Maksims Shentelevs (1978.)
born and based in Riga, Latvia.
architect and sound artist.
JrF: when & why did you become interested in field recording ?
MS: In 2002 I met Derek Holzer who introduced me to binaural field recording techniques. Although this seed was fruitful due to my constant and everlasting interest in wild nature, entomology and tiny spaces and of course I’ve been recording interviews and silly stories on a huge tape recorder since I was 10.
JrF: how do you use your field recordings in your own artistic output ?
MS: I use field-recorded materials in different ways. It depends on the project but my main interest is to treat recordings as little as possible. Yet there are works that consist of multi-layered processed field recordings that have very little to do with original sources. And still if part of material is digitally or otherwise manipulated I always combine it with clear acoustic sounds. When composing soundworks I treat the process as if constructing a space, where I’m guided by sound instead of forcing it into predetermined structures. Work can vary from a single unedited field recording to a soundscape combined of hundreds of layers (often raw) or a fieldmix that is done on location with multiple piezos and is finished in the field in real time without any post treatment.
Jrf: are the terms 'music' & 'sound' important to you, either in the way you feel about the sounds you capture and use or in the way your work is viewed by others.
MS: I prefer to regard music as sound instead of the opposite. It’s quite an interesting topic from the perspective of anthropology.
Music is always social, emotional and imaginary – something one can keep in his or her mind, while sound (if we speak of “natural” or non composed sound) is always spatial - something that is not so easy to keep in the mind while its not audible (yet that concept is just an illusion of our perspective).
JrF: what effect (positive or negative) has the act of making field recordings had on the way you listen to your everyday surroundings and how has it affected the way you listen to other music / sound (if at all) ?
MS: My listening culture has indeed deepened since I’ve been practicing field recording. It tuned in different shades varying from noticing curious and remarkable sounds of any source and intensity distinct from custom conditions and surrounding to aural analysis of non-composed soundscapes as systems with complex references; from enjoying constructed and abandoned spaces while listening or improvising with objects to being annoyed by any tiniest electro / mechanical buzz in apartment while falling asleep; learning spaces and constructions within cities and forests by listening, participating and organizing workshops based on the culture of listening – that makes a long sentence when trying to name all consequences of field recording.
Ethno music as well as contemporary urban and forest folk tendencies seem to me most appreciable musical genres for their vital link in between individual – society – environment.
above is an mp3 'wire' from Maksims. The range of sounds available from wire fences and suspensions is an area that has been explored by many artists, myself included, in recent years, however the range of possibilities is so vast that it is still a fertile and interesting source. Maksims writes:
Soundscape Mapping -Topolo
Recorded during july 2-18 2008 by maksims shentelevs
Location – Topolo [it]
Wire – (extract)
-recording: long steel wire (over 100 m.), short fixing steel wire, tries, wooden pillar, insects, birds, wind, radio.
Main source of that recording is a long steel wire that starts on the road below the church and leads up the hill to the barn. Recording is made with 8 piezo pickups and portable stereo mixer. 4 different piezos are attached to the wire. 3 more piezos placed in cracks on wooden pillar that supports wire. 1 piezo attached to short wire trace that fixes the pillar and provides tension.
Most audible sounds in the wire that crosses hill forest are generated by leaves and branches of trees, moved by the wind and by chance hitting the wire. Those sounds resonating in wooden pillar are combined with sounds generated by insects inhabiting old timber. By accident one of piezos towards the end of recording picked up radio translation. Recording is mixed live on location.
may 18th-19th: field recording workshop, malmo, sweden
june 13th-20th: field recording workshop with Chris Watson & Jez riley French, Iceland
22nd june - 2oth august 2013: audible silence: the tate, sleeping and waking' - headphone piece exploring the hidden sounds of the Tate modern building, Tate modern, London
september 6-8th: field recording workshop with jez riley french & chris watson, norfolk, uk - places available
october 4-13th: installation (room tones / littorals), Spazioersetti galleria, Udine, Italy
october 11th: resonant terrain walk, castletown, portland as part of the b-side symposium
december 6-8th: field recording workshop with jez riley french & chris watson, norfolk, uk - places available