PHILIP SAMARTZIS - soft & loud LP, Plates of Sound




“Dr. Philip Samartzis, a senior lecturer and coordinator of sound at RMIT in Australia, is not a novice to the experimental music scene. He was one of the founding members of the Australian avant-turntable/noise group Gum in the ’80s, and has since been composing abstract electronic music, w/ previous releases on Synaesthesia, Dorobo, Staalplaat, and For4Ears. Samartzis’ Soft and Loud is a modern day exploration of Japan’s culture and identity through the guise of modern day musique concrete. Soft and Loud was conceived in the winter of 1999 in Tokyo, Japan and meticulously completed in Melbourne, Australia in August 2003, using specifically derived field recordings (that Philip had recorded) from Japan that detail the daily existence of many of its people. The digitally altered sounds of the Japanese subway system, electronic bird calls, the mournful calling of a chestnut salesman, to the digital wash of a Japanese stream cohesively offers a sense of serenity, and calmness as well as the loud, busy and chaotic nature of a country that appears often reserved and guarded. We, the listeners, become voyeurs to the country and experience the key characteristics of Japan that defines itself as a country.”