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Thing Asunder (A Foundry Project)

by M. Bentley / Earwicker / Ben Swire / Steve Brand

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Thing Asunder remains a very special project for me. The cut-up story, the audio, and the visuals I created all swirl around in an intoxicating vortex, somehow (and impossibly) rife with meaning, while utterly nonsensical. So hard to describe... so please take a listen and decide for yourself. I will be adding a chapbook connected to this project in future, but I am having to reconstruct the original which was lost. (Michael Bentley, January 2015)


Thing Asunder is another Foundry project that brings together a variety of sound artists around a central idea. In this case the catalyst was a chapbook created by M. Bentley using the cut-up method of assembling text. Once this story, for it read like a bizarre penny-novel, was shared amongst a small group of adventuresome artists there was immediately talk of an audio elaboration on the chapbook, and thus the Thing Asunder CD took shape.

: : "Well, Emmanuel? Who am I?"

The human mind always seems to try to impose structure on what it observes, and it is fascinating to see what sense can be made of randomly assembled text. By the same token it is astounding what a range of impressions and thoughts can be stimulated by music and sound. With Thing Asunder, Earwicker (Seofon, Chris Cones, and Kimoscio), Ben Swire, Steve Brand (formerly Augur), and M. Bentley (eM) draw inspiration from the cut-up text of the chapbook to create a collection of audio collages, a sonic soliloquy on the arbitrary nature of meaning and the mutability of form.

: : His father points to Betelgeuse in the night sky
: : as he spins air above an ocean at a height which
: : is judged to be providing for your future.

"Seofon and I have returned to the text several times over the last few years," explains Michael Bentley, "and each time found new depths and attractions. In May of 2004 we performed a live version of Thing Asunder as part of the Archipelago Live series. We built the performance around the material we had used to record our tracks, and added other sounds as well as a contribution from Ben Swire. I created an hour long video to accompany our set and as another permutation of the text. We plan on reprising this performance as a kind of release party in early 2005."

Block-quoted text taken from the Thing Asunder chapbook.


released January 1, 2005

Collages/design by M. Bentley
Mastered by Ben Swire at Escaped Goat Productions


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The Foundry Berkeley, California

The Foundry was begun, originally, as an outlet for Michael Bentley's chapbooks in the mid-80s. It grew to include audio releases in the mid-90s, and now serves as an umbrella for artistic ventures from Bentley and his collaborators.

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