Thembi Soddell

Love Songs

Room40 RM491
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The music of Australian artist Thembi Soddell resides in a zone of unrelenting darkness and physical affect.

Working at the nexus of raw emotion, sound design and musique concrete, she creates sound worlds that are effortlessly dense and abyss-like. In her performances, she explores sonic environments which swallow the audience. By utilising intense sound pressure and varying dynamics she creates profoundly unsettling, but fulfilling, experiences for her audiences.

Love Songs, her latest work, is easily the clearest articulation of her methodologies. A work of extreme dynamics and intensities, the record is one of the most fierce sonic expressions to be delivered from an Australian artist in recent years.

“The title Love Songs,” Thembi explains, “is a little dark humour on my behalf. As the compositional process evolved the work became a meditation on the lived experience of insidious forms of abuse within supposedly loving relationships, in connection to certain forms of mental illness. These experiences are ones of extremes and emotional intensities; the tensions between horror, beauty, rage, desire, confusion, love and perceptual annihilation. Also, a good deal of the source material for the album is voice. I asked Alice Hui-Sheng Chang to vocalise perceptual collapse, which I sampled and manipulated into expressions of these themes. So, these are my love songs.”

Published alongside an extensive book, outlining more literal readings of her ideas of sonic affect, contemporary relationships and the nature of becoming, Soddell’s Love Songs is an utterly personal and compelling listen. It’s equal parts horror, anxiety, relief and exhilaration, often in the same instant. A truly remarkable rendering of sound that extends the possibilities for how we are embraced and engulfed by the acoustics we encounter.

Thembi Soddell: Love Songs

Object (im)Perma (im) Thembi Soddell
Erasure Thembi Soddell
Repetition Compulsion Thembi Soddell
Who Is To Blame Thembi Soddell
Epilogue Thembi Soddell

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