Five 10” 45rpm dubplates – ten tracks, one per side
Handmade cloth-bound box
Commissioned by the John Hansard Gallery for Slow Life, an exhibition curated by Yuu Takehisa, September 2006.
A vintage gramophone stands on a wooden cupboard in the upstairs bathroom of a house I know quite well. This bathroom is a strange cotton-wool room where any sounds of water running inside and things happening outside are dampened and absorbed by layers of towelling and thick velvet carpet underfoot and air laden with bath salts and heavy floral curtain and finer lace curtain and filtered patterned sunlight. The gramophone is usually silent, this room like a blanket quiet. But sometimes someone plays the records, or someone else hums to themselves in the shower.
This work explores the private soliloquy, in song which is more withheld than heard, in the idea of listening underwater and how such sounds feel as though they were coming from within one?s self. The bathroom as a place of retreat and escape, the accoustic qualities of a bathroom, of a gramophone in a bathroom, of singing in the shower, of things wet and dried.
The tracks are sound pieces composed using as raw material field recordings of aquatic sounds and bird – and other- song, as well as vaious early recordings on 78” vinyl records.
Chaika means seagull in Russian, and refers to 1950?s Soviet models of loudspeakers and radiogramophones. The white silhouette of a bird features in the centre of the fabric covering the speaker.