Unfamiliar, unforeseen, uncompromising. A dramatic message by two brilliant owners of discriminating ears and sharp brains.

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Soundcloud player for the track “A Shut in Place” by Anthea Caddy and Thembi Soddell. The image shows a grey outline of a circle with a lighter grey background. The waveform of the audio player is overlaid on the image with a track length of 8:22.

The physical environment—be it an empty corridor, a crowded city street, or a vast open space—can affect and distort a person’s perceptual state. In turn, a person’s existing psychology can alter their perception of that same environment. This creates a dynamic interplay between physical reality, sensory perception, and psychological interpretation. In their collaborative album ​​​Host, the sound art duo of Anthea Caddy (cello) and Thembi Soddell (sampler) draw on this phenomenon to reflect upon how aural explorations of physical environments can be used to express psychological experience. 

Host presents the culmination of these explorations, through the combination of field recording, instrumental performance, sampling and digital composition. Recorded in scientifically controlled spaces (including a reverb and anechoic chamber) and unpredictable natural and artifcial environments (such as inside a dam wall), sampler and cello interact to generate acoustically opposing atmospheres. These recordings have been carefully edited and interwoven with field recordings and textural sound samples to emphasise sound’s ability for psychological impact. As a result, Host is a series of electroacoustic compositions that define new, dense and sonically detailed environments, highlighting and shadowing the interaction between human psyche and the physical world.

Photo of Caddy and Soddell performing in Reverb Chamber
Image description: Black and white photo of Anthea Caddy and Thembi Soddell performing inside the reverberation chamber at RMIT University. Thembi sits to the left of the frame at their equipment, which is sitting on top of a road case. It includes a laptop, cables and other equipment that cannot be identified. Thembi is white-skinned, wearing all black, with long black hair and a straight black fringe, aged in their late 20s. Anthea is sitting to the right of the frame playing the cello with a mic in front of her, her hand blurred in motion. She is white-skinned, with thick, dark curly hair, wearing a medium grey jumper, black pants and in her late 20s. The background shows the reverb chamber with textured, concrete walls, three white panels hanging from the ceiling, and a speaker in the corner. Dramatic lighting casts large shadows on the back wall. Photo credit: Alifeleti Brown

Host was released on ROOM40 in 2012 and can be purchased here.