May 24, 2024

Penelope Trappes launches video for ‘Harmonic No. 1’, the opening track of her forthcoming new tape release


Penelope Trappes

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(Photo by Agnes Haus) Available now is the new Penelope Trappes video for “Harmonic No. 1”, the opening track from her forthcoming tape release “Hommelen” out via Paralaxe Editions on the 7th of June. The video for “Harmonic No. 1” was filmed by Agnes Haus at EMS, Stockholm.

Recorded in December 2023, the release was born out of a residency at Stockholm’s famed EMS, where Trappes spent her sunless days engaging in a sort of conversation with a halldorophone. The rare, cello-like electronic drone instrument is best known for its appearance in several scores by celebrated Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, including her work on the 2019 film “Joker”.

Trappes, however, approached it in her own way, lying on the floor with the halldorophone. She then sang into the various openings of the wooden body. “Hommelen” features four drone-like soundscapes, all of them recorded in a single take.

Trappes explains: “During a residency at EMS studios in Stockholm in December 2023,I experimented with the Halldorophone to discover how the cello-like electronic drone instrument created by Halldór Úlfarsson, used most famously in Hildur Gudnadóttir’s soundtrack to The Joker, might interact with my voice as a drone accompaniment – as opposed to how a cellist might approach it. I wanted to explore the erratic nature of its ‘personality’ and its wobbling and expressive feedback loops – would it respond to my specific voice? would my voice alter the drone?”

And she adds: “Once I turned the instrument on it became apparent that it had a mind of its own. I chose to tune it intuitively, based on emotional responses to the sounds the instrument was creating each time I approached it. Alone with the massive bass amp in the room feeding back into the instrument – into me – and back into the amp, it felt like I was a spiritual conduit. With my energies at one with the electricity and magnetics, carefully I leaned into each pickup one by one. I lay on the floor with the Halldorophone and sang a sustained vocal sound into the openings of its wooden body, prompting the instrument to respond to my voice. It was slow in the uptake so I followed its lead and sang along with its response. In a meditative state, I slowly manipulated the levels of the pickups for each of the eight strings to trigger different frequencies, all the while vocally following its unpredictable and unsettled feedback loop lead. Each piece on this release was recorded in one take as it was in that room.”

The full tape release is available now in pre-order on Bandcamp.

About Paralaxe Editions

Paralaxe Editions is a Barcelona-based record label, publishing house and multidisciplinary platform. Founded in 2014 by Dania, an Iraqi-born ambient/experimental artist and emergency doctor, it’s inspired by the concept of the parallax gap, the invisible space between two points that can seemingly never meet.

Paralaxe has been home to cassette, vinyl and book releases from artists like Sun Araw, Beatrice Dillion, Perila, Rupert Clervaux, Alloy Sea (a.k.a. Mor Elian), Penelope Trappes, Nina and ELLLL, and each month Dania hosts a Paralaxe Editions radio show at dublab BCN.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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