Stefan Thut / Seth Cooke: Aussen Raum Cassette

This version of "aussen raum" – a realisation of Stefan Thut’s text-based score – uses recordings and non-recordings of an oft-ridiculed water feature built atop and supposedly symbolising the redirected and culverted River Frome beneath Bristol’s Harbourside. This botched and banal public art is the centrepiece of a perpetually contested inner-city site in flux over seven centuries. The recording was made in 2015, and the location is being remodelled yet again at the time of writing in 2017. Partially inspired by Bristolian artist Richard Long’s 1967 work ‘A Line Made by Walking’, the piece involved repeatedly treading a single straight path through the fountains and the cascade. Recordings of four of these tracings are presented in this release. It comments on trends and superstitions in field recording – relating to water, human activity positioned in opposition to the ‘natural’, and assumptions about the capability of sound to represent ‘place’. The cover art features a photograph of the statue of Neptune that has taken up yet another temporary residence at this location as the river’s genius loci, twin symbols of our ambivalence towards water in urban spaces. Both god and river have led transient, displaced existences over hundreds of years, of No Fixed Abode like the increasing numbers of rough sleepers currently taking refuge in the urban vacuum around the Harbourside.

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