Korm Plastics KP 3033
CD only

Korm Plastics is proud to present the ninth release in the Brombron series. Originally a co-production between Staalplaat and Extrapool, it is now hosted by co-curator Frans de Waard. In the year 2000 Frans de Waard and Extrapool started the Brombron project. Two or more musicians become artists in residence in Extrapool, an arts initiative in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with a fully equipped sound recording studio. These artists can work in a certain amount of time on a collaborative project; a project they always wished to do, but didn't have the time or the equipment to realize.

Francisco Lķpez (Spain) and Richard Francis (New Zealand) have created "in
de blaauwe hand" upon invitation from Extrapool for a brief working residency in Nijmegen, to develop a collaboration piece for the Brombron CD series. Working with very small seed source sound samples that were exchanged between them, two intermingling compositional paths unfolded in two parallel small studios. In a short but very intense- period of time a whole world of very delicate and subtle materials arose. The whole piece (a single one-hour track) merges without mix a dreamy geography of subtleties and complex organicities that is more the result of aesthetic affinities than pre-structured plan. In that sense, this is a composition born from the sound themselves, following the paths indicated by them. And a surprising one.

Over the last twenty years Francisco Lķpez has been developing a powerful and consistent world of minimal electroacoustic soundscapes, 'trying to reach an ideal of absolute concrčte music'. To date, his catalog comprises more than 140 sound works, which have been released by one hundred record labels from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Austria, UK, Norway, Greece, Russia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Japan, China, Australia. He has toured extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, North, Central and South America, Japan and Australia doing acousmatic performances, and he has received commissions from a number of reknown institutions and organizations, such as the Dutch and Spanish National Radios, the Goethe Institut, V2 Organization (Rotterdam), Yale University Theater (New Haven), the Ralph Lemon Company (New York), the Zeitkratzer Ensemble (Berlin), Creative Time (New York), Quartier Ephemere (Montreal) and Sound Traffic Control (San Francisco).

Richard Francis has been releasing works on CD/vinyl, performing solo and in collaboration as a touring artist since 1996. He uses field recordings of acoustic and electronic sounds and a tone generator to compose textural and tonal sound works. He has released solo and collaborative works on a number of labels worldwide and runs his own label CMR through which he releases limited edition lathe cut records by New Zealand artists. In performance he uses a computer and electronics and has toured Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, USA and Europe. Since 2003, Francis has composed works for sound installation, participating in group and solo shows at galleries throughout New Zealand. He has collaborated for recording and/or performance with many artists including Bruce Russell, Francisco Lopez, Jason Kahn, Mattin, Birchville Cat Motel, Gate, MSBR, Tetuzi Akiyama, Lawrence English, Rosy Parlane, Howard Stelzer, Jason Lescalleet, Jay Sullivan, Empirical, Pumice, Kuwayama Kiyoharu, Phil Dadson, Anthony Guerra, Sean Meehan, Ishigami Kazuya, Antony Milton, James Kirk, MHFS, Tim Coster, Paul Winstanley, Takefumi Naoshima, Toshihiro Koike.

Design by Richard Francis

This CD is available for 10 euros including worldwide shipping. You can pay with paypal. Send an e-mail to order

listen to excerpt



On this fourteenth issue in the Brombron-series, one of contemporary sound art scene's most prolific artists, Francisco Lopez join forces with another interesting artist from the contemporary scene: Richard Francis. For more than two decades Spanish sound artist Francisco Lopez has exploited the connections between field recordings and "acousmatic listening" - the latter term was originally founded by the father of "Musique concrete", Pierre Schaeffer, with inspirations back to the the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and his "blind" teaching sessions. The idea behind "acousmatic listening" is that the listener must experience the sound independent from its source. The strength of Lopez is the ability to utilize natural sounds that most people barely notice and transform these sounds into sonic art. New Zealand-based sound artist Richard Francis has a similar approach to his explorations using field recordings of acoustic and electronic sounds combined with tone generators to compose textural and tonal sound works. "In de blaauwe hand" is one lengthy piece running 66 minutes. Conceptually the work reminds me of Francisco Lopez's excellent "Untitled #89" released on the Or-label in 1999. With a barely perceptible crawl in from silence, softly mechanical drones begin to appear, rippling with a radiant, ever-building hum. As the piece progress the hum gets thicker and the drone texture strengthens. Despite the growing intensity in expression the piece never gets harsh. As we reach the 45 minute mark, clicking pulses are overtaken by thick drones of buzzing noises that despite its ongoing abrasiveness also seems hypnotic and comfortable. The sound of a tone generator slowly mixes up with the buzzing drones, giving a nice depth and complexity to the sound texture. As is the usual case with releases in the Brombron-series, "In de blaauwe hand" are neatly packed in a tasteful card-slip-sleeve. Highly recommended! (NM)

