Initially, the music of Chik White (Darcy Spidle of rural Nova Scotia) and Xuan Ye (Toronto) are drastically different. Spidle improvises using the jaw harp, one of the world’s most ancient instruments, on a series of stimulating and freshly invigorating releases, including two recent tapes on Notice. Xuan Ye has developed a dense, fascinating, radically cutting edge synthesis of video and aural performance, somatics, and computer programming, engaging acoustic instruments, voice, field recordings, and strangled frequencies. Spidle has a deep and intense relationship with the ocean; its many guises and characteristics have provided a catalyst for a personal and unique body of work, one that is devoted to his oceanic surroundings and the natural phenomena inherent to its existence. Both artists reference not only outsider folk traditions, but also esoteric strains of the avant-garde, noise, field recordings, and sound collage.
This intimate release reveals their strong musical interplay, evident in the physicality and palpability of the tracks presented. Both are dedicated to the generation of raw sound, while reducing language into its constituent physical parts, as if dramatizing the struggle of human expression. They explore instrument and voice along what feels like very short and concise distances. At times, they branch out into explorations of spaces and objects that feel curious and almost narrative, with the “voice” often present but never remotely understandable. Both artists’ boundary-pushing of physical performance finds a new route in this collaboration.