one at the end. The piece starts with an electromagnetic sound recorded just before departure, and continues with the material of flight radiations recorded inside different airplanes. These electromagnetic fields slightly change pitch during departure and arrival, but remain quite constant during the flight itself. The relatively high and compact sounds gradually build up a dense layer of vibrations with continuous minimal variations.
In the second part, some of the previous flight radiations gradually become filtered. The single signals mingle into a mix of small, short, nervous and very rhythmic signals. Their origin might be radio waves, communication signals with the tower, internet and atmospheric disturbances, but these are only guesses.
The third part, the situation of arrival or transition, is a mix of typical electromagnetic sounds in the waiting areas of airports such as the deep vibrations of the screens of monitors which slowly fade in and out.
The piece ends with the electrical flickering of an electromagnetic field of unknown origin.
1. Magnetic Flights
2. Double Scanning
Best of 2011: Magnet Magazine