Tabs Out | Shanna Sordahl – Radiate Don’t Fear the Quietus

Shanna Sordahl – Radiate Don’t Fear the Quietus
8.7.18 by Ryan Masteller

I got no jokes for you on this one. I’m spent, wrung out, the world has encroached and flattened my mind to an endless plateau where my only recourse is to let the environment overwhelm me. Time to give up any attempt to impose myself on this thing – it is washing over me, and I am unable to withstand the tide.

Shanna Sordahl’s “Radiate Don’t Fear the Quietus” is that rare cassette that’s left me speechless – although I guess that’s a little disingenuous because I’ve got at least five hundred words in me tonight. The Bay Area artist utilizes cello, synths, SuperCollider, and voice to concoct a four-dimensional zone of being, a pocket universe in which she dwells and from which she flickers her flashlight out through the opening to it, beckoning anybody inside who can see the flickers. Like the moon rising but taking up 75 percent of the visible sky in doing so, “Radiate Don’t Fear the Quietus” will suck the breath from your body, but in a slow, deliberate, and weirdly unterrifying way.

The cello is stretched, manipulated, accompanied, and augmented, always with an ear toward intense discipline, and certainly with the intention of total mood control. Time stands still as that moon hovers enormous on the horizon, the wind filling your ears as your eyes and mouth gape open. Indeed, according to Sordahl, “past, present, and future coexist – memory doesn’t move in one direction.” I’m pretty sure “Radiate” began at a singular point and, ahem, “radiated” backward and forward in time, rippling and affecting the continuum with its subtle power. At least that’s how I like to imagine it working from its pocket universe.

Well, what do you know – not even CLOSE to five hundred words. Sometimes you don’t need to mouth off.

Check out the enchanting “Radiate Don’t Fear the Quietus” from Full Spectrum, edition of 100.

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