Matthew Revert – An Insect On The Other Side…

Matthew Revert - An Insect On The Other Side..., old-fashioned drawing of a woman gardening

Mumbling and muttering. Bowed tones, clicks and clatters. Singing out loud in the shower, a mournful tune. Appalachian finger-picking. Whooping, like Clangers. A strange, repeated narrative about secrets hidden behind steel doors and entering the body of a loved one through the pores. Snatches of show tunes and TV noises. A phone conversation (just one side) — banal details, someone well-known to the caller. Almost all the voices are male. More Clangers, bowed tones, a faint sense of tonality pervading parts of the material. A political rant. Rapid shifting, like some sort of repetitive exercise, in an echoing space.

For “An Insect On The Other Side Of The World Climbing Up A Table Leg”, Australian artist and novelist Matthew Revert splices together a wide range of sounds from ordinary everyday objects and activities. Most of these sounds seem to have been recorded indoors, and those apparently made by Revert himself — often very close up, mumbling under his breath or shuffling around — predominate (I say “apparently” as I don’t actually know what his voice sounds like, I’m just inferring that it’s him). A strongly introspective impression is created, a string of banalities woven together into a chaotic and sometimes aggressively surreal stream of conciousness that hovers between intimate and intimidating, not quite sure of which side to land on. “Bristling with inflection points”, as the poet once wrote, I don’t recall which one.

On one level, then, this is music as a product of a private space of reflection. At the same time, it’s also a projection — of disarray, of strangeness, perhaps as a form of defence, or as a way to convey elusive impressions by tackling them sideways-on. While sharing something of a common language and preference for the ragged and rough-round-the-edges with many experimental noise artists, Revert takes the performance of banality and interior monologue in a unique direction, creating a very palpable, intimate domestic environment through his arrangement of sounds quotidian, bizarre, or often both. The invitation into this world, a fictional space born of, I suspect, a very real sincerity, feels like both a gift and an invigorating challenge.

 

 

Matthew Revert

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