Aboutface - Are Birds Singing In Their Sleep?


Often comprising of field recordings and live experimentation, we've featured aboutface's sets before on ASIP, but unlike the previous weird and wonderful journeys through electronica and ambient, his latest improvised set is geared towards a recent sleep experiment in London. 

A perfect follow-up to our recent Music For Sleeping feature, Ben and his aboutface moniker recently took part in the below Soporose event which was much more than your regular ambient gig:

Although many people will encounter a listening phenomenon at some point in their life, little is known about the environment or conditions that create these experiences.

Soporose is a research into the altered listening experiences that can sometimes be had during deep relaxation and dreaming states. It will revive the essence of early sleeping temples, like Asclepion from ancient Greece, and explore a form of secular spirituality through ritual and immersion. Each guest will have an assigned bed where they can rest and sleep while being carefully navigated through a night of film screenings, guided meditation, and live performances from sound artists.

This sleeping research concert is reserved for only 20 participants that will be selected after completion of a research questionnaire.
— Soporose

Ben's set was designed around the birdsong, "using the rhythm to trigger synths and drums, then improvising with hardware and acoustic instruments against the back drop of field recordings". His set began at 5am and ended at 8am and a result, you'll hear the subtle beginnings and the slightly more detailed ending as people started to wake up. 

The field recordings were made from recent visits in London, Slovakia and India, and some of the instruments used were closely tied to the locations, with the Hapi Drum, Indian Bansuri Flute and a poem all playing parts alongside your more familiar KorgMS2000, a Prophet 8 and an Electro Harmonix 45000 multi-track looper. 

The result is an intrinsic and detailed journey through several different stages; some with nothing but field recordings, and others with slowly churning synths and effects, all set to a very simple yet evolving melody. It's a shamanic experience, requiring an attentive yet relaxing listen. I'm sure this would've been pretty special event to experience first hand. 

More info and future events available through http://www.eightfoldway.org/