FRANCISCO LĶPEZ & RICHARD FRANCIS / In de blaauwe hand (Korm Plastics)

Numéro 14 dans la série Brombron, qui permet ā deux artistes (ou plus) de travailler ensemble dans le cadre d'une courte résidence au centre expérimental Extrapool (ā Nijmegen, Pays-Bas). Francisco Lķpez et Richard Francis, deux artistes sonores bien connus (le premier pour ses longues mystifications bourdonnantes et silencieuses, le second pour son étiquette CMR et son rôle clé sur la scčne expérimentale néo-zélandaise), livrent ici une uvre ininterrompue d'une heure, qui procčde par bonds lents et par courtes pauses, tout en demeurant statique, discrčte, fortement axée sur le sous-sol du spectre audible. J'ai décroché, mais j'écoutais avec un casque d'écoute sans fil qui, je crois, n'arrivait pas ā rendre les fréquences basses. Ā réécouter dans de meilleures conditions, juste pour voir.

Number 14 in the Brombron series, which provides two (or more) artists with an opportunity to work together as part of a short residency at the experimental music center Extrapool (Nijmegen, The Netherlands). Francisco Lķpez and Richard Francis, two well known sound artists (one for his long drony and silence-filled aural mystifications, the other for his CMR label and his key role on New Zealand's experimental music scene) here deliver a continuous 60-minute work that unfolds in slow leaps and silent bounds, while remaining static, discreet, and focused on the bottom end of the audible spectrum. I switched off at some point, but I was listening with a wireless headphone set that had a hard time rendering the bass frequencies. I'll listen again under better circumstances, just to see what happens.

Am Anfang von Brombron 14: In de Blaauwe Hand (KP 3033) übt das spanisch-neuseeländische Gespann FRANCISCO LĶPEZ & RICHARD FRANCIS die hohe Kunst des Einhandklatschens mit blauer Hand. Doch allmählich werden auch stechende und dröhnende Klänge hörbar. Als wollten die beiden die Haut des Himmels pieksen mit feinen Nadeln. Ist es ,dahinter' schwarz? Oder farblos? Ist da überhaupt etwas oder nicht vielmehr nichts? In den Drones schnurrt die Grinsekatze, nur eine Grimasse in der mit rollendem rrr geschwängerten Luft. Sie, die Luft, braust dann aber auch wie von Wind und Gischt, wobei abruptes Schalten des Lautstärkepegels einen ,natürlichen' Eindruck durchkreuzt. Die Vorstellung eines brummenden Maschinenraums lässt sich etwas länger durchhalten. Wenn man ein Ohr hat für den ,Gesang' der Maschinen. Das 66 min. Gedröhn schmiegt sich auf knapp halber Strecke besonders innig an die Hörschwelle, bekommt dann aber die ,zweite Luft', als blasendes ssssssssss, das zischend durch das Loch quillt, das ich, vom Grinsekatzengeist hypnotisiert, in die Luft starre. Kleine Schaumbläschen bitzeln, dann Stille. Die blaue Stunde, kosmisch gegähnt? Bevor ich die jetzt von Engelsfürzchen punktierte Andacht durch meinen sich anbahnenden Schreikrampf störe... 45:07 exit rbd (entnervt). [BA 64 rbd]


