April 19, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA):
Arthur King’s Changing Landscapes (Zompopa) is out today on all platforms.
Changing Landscapes (Zompopa), the follow-up to the “beautifully dreamy, experimental and intoxicating cosmic sound” (Gonzo Circus) of last year’s Changing Landscapes (Mina Las Pintadas), is the next iteration in the ongoing series of collaborative experimental works by artist Peter Walker. Employing every branch of AK Studio, Changing Landscapes is a multimedia effort, resulting in a wide range of finished artifacts including film, music, photography, live projection, sculpture, and immersive exhibition.
On Changing Landscapes (Zompopa) Arthur King pushes their ongoing experiment, “an instrumental landscape both familiar and otherworldly” (LA Times) even further, shifting their creative methodology from a specific site study to that of a unique species of ant found in the Costa Rican rainforest. Building on video and audio field recordings that founding member Peter Walker captured on location in Central America, the artist orchestrated an improvisational live-score session with musicians David Ralicke and Mia Doi Todd in Los Angeles in order to collectively explore the sonic terrain, and attempt to get into the “ant mind.”
Brooding, hypnotic, and meditative, an air of seriousness that engulfs the work at large. For all the stunningly beautiful elongated tones, there are also moments of intensity and climax, with and without resolve. The rhythmic architecture is deceptively fluid and unstable, helping propel the ambient drone textures, as conversations between the individual elements reach the ritualistic through repetitions that lull the listener in. Arthur King’s creative application of the field recordings alongside the tension-building horn work of David Ralicke recalls Lea Bertucci’s Acoustic Shadows, while the album shares a foreboding sonic palate within the work of Abul Mogard, casting the translated environment into an auditory purple hue.
“Studying ants through audio and video required technological experimentation,” says Walker, “such as the exploration of recording techniques using both ultrasonic and subterranean contact microphones.” The gathered sonic elements uniquely colored the improvisational session into six distinct tracks of avant-garde expression, forged into a coherent statement through the hands of engineer Eva Reistad (Dune, Mad Max: Fury Road), whose mix spans the intimate to the cinematic. The resulting Changing Landscapes (Zompopa) is a reverent dedication of musique concrète to the zompopa leafcutter ants found in the Costa Rican jungle, as well as a stirring reminder of our innate abilities of attentive observation.
All music performed and recorded live by Arthur King
Musicians: David Ralicke, Mia Doi Todd, Peter Walker
Recorded at Seahorse Sound
Engineered and mixed by Eva Reistad
Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters
Artwork by Francie Chang
Cinematography by Alex Falk
Still Photography by Brian Overend
Produced by Peter Walker
Special thanks to Julio Madriz