We are more than happy to release the second work by René Baptist for Etched Traumas. Though harmonious and breathtakingly beautiful from a distance, the universe is a violent and inhospitable place that is not even indifferent to our existence: it very well exists despite us, has done so long before us and will do so for a very long time after our demise. Yet, the more our Earth becomes a pale blue dot, the more our concept of space
seems to be imbued with the familiar world we directly see around us: a Martian volcano ‘the size of France’, astronomical ‘forests’, ‘birth’ and ‘death’ of a star, the search for an exo-planet like Earth, perhaps even an alien civilisation like our own. Space exploration is also an exploration of ourselves. The universe is here. Our metaphors aptly express this dual nature: strangely familiar and familiarly strange at the same time.
These drony textures, long and slowly developing lines with a minimum of sonic events and the recursive application of an audio-effect over and over again evoke (I hope) our ever so human metaphorical wondering—and wandering—and where it allows us to dwell.
René Baptist Huysmans (1969 -) is a self-taught composer of electronic and electro-acoustic music with a background in ethnolinguistics. He lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. His music is expressionistic and he is fascinated by new, as yet unheard sounds and textures. His pieces are often described as narrative and visually evocative.
Etched Traumas is more than happy to release ‘Dawn of the Anthropocene‘. René Baptist Huysmans comes from the Netherlands. He uses field recordings of urban sounds that he manipulates beyond recognition playing with various software. As he says “My favorite percussion instruments turn out to be trains in stations, my favorite ensemble construction workers at a site. A train journey from Amsterdam to Berlin can be a six-hour-symphony”.
The discovery here on Earth of extremophile micro-organisms, organisms that thrive in otherwise extremely hostile environments, was an important breakthrough because it extended the possibilities of life within our solar system and on exo-planets orbiting other stars.
The names of these organisms is a particular source of inspiration to me. There are the Oligotrophs, organisms capable of growth in nutritionally limited environments, there are the Cryptoendoliths, organisms that live within microscopic spaces in rocks, to mention a few. But when we send probes to distant worlds to look for alien extremophiles, aren’t we also looking for ourselves? The three tracks explore the human being as an extremophile organism, an organism testing the boundaries of what it is capable of digesting chemically, digitally and psychologically.