ONLY CONNECT FESTIVAL OF SOUND 2017
Jennifer Walshe + Toshimaru Nakamura + Martin Taxt
Outsider artist Caoimhín Breathnach (1934-2009) lived as a recluse in the Irish village Knockvicar for all of his life. He spent the last years of his life planning a film called An Gélacht, combining subliminal tapes and films with filmed footage showing a sequence of occult rituals. Breathnach’s great-niece, composer and artist Jennifer Walshe was commissioned to complete the film for the 2015 Cork Film Festival.
The screening was accompanied by live musicians, and for the Only Connect screening, Walshe is playing with improvising musicians Toshimaru Nakamura on mixing board and Martin Taxt on amplified microtonal tuba.
The main focus of Breathnach’s artistic practice was the creation of his unique brand of “subliminal tapes.” He began by recording sounds onto cassette tapes, before subjecting the tapes to a wide range of physical processes, such as burying, burning or encasing them in various materials such as velvet, paper or moss. In most cases, these physical processes rendered the tapes unplayable, so that the sounds recorded on them can now only be imagined. Breathnach’s extensive diaries detail his bizarre methods for making the tapes. Decoding the diaries is a tricky task, as he used the Ogham alphabet to write in a mixture of Irish and English.
Nakamura and Taxt are releasing their second duo album on the Japanese label Ftarri this spring. Their first album "Pan on Fire" was released on Monotype Records in 2015. The raw and brutal character of the music surprised many listeners as both artists have strong connections to the softer side of electro acoustic music. On their second album, entitled Listening to the footsteps of living ones who are still on the ground they take it up another step. Partly even more harsh, but also with more depth and dynamics to it after several concerts together lately. The album consists of three live recordings from their spring tour in Japan in 2016, each track reflecting the atmosphere of the different rooms in Kagoshima, Osaka and Okinawa.
Jennifer Walshe is an Irish composer, singer and contemporary artist who constantly breaks new ground, from operas about Barbie dolls and women’s boxing, via interpretations of songs by Norwegian metal band Darkthrone (a collaboration with Soft Pink Truth) and score projects on Snapchat, to writing a fictional avant garde history.