Alex Keller and Sean O'Neill have created performances and installation pieces together since 2015. Using field recordings, vintage telephone test equipment, and magnetic oscillators, among other tools, their work addresses the agents and artifacts of change in the urban (and acoustic) realms. The resultant audio is a potent brew, seamlessly merging drone, musique concrète, phonography, and various electronic intrusions.
Kruos is the duo's debut release. It was developed between December 2016 and February 2017 as a distillation of live performances and as a chronicle of the pair's speculative investigations. Kruos is an assured, bracing study of an invisible landscape, and a wholly absorbing colloquy.
This collaboration began as an exercise in the manipulation of field recordings exclusively. The album's title, Kruos, refers to those early processes, for it is an ancient Greek word meaning frozen or frost, and is the root of the word krustallos, or crystal. The ancient Greeks believed that, like frost, crystal was created by the cold. And similarly, field recordings exist in a kind of crystallized stasis - frozen in time.
The additions of magnetic oscillators and a vintage telecom test synthesizer to their cache have given Keller and O'Neill more time-based control over what happens in a performative setting, while still leaving a great deal to the time-frozen nature of the original field recordings. This remarkable juxtaposition of sound sources, of action and repose, engenders a startling and satisfying listening experience...
Kruos I takes the listener on an interior journey, from test equipment to a warehouse, to a medicine cabinet on the Carnival Triumph, to a digital synthesizer: a tense, anxious exploration. Kruos II resumes outside, from an urban university's power plant, to magnetic oscillators, to a pastoral scene on a lake, to a dock on another lake, closing this chronicle at a point of poised stasis (or "kruos").
Alex Keller is an audio artist, sound designer, curator, and teacher. His engagement with performance and recording is an outgrowth of his interest in architecture, language, abstraction, music, and in the inherent aesthetic value of the act of research. Keller recently spearheaded the creation of the Phonography Austin group; his work in the realm of phonography/field recording (plus that of sound art and engineering) has been documented on several releases over the last 20+ years.
Sean O'Neill is a multi-media artist interested in how perception shapes the dynamics of spatiality. He explores both the visible light spectrum and the audible frequency range to determine how they influence our lived environments, and vice versa. O'Neill's installation work involving light and sound has been exhibited and documented internationally.
Keller and O'Neill are both currently based in Austin, Texas. They have performed live, to great acclaim, alongside the likes of John Duncan, Lawrence English, Rick Reed, and many others. They will tour the US this summer.
Kruos has been issued as a clear vinyl LP with gorgeous matte-finish jackets in a limited edition of 250 copies.
Every copy purchased directly from Elevator Bath will include a download code for high quality files of the entire audio content of this LP.
Total running time: 35 minutes