Loss is a discontinuous story, told from a number of perspectives, over an inconsistent timeline. Loss is the story of ‘her’ and ‘him’ and how they chose to exist and act in worlds close to, but not the same as each other. Loss is set in Tokyo, Paris, New York and Sydney, but doesn’t really concern itself with these cities.
There are a number of recurring motifs in Loss. Black ribbons, dirty scars, sour umeboshi and bright flames. They represent hiding places, consequences, sensations and redemptions, and not in that order, and perhaps not what they seem. Each piece has its own momentum and sense of motion, a contrast between the reflective narration of the characters and the need to move on, forget and get on with life.
Using a variety of found objects as its base, Loss is a multimedia artefact with works in sound, video, writing and images. The notion of found is fundamental to the work, as something that is lost can eventually be found. Using a bricoleur’s sensibility and a DIY approach to construction and editing, Peter improvised sounds, images and video, remixed and repurposed them for this project. Both the videos and the sounds draw heavily on the abstract and concrete notions of found. Each soundtrack is a mix of new compositions mixed with found sounds from around the world, not recorded specifically for this project and found on stacks of old minidiscs, tapes, hard drives and videos.
The same methodology was applied to the video footage. The majority of the footage used in each video was not shot for the project. It was selected from hundreds of hours of footage shot as Peter travelled the world. Some of it was tourist footage; other pieces were simply something interesting or odd things that caught the eye at the time. The footage was shot on a range of digital cameras with a variety of qualities and compositions. Some of it is shaky, handheld and oddly composed.
The sounds were composed as the vehicle for the words. As the majority of characters are female, Peter experimented with a number of options including pitch shifting his own voice and use the increasingly sophisticated text to speech engines, but settled on human voices sourced through the fiverr website, a platform where people sell small size services for US$5. Intuitive and committed performances from AK, Lynx and Astrid provide a resonance to the emotional spirals each character has committed to.
The gestation of the soundscape style of the sounds originated 7 years ago in the bedroom of Peter’s flat in Petersham, Australia, with bass guitar, an old casiotone keyboard and a borrowed delay unit as his only instruments. Once he started working with found sounds as part of his old radio show ‘fabrication de bruit’, linking and fracturing the op-shop and outsider music he was playing, he saw an application to the formative idea he had for linking a number of half sketched pieces of writing in his trusty Moleskine, and they became integral to the Loss project. Drum beats from clanking escalators, church bells ringing 360 degrees around a city, the click-clack of heels on a cobbled street, train announcements at Gare du Nord in Paris and Pachinko parlours in Ikebukuro. Now based in his flat in London, the sounds have grown more sonically complex, and drawn from a variety of digital and analogue instruments.
What is the Loss project?
Below is an index of all the completed parts of Loss. There is still a number of parts unfinished, unwritten or existing only in draft or skeletal form. This site will be updated constantly as new work is completed and I add pages with writing and stories.
You can always come here to see what is new and what is coming up. There are more parts to come as well, so don’t despair, leave that to me. There is no timeline for the work. It is discontinuous. It is up to you to work out the order of the pieces. It’s a bit like a choose your own adventure, just a little more fucked up.
Loss 1 – Blood
This exists as a story, in a small segment on ‘Get thee Gone’, a track from the DJ Ringfinger album ‘The gap between yesterday and nowhere’ and the track ‘Blood Ribbon with vox’ from the same album, a 27 minute epic with an enormous amount of found sound.
Loss 2 – Sore. Bleeding. Dirty
This exists as a story, and an extract features heavily in the track ‘sore. bleeding. dirty’ from the DJ Ringfinger album ‘The gap between yesterday and nowhere’
Loss 3 – Taste
Still in very early drafts, but there is an extract in the track ‘Candy Candles’ from the DJ Ringfinger album ‘The gap between yesterday and nowhere’. Loss 3 is a sensation piece.
Loss 4 – Gloss
This was the first piece written and produced. It is a carnival piece, with words that came from a single, vividly remembered dream, including the names. Once again, the names are probably not relevant as they are not referred to at any other time. Gloss has a sound piece , probably a song rather than anything else called ‘Gloss’ from the DJ Ringfinger album ‘The gap between yesterday and nowhere’
Loss 5 – act V
This is the longest piece of the project and the only one set in Sydney. It actually gives ‘her’ a name that is never referred to again. There is a demo version of a soundscape located here. I have a new version of this coming with a proper female vocal, the current one being my one and only attempt at pitch-shifting. It was a failure.
Loss 6.1 Inertia
Loss 6.2 Burn
Loss 6.3 tbc
Loss 6.4 tbc
Loss 6.5 tbc
Loss 6.6 tbc
Loss 6 is the most complex and layered of the segments. Video, sounds, words and images combine to tell a pivotal part of the story. It is also probably why you found this page in the first place.
Loss 7 Preludes – Les rubans et les cicatrices
Parts 1 and 2
(The Ribbons and the Scars) is the same story told from two different perspectives; ‘Him’ and Melanie, ‘the third wheel soon to become the first and only’. It has two pieces of music originally composed for the radio show ‘Fabrication de Bruit’. There are two different versions of part 1, one with a speech synthesizer and the other with a live performance from Astrid. Guess which one I prefer. There are also two videos to accompany part 1 and part 2