Info Imaginary Conversations in Reverberant Rooms - Gail Priest 
"Imaginary Conversations in Reverberant Rooms"
by Gail Priest
Metal Bitch (001)
"Estranged Angels"
"Dreamwinch"
"Body In Birmingham"

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fn issue June 2007
'' - compilation
'Cyclic Defrost presents: Interesting music from Australia' - compilation
'Horizontal Mover (Homage to Alvin Lucier)' - Claudio Parodi
'Stots' - Lukas Simonis
'The Fourth Night' - Wagner Bernhard
'TriMIX' - compilation
'Tripartite Collision' - Bill Thompson



Imaginary Conversations in Reverberant Rooms is the first full-length album from Sydney artist Gail Priest who's background in working with installation and as a composer of live scores for performance comes across clearly in this recording. Co-produced by fellow Sydney sound artists Julian Knowles, Peter Blamey & Jasper Streit each track creates a sense of space and depth, offering a window into another place. Although the listener is left unclear as to precisely what or where this might be, it is always both familiar and slightly alien.

The album's eight tracks are given a sense of coherence through the continuity of their sonic palette. Most feature the percussive sounds of hard or metallic objects being hit or dropped, and all with a slightly futuristic atmosphere. Priest's use of texture and form is thoughtfully varied - some tracks feel almost static while others build slowly to a climax before fading out. At times the timbres shift rather abruptly, at other times they gradually transform. A number of tracks include vocals of some kind, from highly processed and barely discernable fragments of conversation or mechanically-voiced announcements, to the delicate lyricism of 'Dreamwinch', a lullaby relocated to a quasi-industrial setting, but calming nonetheless. 'Body in Birmingham', on the other hand, almost makes you want to get up and dance as the initial sound fragments build up into a slightly off-centre techno beat.

'Satellite Love Station' offers the listener an ear pressed to the wall, with its distorted vocals buried within a fabric of digital crackling. 'Slip Slide' comes the closest to conventional instrumental texture, with processed electronic sounds giving an impression of massed strings punctuated by a solo violin without falling over into pastiche. As Priest sings in an otherworldly fashion on the closing track: 'All my words they fail to convey', I can only recommend listening to this album for yourself as it is as curious as it is enthralling.

The album is available through her own label Snagglepussy along with information on other activities including associations with another Australian Furthernoise favourite Jodi Rose.

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