Francisco Lopéz & Richard Frances
In de Blaauwe Hand
Korm Plastics

Na het werk van Kim Cascone (een half uur) en Phill Niblock (max. een uur) wordt het record nu geklopt met welgeteld 6 minuten. Hoe moeilijk kan het zijn om één nummer van 65 minuten te bespreken? Behoorlijk moeilijk... U wilt weten of ik naast de stereo zat met mijn vinger op de fast forward? Wel: ik heb alles geduldig uitgezeten. Deze ervaring loonde trouwens de moeite: de subtiele dronetrack (met een minimum aan drone) die Lopéz & Frances voor ons in petto hebben slaagt erin om je volledig in jezelf te keren zodat je a.h.w. op reis gaat in je eigen geest. Wat u daar te zien krijgt vallt volledig onder de eigen verantwoordelijkheid.

Deze CD maakt deel uit van de Brombron serie, waarin Korm Plastics en Extrapool (beiden in Nijmegen, Nederland) telkens twee artiesten uit het experimentele veld aan elkaar koppelen om in de studio samen te werken om datgene (en eender wat) ze samen willen te verwezenlijken. Met Francisco Lopéz en de bij ons minder bekende nieuwzeelander Richard Francis heeft de serie twee klassebakken in huis gehaald. Ik kan dit album zonder verdere aarzeling aanbevelen voor een ieder die graag droomt met de oren open...

Jan Denolet

Francisco Lopez & Richard Francis
In De Blaauwe Hand
Brombron #14
Av: Sven Rånlund

I stereoapparaternas barndom gjordes det musikskivor som man skulle kalibrera ljudsystemet med. Den mest kända är nog Enoch Lights Persuasive Percussion, då som nu ett "måste" i varje nördig samling (texterna på konvolutet är så detaljerade att man nästan ser framför sig när pappan rättar till högtalare och ljudnivåer innan familjen släpps in i allrummet för att att lyssna på underverket).

Som en modern variant kan man använda Francisco Lopez & Richard Francis In De Blaauwe Hand, ett 66 minuter långt ljudkonststycke perfekt när man behöver checka hur subbasen runt 20 hz står sig mot står sig mot diskanttopparna i 5:1-systemet. Okej, det handlar om mer än så.

Spanjoren Lopez, en av vår tids hotshots inom den fältljudbaserade ljudkonsten, har samarbetat med nyazeeländaren Richard Francis i ett konstprojekt i Nijmegen i Holland där de utifrån mikroskopiska ljud arbetat sig fram till en lång, gemensam komposition. Eller som skivbolaget förklarar: "Working with very small seed source sound samples that were exchanged between them, two intermingling compositional paths unfolded in two parallel small studios. In a short but very intense period of time a whole world of very delicate and subtle materials arose."

Lika statistiskt som stycket skenbart kan tyckas, lika hisnande dynamiskt är det i frekvensdjup och över tid. Det är anmärkningsvärt hur mycket de här mikroskopiska inspelningarna av elektroniska och akustiska ljud tillsammans med olika slags tongeneratorer växer och växlar från det knappt hörbara till det överväldigande.

Hemmastereon - jag skulle inte rekommendera lyssning i hörlurar - ställs på prov under den dryga timmen: det börjar maskerat, nästan omärkbart i djupet av basregistret under fem minuter, in kommer pulserande ljud, diskanta ljud, tillfälliga mekaniskt skärande kaskader som vore det högfrekvent lava ur dessa basiska vulkaner. Så plötsligt skifte i ljudbilden, jag blir yr där jag sitter, tio minuter och uppfylld, tjugofem minuter och insnärjd, fyrtiosju minuter och översköljd, sextiotre minuter och bedövad av den lågfrekventa tystnaden mina öron inte längre uppfattar men uppenbarligen andra delar av kroppen.

På frågan om det här är musik svarar jag - pass. Eller, det är så klart. Francisco Lopez är en fantastisk ljudkonstnär som bryggar över olikheter och ojämnheter med ljud hämtade på fältet eller sprungna ur studion. Richard Francis känner jag inte till, och vem som gör vad är förresten omöjligt att höra på In De Blaauwe Hand. En lysande utgåva i Brombron-serien, smakfullt paketerad i marinblått, handvikt pappfordral. Origami för öronen.