A_A:016 - ARNAU SALA SAEZ - "ATENCIÓ ATTENTION"

"The fantasy of a home invasion has slipped slightly from the collective unconscious, but reminding someone of a break-in movie or even asking a pal to picture a stranger in their house always elicits a tingly response of specific and unavoidable discomfort. Hearing faint sounds that could be one’s imagination, or not, gives Arnau Sala’s Atenció Attention its’ distinct creepiness, or, is it the tension caused by a sound ascending in pitch exploding into a muffled noise and releasing into some carnival type synthetic squiggle that adds the tension? Is there tension in a statement followed by an immediate questioning of that statement? Atenció Attention slaps the listener down in a chair, but not to create a captive audience for some didactic tale, rather to confuse and worry the listener. The album seems to happen all around the newly and somewhat-unwillingly seated. Whispered voices, cracking glass, and then familiar crisp, tightly drafted and executed electronic music classics whir through all sides of the stereo field —not forgetting the all too ignored field of depth. While listening to a pulsing drift of a sound that may find itself at home in a Hollywood movie, an incredibly clear, but somehow still hushed, sounds of a not-so-safe environment lurks in the background reminding the listener they are not alone." -Ben Kudler

"The sound pieces presented here mark the beginning of a study around the creative potentials of distraction as a tool for self-knowledge and active listening. In these exercises | use some of the characteristics of attention defined by psychology (amplitude, intensity, oscillation, control) as well as the factors that influence it as reference points to help me maneuver, organise and manipulate sound samples. In this case I used external distractive determinants and the theories of Social Facilitation and the Conflict of Distraction of Gordon Allport and Sanders, Baron and Moore. These carry values that I can apply a priori as parameters to music composition tools. To process the sound source l assign values, compare, or search for those with the highest absolute value. The results in these cases are samples assembled together as long tracks which I have worked on under a wide freedom of decision-making regarding dynamics, probabilities or aesthetic decisions. In this first phase of the project, I have preferred not to put any effort into seeking analytical rigor and instead I have left room for more open and less rigid possibilities at a creative level.
This research also allows me to outline some first questions in a more political dimension which wonder about how different conditions such as ADHD are defined as dysfunctional within a capitalist framework or how the management of attention in a period defined by information overload and new forms of communication which are based on constant and immediate stimuli affect us, thus questioning the idea of success or failure in a social context focused on production. It also aims to explore the opposite poles of some recurring practices from the last decades in "experimental music" or "sound art" such as Oliveros' deep listening or sonic awareness, together with techniques or philosophies such as meditation or Buddhism with the intention of starting a dialogue between these and the idea of distraction in order to explore the limits of attention and investigate new paths close to intuition or unconscious decision-making as a possible phenomenon capable of generating new consciences." - Arnau Sala Saez

ARNAU SALA SAEZ - ATENCIÓ ATTENTION