(biographies updated to 2008)
Blind Cave Salamander (I / U.S.A.) is a project by Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo and Paul Beauchamp. It is an unusual mix of electronica, strings and guitars, drones and field recordings; a collection of finely wrought sounds that at times leans towards hypnotic lullabies (Julia Kent, cellist with Antony & the Johnsons and Current 93, is a fellow contributor), and at others has a tendency toward the abstract.
The field recordings made in the Bossea caves near Turin envelop the debut album (released in 2007) in a biomorphic atmosphere, in which sweet melodies are distorted by streaks of distempered strings, and rolling drones are engulfed with the dark swirling of recurring rhythms.
The outcome is a hybrid of the natural and the synthetic which outlines shadowy, nocturnal landscapes like those in which dwells Proteus - the pale-skinned, cave-dwelling amphibian that lends its name to the project.
Blind Cave Salamander; Blossoming Noise, 2007
Chris Watson (UK) is one of the most eclectic and unique figures in today's experimental scene.
He was one of the founders of music band Cabaret Voltaire in 1972, and of cult music project The Hafler Trio in 1981.
Watson's interest in the manifold inflections of the sounds of nature has seen him work as a sound recordist on numerous BBC documentaries, an activity that both supports and informs his sound recordings published on CD.
In his works Watson records the sounds of different habitats and atmospheres from around the world, from the African savannah to the English moors. He seeks out not only the most obvious sounds but those most hidden and least striking, thus managing to capture dense and layered soundscapes. On his solo album, Weather Report (2003), he documents a series of meteorological phenomena with a care and meticulousness that goes beyond simply recording the real, evoking extraordinarily suggestive perceptive and acoustic dimensions.
As he wrote in his album Stepping into The Dark (which in 2000 won an Award of Distinction at the prestigious ARS Electronica Festival Prize in Linz): "There is an intangible sense of being in a special place – somewhere that has a spirit – a place that has an atmosphere... My recordings are atmospheres from special places."
Life in the Undergrowth, BBC TV
The Life of Birds, BBC TV – BAFTA Award for Best Factual Sound
The Life of Mammals, BBC TV
Talking with Animals, BBC TV
Big Cat Diary, BBC TV
Night time is the Right time, BBC Radio 4
A Swallow's Journey, BBC Radio 4 – Sony Radio Award Nominee 2002
A Small Slice of Tranquillity, BBC Radio 4 for TX Dec. 2002
A Robin's Tale, BBC Radio 4 for TX Dec. 2002
Storm – with BJ Nilsen; Touch, 2006
Weather Report; Touch, 2003
Outside The Circle Of Fire; Touch, 1998
Stepping Into The Dark; Touch, 1996
Fovea Hex (IRL / UK) is the project of Irish singer Clodagh Simonds, who has chosen to work alongside such illustrious names as Brian Eno, Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio), Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound) and Robert Fripp to produce a trilogy of EP's, Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent (Die Stadt, 2005-2007).
Among echoes, shadows and foreboding, Simonds pursues a daring synthesis of tradition and experimentation, acoustic and electronic sounds – melodies that exceed the most abstract textures and female vocals interwoven with the sound of violins and accordions. Fovea Hex have already achieved cult status, and it is no coincidence that in 2007 they took part in a series of concerts curated by David Lynch at the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent trilogy; Die Stadt, 2005-2007
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland was conceived in October 1991 during a meeting between Swedish artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren. The event resulted in an agreement to establish a new country as a work of art. In 1992, Swedish population was informed of the possibilities of citizenship through an advertisement in the daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
Since then, various Embassies and Consulates were established all around the world and in the winter of 1993 a letter that declared KREV's independence and border functions was sent out to all other nations on earth and asked for the recognition of The Kingdoms.
Although initiated by von Hausswolff and Elggren, KREV is an open artwork that invites other artists to intercept and create fold-ins. Some of the artists and producers that have collaborated with KREV are John Duncan, Carsten Nicolai, Jens Hoffmann, Carsten Höller, Jan Håfström and Karl Holmqvist.
Since its establishment, the project has developed into exhibitions, concerts, private and public events. Paraphernalia such as stamps, flags, regalia, constitution and hymns have been shown internationally such as in Stockholm (Färgfabriken Center for Contemporary Art), London (Gasworks, Queen Elizabeth Hall and 13 Osward Road), New York (Thomas Nordanstad Gallery, Andrew Kreps Gallery), the 50th Venice Biennial (Utopia Station), the 1997 biennial in Johannesburg, DMZ 2005 in South Korea.
Recent public projects include The Annexation of San Michele Island (Venice), presented in February 2008 at Gallery Niklas Belenius (Stockholm); The Annexation of Lake Constance (Bodensee), presented in May 2008 at the Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich); an ongoing series of 7" vinyl records, featuring versions of the Elgaland-Vargaland National Anthem.
Kabukabu and Klezmer Chidesch perform The Kingdoms Of Elgaland-Vargaland National Anthem #3 and #4, 7"; Ash International, 2007
Mariachi Azteca Principal performs The Kingdoms Of Elgaland-Vargaland National Anthem #2, 7"; Ash International, 2007
KREV X. The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, 1992-2002; Ash International, 2002