Fury is about the primitive in man. The hidden part of us that we try very hard to suppress or control, that boils within us and breaks through the surface only under extreme circumstances. In the current state of the world, our minds are constantly overloaded with information, all the time trying to deal with others around us and our relationships with these people. We try to communicate with them, to convey our inner world, but we fail to really make contact. Frustration and anger can surface unexpectedly and uncontrollably, with devastating effects. Sometimes the fog can clear up and we experience beauty, a hint of something good.
The texts researched are about Dust Bowl migrants living in Farm Security Administration camps in central California (1940-1941). Many Americans fled the Great Plains (Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri) looking for work and a better economical and ecological environment.
These texts were chosen because they breathe a different era, before the world became seemingly 'civilized'. The musical voice of the woman who talks about clashes of colonists with indians in an earlier time, is not only beautiful and soothing but sends shivers down my spine.
Robert van Heumen is working with electronic, experimental, improvised and composed music, music-theater and sound art. Recent works include 5.1 surround compositions '12 Bullets' and 'Fury (after anger)', music for the choreography Drink Me by Anouk van Dijk, and the audio-visual sound art piece Solitude (with multi-media artist Arnoud Noordegraaf) based on a book by Paul Auster. As a musician he uses STEIM's live sampling software LiSa and real-time audio-synthesis and algorithmic composition software SuperCollider. He is active as a member of the electro-acoustic sextet OfficeR (with Koen Nutters cs.), electronic audio-visual trio SKIF++ (with Jeff Carey & Bas van Koolwijk), scratchband RKS (with Keir Neuringer & dj sniff), Shackle (working with Anne LaBerge on restriction), founding member of the N Collective, and has shared the stage with Tom Tlalim, dj sniff (Takuro Mizuta Lippit), Michel Waisvisz, Richard Barrett, Oguz Buyukberber, Luc Houtkamp, Guy Harries, Morten J. Olsen, Daniel Schorno, Roddy Schrock, Audrey Chen and Nate Wooley. His soundworld is a mixture of digital crackles, environmental sounds, voices, sounds from kitchen appliances, half of the time smashed beyond repair. Next to all of this he is Managing Director of the STEIM foundation in Amsterdam, curator of the Local Stop concert series and member of STEIM's Artistic Committee. In a previous life he was a mathematician, trumpet player and software programmer. He still reads L.E.J. Brouwer.
'Fury' is the first real CD by Robert van Heumen, a name that may not ring an immediate bell (perhaps, who knows), but who is an active driving force in the Dutch improvised electronic music. He's active with such bands/collectives/projects as OfficeR, Skif++, RKS, Shackle and founding member of N Collective, if not organizing events for Steim in Amsterdam. His primary instrument is the laptop running software like LiSa (live sampling) and SuperCollider, sampling everyday sounds and making them sound like anything but everyday sounds. On his debut CD he has two pieces. The four part work 'Fury (After Anger)' and 'They Would Get Angry Sometimes'. The first uses texts about 'Dust Bowl migrants living in Farm Security Administration camps in central California (1940-1941). Many Americans fled the Great Plains looking for work and a better economical and ecological environment". The texts however do not play a big part in the composition. There is a bit of guitar like sound to be spotted (self-played? taken from the original recordings), and a bit of text, but throughout the title piece is a racket of noise tumbling through the bits and bytes of the computer - but beware it's not noise in the traditional sense of the word. It's dynamic, ever changing, crackling, loud and soft, buzzing and hissing. Even without being able to understand the text, which doesn't seem to be absolutely necessary, this is a very nice piece, shifting back and forth between abstract sound and more melodic passages. The second piece uses some similar sounds but is altogether a strict abstract piece of music of an even harsher quality type of noise. Vibrant music this is, great music - moving away from the delicate structures of microsound into the land of noise based textures. More Mego than micro. Great start!
Frans de Waard (Vital)
"Fury (after Anger)" is a new project by Robert von Heumen made up of two recordings: the title track, split in four different tracks, and "They Would Get Angry Sometimes". The former has been commissioned by the Sonic Circuit Festival in Washington and the latter has been composed from a performance at Rhode Island's Brown University. Both the works show their "in progress" structure and a strong conceptual approach, in part because of the sound forms riskiness, really suggestive, impalpable, ultimate, but somehow subject to the textual dynamics: recordings dating back to 1940-41 concerning the immigrants' life in the California's Farm Security Administration camps. Van Heumen's thesis is that "Fury" is functional to a specific investigation on the human beings primitive dynamics, our inner part that we feel very hard to eradicate or control. The author perfectly succeeded in emanating a sense of disquietude, even avoiding to decipher all the included texts. The texts are then suspended among drones, hums and buzz'n'crackles: muffled rustlings and dissonant glitches, wonderfully acted in a vibrant music crescendo but also still ambiguous, harsh and unstable.
Aurelio Cianciotta for neural.it