Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Perhaps I Arrive - Music for Ataturk Airport, Istanbul


Back in 1997, Swedish sound artist CM von Hausswolff was picked by the Istanbul Biennal to come up with a sound installation for Atatürk Airport. He produced an hour long piece that was filled with low muffled sounds, gyrating echoes and understated shifts of barely audible sound. Not surprisingly, his initial submission was swiftly rejected by his patron, resulting into a coercive plan B option. "Perhaps I Arrive" features both submissions made by von Hausswolff. Disc one ["not accepted music"] is obviously the more creative of the two submissions. In a span of an hour, it invents a dream world. Full of water-like sounds, deep bass rumbles and oscillating fan-like loops, the sounds tend to be hypnotic and noticeably hazy. Shifts of shapes are hinted at, yet nothing concrete comes to pass. This is quite implicit music that may be too oblique to the masses at large, which is why plan B was called into action. In getting even a brief glimpse at the second disc [broken up into four pieces], one sense a desperation that Hausswolff must have felt when his original submission was rejected. With his tongue planted firmly in cheek, he created what sounds like slow-moving, murky lounge music. Made mostly on keyboards with a cheap drum machine, on hearing this stuff, one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. It's so absurdly unreal and synthetic, yet it appeals to the general public, the curator must have been pleased. Question remains, did Hausswolff sell himself out in doing something that was out of his comfort zone? Was this radically altered Hausswolff being true to himself or was this an alter reality that was being catered to? "Perhaps I Arrive" is one great record [original portion] and one that is less than great. Think of it as two faces of an artist torn in making choices.

- Tom Sekowski

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