this edition of framework:afield has been produced by gilles aubry and stephane montavon. for more info see http://www.soundimplant.com. about the piece:
« Camp Victory » is a collaborative work between composer Gilles Aubry and writer Stéphane Montavon, both from Switzerland. This piece is a radio version containing excerpts from a 2005 live performance and parts which were recorded previously in the countryside in Switzerland.
The main source for the text were blogs and war reports by American soldiers collected by the authors on the internet. In addition, fragments of diaries written by French soldiers during WWI and quotations of Slavoj Zizek’s « Welcome to the Desert of the Real » have also been used. Once collected, the texts have been freely adapted and transformed using various techniques,such as translation into French, cut-up writing, and random text generators. The final result was then recorded by the authors and guest voices as a four-track tape composition, together with additional sounds. For the live version of « Camp Victory », the composition was played over headphones to four performers with a different track for each. The performers were asked to repeat the words and sounds they heard as best as they could, while the sound of the original composition remained hidden from the audience.
The title of the piece, « Camp Victory », refers to the biggest US military base in Baghdad, hosting twelve thousands soldiers.
Stéphane Montavon, born 1977, is currently a researcher at the Iconic Criticism Institute Eikones in Basel and teaches French literature at Basel University. As an experimental writer he has published poetry and essays in various magazines and on the Internet.
Gilles Aubry, born 1973, is a sound artist and composer living currently in Berlin. He uses field recordings, computer programming, interviews and improvisation to create live performances, sound installations and CD works. His musical work has been published on Absinth Records, Creative Sources, Cronica Electronica, Schraum, Conspiracy, Sound Implant and broadcasted on several independent radios.
Comment by Gilles Aubry on Camp Victory :
« The invasion of Iraq by the coalition’s troops started on the 20st of March 2003. I remember that day very well and how I was shocked. We had been following on TV the preparation of the war for the past six months, with its permanent flow of propaganda including speeches by president Bush and Tony Blair, General Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nation Security Council, staged images of aircraft carriers in the sunset, and the powerlessness of worldwide protests. When the invasion finally started I became speechless, silence being the only option remaining after the liquidation of my remaining few illusions not only about democracy and justice, but also about the power of reason, art, and the history lessons to have contributed to a somehow civilised society. Later on I discovered the existence of blogs on the internet by American soldiers and became fascinated by their dispassionate, cold-blooded tone while reporting on their daily-life in Iraq. As I was asked to compose a new piece for a festival in Switzerland in 2005 I decided to use these texts as main source material. « Camp Victory » is not a piece about the war in Iraq, but rather a reaction and commentary on its mediatization and on the discourse underlying its justification. It should be made clear that all the violence displayed in the piece is addressing the discourse of the invaders themselves and their societies, since the invaded populations were not given a voice from the beginning. »
The four performers for the live version were :
– Roberto Garieri
– Dave Phillips
– Antoine Chessex
– Christian Wolz
Additional voices for the radio version :
– Gilles Aubry
– Stéphane Montavon
– Didier Chappuis
– Eveline Odermatt
– Derek Shirley