“…Rooney empathises and charms us into feeling the subjectivity of his protagonists. Who else but him could achieve such deep pathos with such down-to-earth subjects, methods and materials?” Robert Clark (The Guardian).
“…sound art at its least routine, imagination performing a ventriloquist’s act, speaking out of the haunted past in a borrowed voice.” Julian Cowley (The Wire magazine).
March 2023. Song (After Nature Past)/Song (After Nature Future), 12″ vinyl single by Drones and Debris.
Drones and Debris is a project by Paul Rooney, working with cellist Gyða Valtýsdóttir. Seal calls and other natural sounds were recorded by legendary sound recordist and musician Chris Watson, transcribed into cello phrases by Valtýsdóttir, and moulded into a richly layered cello composition by Rooney (see Lindisfarne Castle installation project below). The double ‘A’ sided vinyl 12″ single record (with a darkly humorous poem/text ‘translation’ of the seal song presented as sleeve notes) will be launched in March 2023.
Read the A Closer Listen review.
Read The Wire magazine review.
January 2023. Mix presented at: For k-punk: The Weird and the Eerie, a Goldsmiths event for Mark Fisher at Fox and Firkin, Lewisham. Listen below.
March-October 2022 and March-October 2023. Song (After Nature) sound installation for Lindisfarne Castle and The National Trust.
‘Seal laments’ and other natural sounds of the Holy Island landscape – recorded by legendary Frozen Planet sound recordist Chris Watson – will be transcribed into a richly layered cello composition created with renowned cellist Gyða Valtýsdóttir. This immersive sound piece will be installed within the Lindisfarne Castle music room with accompanying objects, and a projected text that will aim to ‘translate’ the seal song as a playful yet grave warning of climate catastrophe. A vinyl record will also be available in March 2023 (see above).
2021-2023 Surface Industries I and II. New albums on Owd Scrat Records.
Two albums of electronic, piano and voice led pieces themed around service industry jobs, and the transient relationships that customer facing jobs (and their associated communication technologies) generate. Surface Industries I, released in 2021, focusses on the distanced and fragile interactions of a taxi company phone operator, call centre advisors, and archived internet chat room logs, all using interviews or texts from the workers or users themselves. Surface Industries II, featuring songs of hotel maids and retail staff, is out spring 2023.
2023. Bellevue and Dust videos are featured on Film and Video Umbrella’s Watch Player, accompanied by a new essay about them by Steven Bode.