Finding a voice is a necessary challenge for artists, and the Los Angeles musicians featured in our first issue have found diverse paths through this obstacle. Some artists channel other places and times, both concrete and theoretical. Artists in L.A.’s DIY scene, as Lilliana Villines illustrates, often channel the innocence and exuberance of their childhoods. For The Haters’ GX Jupitter-Larsen –– as profiled by Jack Taylor –– the band’s work is an “attempt to illustrate the zero dimension,” a world outside of our understanding. Other artists, like Roger Eno in his This Floating World, forge entirely new worlds through sound. Still others experiment with form to create a unique sonic profile, as composer Carolyn Chen has in her audio essay, “This is a Scream.” And, as Ross Chait aka Total Heat demonstrates in “Still Rot,” a mixtape exclusive for Soap Ear, the “voice” is a deceptively simple device.
Showcasing these different approaches, Soap Ear’s inaugural issue opens a dialogue about experimental music and sound art in Los Angeles. While Roger Eno lives and works in Suffolk, UK, his music has charmed Sean McCann of the L.A.-based label, Recital Program, as well as our editor, Lyle Daniel. We invite you to join us in charting the interrelations between Los Angeles’ art and your greater world.
- Screams, Music, Speech: An Interview with Composer Carolyn Chen
- San Andreas Xylowave
- “Still Rot” by Total Heat
- The Sound Under LA
- Recording Several Worlds: On the Label, Recital Program, and This Floating World by Roger Eno
Cover Photo: Robert Gober, “Untitled,” 2012. Lead, wood, cast gypsum polymer, 28 1/2 x 18 x 7 inches. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Promised gift of Brenda R. Potter.