A story currently in three stages
The beginning of this involvement with sound starts with my first project (SICKNESS) or the project that would eventually become SICKNESS. I had no way to successfully express myself in the punk and hardcore bands that I been in around 1986 to 1988. Like a lot of small town bands, my friends (and I) were lazy, and unmotivated with lots of big ideas and grand designs but no real action. It was always “if…”, “when…”, “we should….” and “wouldn’t it be great if” As time passed, I wanted to start doing and actually making sounds. The other band members wanted to do music based on other artists while I wanted to express something “new” and not really in line with their ideas. I wanted explore and create the sounds I heard in head. I started doing vocals, noise, and feedback using a ZOOM multi-effects processor. I built my own tape loop machine, and some basic pedals (with the help of a good friend) to do what I wanted. I multi-layered my tapes using the old Les Paul method of recording or raw improv sets. When I was overdubbing the loops and recordings the results turned out muddy and noisy. This layered with screams, grunts, groans, vocals, whispers, etc. and a lot of echo/delay was how SICKNESS started out.
I had no idea about any other noise artists or noise scene at the time and was introduced to “harsh noise” by friends and fellow musicians. I was amazed at the variety of other people’s work. I looked at the other artists tried to do what they did, failed miserably, and started over – often with help from friends (borrowing equipment or getting help building an effect.) In the end, the best results were when I tried my own method and experimenting with what I had found. I started recording my own tapes and quit the bands I was into work on this project full time which then slowed to on and off for a number of years. I started a few other projects but SICKNESS was my favorite and what remains today. It gave me the greatest freedom to do what I want. I started basing my releases around the myriad examples of the human condition (including my own) to give it added direction and interest. As my interests broadened so did my subject matter and my sound. Like most people, the early tapes were terrible, without direction, and experiments (often failed) in what I wanted and my take on what other people did. I, like many others, got the best results following what I wanted to do, and the slow painful process of personal evolution. SICKNESS has toured extensively in the US, Japan and Europe bringing my own brand of harsh electronic purity and electronics to the world.
OMEI was a projected created in 1999-2000 that started to cover the more ambient, slower material that had even more structure that I felt didn’t fit into the “SICKNESS sound”. The two projects were very separate in the beginning but now they can easily be combined, collaborated, etc. OMEI has no set form using elements of sound that fit the ideas I want to work with. To sum up the differences – SICKNESS is a hundred thoughts in one second, and OMEI is one thought for 10 years (it used to be 100). Both require active listening to the details in the sound. Either shouldn’t be something you can put on and walk away from. The listener is a required element to make the intent of the recording complete.
After working with these two separate sound styles for years and feeling that the expectations of the specific projects limited the output I wanted I started working under my own name. As these other projects grew and changes with my interests I began to want to other sounds but at the same time still work from a personal base. I wanted to free myself from performing a set sound with set expectations. I now focus on processing and creating sounds using a modular synth in what I call “Modular Concréte” (a take on musique concrete/tape music). The style can vary from the quick paced, “cut up” sound to slow loops and field recordings pushed and pulled into a new form gradually leading or stumbling head over heels (sometimes both) to the end of each track. If you have an interest in getting in touch with me for projects, shows (local and international), releases, artwork, soundtracks, etc. please email me with a subject covering your interest.
Thank you Chris
C.G./SICKNESS/OMEI/NINTH CIRCLE MUSIC Harsh Electronic Purity. Modular Concrete. Caustic Sound Design. Professional Naysmith since 1988. soundcloud.com/sickness999 www.sickness999.com www.chrisgoudreau.com