Chris Strickland – Animal Expert

Posted by on December 11, 2014

chris strickland mammoth husbandry

I’ve been sitting on this gem of a release for some time now, as it’s a gorgeous listen that is best appreciated on a high end sound system. It took awhile for me to get enough time on my home stereo – with headphones on – to really appreciate it. A work of electro-acoustic sound art, Animal Expert is Montreal resident Chris Strickland‘s debut release, a labor of love that he has been honing for years. Strickland employs the sounds of the everyday – some incredibly soft and others intensely jarring – to produce what he calls “a methodical crushing of disparate environments, times and materials together into a continuous organic flux.” The opening piece “Vanity Arc” begins in near silence until a coin drops. From here it’s a procession of mundane occurrences that the artist somehow weaves into a beautiful web of sounds. “Mammoth Husbandry” is more dense than its predecessor, yet is still hushed (aside from the gunshot that opens the piece) until about fifteen minutes into its nearly 24-minute run time, at which point Strickland somehow produces the high amplitude cacophony of a computer turning itself inside out. The lengthiest of the three pieces on offer, “Vaguely Human” is at times almost musical in nature. Aqueous sounds bequeath a relaxed atmosphere. As the album draws to a close, a snippet of a morose classical/operatic piece plays out as if to remind us all that what we just heard goes against what most people consider “music” to be. Animal Expert is available for purchase from Vancouver’s CADUC Records, directly on their website.