An 8-week research project conducted in response to the EU withdrawal negotiations, 'Brecord' examined the language used by politicians and the media when discussing the EU referendum then used this data to compose a series of sound pieces. The project analysed both specific linguistic traits and themes, and the frequency and timbre of their delivery within the accompanying media discourse. In doing so, the project sought to catalogue the dominant narratives of the debate with a particular focus on language that, like the term ‘Brexit’ itself, walked a critical line between the shortcuts of abstraction and the meaningless gesticulations of modern populism.
Working in collaboration with the composers Antoine Canon and Dylan Beattie, the research project resulted in the production of several lathe-cut records, a medium chosen to enliven the perceived qualities of the debate as a whole - a celebration of noise over clarity, a fetishised amour for the past over meaningful engagement with the utility of the present.
Drawing upon techniques such as off-centre cutting and locked-grooves, three one-off 7" records were produced that served as an audible manifestation and reflection upon the Brexit debate. The set was presented alongside a cheap, foreign-made, Union-Jack emblazoned record player - symptomatic of the underlying contradictions inherent to the Brexit project.
Three compositional approaches were chosen to reflect the timbre of the Brexit debate. The first record employed locked grooves focussing on endless repetitions of political soundbites - 'Brexit means Brexit', 'Red, White and Blue Brexit' - highlighting the inherent abstraction and meaningless of many such phrases.
The second incorporated contrasting field-recordings taken in the European Commission headquarters, Brussels, and a Wetherspoons pub in Kent.
The final record relied on a dataset drawn from the frequency and mood of specific Brexit-related phrases in the media, creating two percussive works that demonstrated the density of positive and negative stories in the press.
The portmanteau of tautological research