Babble speaks to the naissant language of the river as it does of infants. The flow of the river imparts her poetry and her constant becoming upon the landscape - by the rocks she smooths, through the crevices she carves, with the lakes she feeds and by the soundscape she amplifies.
Listening to the flow, free and without hesitation, rhyme or reason, Babble induces raw and primordial instincts.
The river speaks in a tongue that is at once numbingly beautiful, refreshingly noisy and yet relentlessly calming.
The river speaks for herself.
Babble v.1 is a temporary intervention in the landscape, 8 hydro-phonic bowls - these are small red sculptures that host piezoelectric devices that allow the micro-vibrations to be collected at proximity, amplifying the surface sounds of the river's flow, babbling and burbling over fallen trees and rocks. These devices were able to isolate and remix the chatter of the river in real-time - her flow becomes a stream on the internet - replaying the idea of the continuous flow in cyberspace.
After several years of research and recording of underwater sounds around the world, we wanted to set up a sound installation that could take up certain elements of this research while proposing a form of sculpture that would be part of the surroundings without interrupting it - but rather with a view to revealing it, opening up another listening area and transforming thecurrents of the flow int o a spatialization of music composed of liquid sounds.
Jenny Pickett & Julien Ottavi - Solar Return tested their new installation Babble at Mountain river by Attersee lake in Austria, July 2021.
The intervention was first live streamed on the 26th July 2021, and was developed during a residency on the Eleanore in conjunction with Stwst48 in Linz. With the support of the Institut Francais and the Ville de Nantes
Nantes based artists Jenny Pickett and Julien Ottavi created Solar Return in 2009. They have produced performances, installations and various scores for using audio synths/oscillators/DIY electronics etc…which reflect patterns from electromagnetic events such as solar flares and inner city mobile phone masts, to the hidden sonic environments as well as the unfathomable audio from the world of kitchen appliances and the sonic secrets of our “natural” environment.
Julien Ottavi has been developing a language of noise since the 90s his energy and initiatives range from “[..] activism through practice, organizing as performance, publishing as networking, open source and open aesthetic.” Jenny Pickett performs Live using huge VLF antennas as an instrument and playing the physical space, incorporating radio statics, modular synths, prepared guitar and various captation devices.