Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Conceptual Crank-Call of "Conversations (Revisited)"

As I wrote last year: "Brandon Locher's "Conversations 2012" is a near-20 minute tour de force that does for prank phone calls what "The Velvet Underground & Nico" did for rock 'n' roll, uncovering unexpected depth and scope in what had been dismissed as childish nonsense.

What he basically did was call a store in a Johnstown, PA shopping mall and then did not speak. The "Hello? Hello" etc. response was recorded and then played to another shopkeeper in the same mall. Then their bewildered response was recorded and played for whoever answered the phone at yet another store in the same mall, and so on, until this game of tag went throughout the mall.
It does what a crank call is supposed to do - makes ya laff! - but there's much more going on here. It's ingeniously constructed, a well-edited piece of sound-collage, if nothing else."

Locher's back with another epic of prog-prank, 15 minutes longer then the last "conversations," and we're not in a shopping mall anymore. Just random folks are the unwitting stars rockin' the mic here. The first couple minutes are just people saying "Hello?," but the random collisions eventually become fascinating, thought-provoking, hilarious, and, when the really ancient-sounding old ladies are talking, kinda poignant.
I could listen to this all day - but bursting into laughter doesn't look so cool at the office.

Brandon Locher "Conversations (Revisited)"

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