Persistence of Sound

Persistence of Sound is an independent record label celebrating musique concrète, field recordings and the uncategorisable sounds in between.

The label is a recognition of the place field recordings have found in our culture, both in their raw state and as compositional material. The work of composers Luc Ferrari, Beatriz Ferreyra and Halim El-Dabh are inspirational to us, as are sound recordists including Chris Watson, Bernie Krause and Jana Winderen.

Recent releases include the final collection of field recordings from The London Sound Survey: From Dusk Till Dawn. Before his death in 2021, Ian Rawes had been making field recordings at night-time across the wilds of East Anglia. Listening to this sequence transports you far away into the darkness of the night, to another realm altogether. These recordings have the power to take you out of everyday life, to slow the heart-rate, and to make you really listen.

The perennial challenge for field recordists everywhere is the dialogue – you might call it the conflict – between natural and man-made sounds. It’s increasingly difficult to capture outdoor sounds that are free of modern life. On A World Behind This World, Mark Vernon – one of British sound art’s most original voices – composes with both the industrial processes he finds on location in Aberdeenshire – including furnaces, sanding machines, electric hoists – and the pastoral soundscape he navigates on foot.

Natasha Barrett follows in the line of pioneering composers like Beatriz Ferreyra, Bernard Parmegiani and Hildegard Westerkamp, who each present the world around us in a new way. Barrett's ambisonic soundworld is specially remade for stereo release on Heterotopia, whose preternatural sounds move and develop around us.

Persistence of Sound’s first split LP was Souvenirs cachés / Innermost, featuring new music by Beatriz Ferreyra and Natasha Barrett. Ferreyra is a composer from the golden age of French electronic music, whose work makes classic musique concrète techniques sound fresh and vital. Barrett has established an international reputation as an award-winning composer of 3D audio and ambisonics.

2020 saw Persistence of Sound release Huellas Entreveradas – new material from Beatriz Ferreyra, described by The Sound Projector as, ‘A near-mystic visionary creator, one who is wholly in touch with their muse, with a fully integrated personal philosophy of life and art’.

The label’s first three releases in 2019 explored the power of location sound as a trigger for emotion and memory, the music within the everyday sounds around us, and how musique concrète tape techniques – transforming concrete sounds from the real world – are being used today. These albums are complementary in their modernism – united as products of particular places and times:

Iain Chambers’ The Eccentric Press comprises two symphonies of industrial and domestic technology. The album celebrates pan-EU collaboration and cultural exchange, and is composed solely from recordings by the Sounds of Changes  project: a partnership of six museums across Europe documenting the continent’s sonic heritage.

Factitious Airs (Electronic Music) is the first solo album by the composer & broadcaster Robert Worby: a visceral collection of contemporary electronic music, in which tiny fragments of other musics are fractured, manipulated, combined and rearranged.

Thames is a collection of field recordings by The London Sound Survey  following the river from central London to its estuary, seemingly taking us back in time to a quieter place, where nature reasserts itself over man-made sounds.

Limited edition vinyl pressings are presented in striking graphic designs by Matthew Young , with complementary high quality download audio.

Persistence of Sound was founded in 2019 by composer Iain Chambers of musique concrète ensemble Langham Research Centre .

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