careful arrangments of sonic rubbish


I am a collector of rubbish: not an archivist, but in a small way, a hoarder. Clutter seems to be attracted to me.

HOUSEKEEPING was originally conceived as a project to finally put to use some of this amassed junk, and then to discard it all once again. It first took shape as an installation work for 8-channel audio, found objects, speakers, transducers, desk, chair and room; presented at Blindside, Melbourne, August 2017.

Since then it has slowly shifted itself into this CD. However rather than a documentation of an installation, this iteration has been arranged from the debris collected during the process of making one. Sound was gathered together from various raw audio materials; object manipulation; rehearsals, studio tests and failures; recordings of both installation and de-installation; the final composition files ; recordings of the installation in-situ; the empty gallery space; the Nicholas Building (the home of Blindside); a performance made with Clinton Green enacted to close the installation. All collected materials were then cut up, tumbled around and de-arranged into the current form it finds itself in here.

Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio

Much thanks to: Martina Copley and all from Blindside, Matthew Davis, Emily Jones, Helki Sprod, Clinton Green, Rohan McLeod and everyone who came to listen....


Though Tarab’s work is based mainly on field recordings, it’d be a mistake to think of it as documentary or sound ecology. On his latest album, composer Eamon Sprod jams his source sounds together into action-heavy audio dramas that leap from one intense space to another in a way that demands active, attentive listening. The sudden shifts in tone, volume and character are ideal for headphones. Maybe don’t listen before going to sleep, though. This is music that delights in subverting expectations over and over again. The dull drone of people in a reverberant hallway settles into a lull for just long enough to make the punctuating slam of ear-boxing trash hilariously startling. Doors shut, the wind sings, motors whine… a distant murmur comes slowly into focus and then suddenly runs straight at the listener. The impetus for this work was Sprod dealing with his accumulated clutter, using up the debris one last time before he throws it away. Between its first iteration as an 8-channel installation to the current 2-channel distillation, the debris generated by the process has also been folded back into the music. Somehow, the three-dimensional character of the multi-channel installation is preserved on this stereo composition. All the junk swirling inside “Housekeeping” seems so tactile that at one point I had to take my headphones off to make sure something hadn’t fallen off a shelf in my living room. - Howard Stelzer - VITAL WEEKLY

Tarab (Eamon Sprod) has always been a unique organizer of found sound and field recordings, back as far as his first recording, 'Surfacedrift' (2004). 'Housekeeping' continues down that path, this time employing, as one might surmise from the cover image, numerous items accumulated in his home over the years. Sometimes the sounds are more or less recognizable--the clatter of smallish, thin metallic items such as silverware--often they are not. The cascade of noise that greets the ear on the first track is wondrous, especially when experienced at high volume. Tarab manages to attain extreme degrees of depth and transparency while maintaining sonic richness--a seriously impressive range of timbres. It's kind of thrilling, in fact, not an adjective normally applied to field recording collages, but this has the hurtling excitement of a dangerous amusement park ride (alternatively, like running with scissors). The second track contains a greater ration of hums and deep rumbles, sourced from who knows where. The edits throughout are excellently chosen, suddenly shifting to blurred conversation, back into a hyperactive and explosive kitchen, back into billowy, dark clouds; the disc ends in a buzzsaw--or a blender. Excellent work.
- Brian Olewnick - Just Outside

The sounds on this CD however are not simply a documentation of that installation. Instead, he’s assembled just about every single piece of audio documentation he could find that was associated with the total effort, including the original sound-generation experiments (and failures, and out-takes – I kid you not), plus recordings of the gallery space before, during and after the installation; an associated performance piece; and recordings of the finished installation work. He even recorded the sounds of the Gallery when it was empty, as an index of how thorough he intends to be when he gets his sonic hoover working. The CD Housekeeping may present fragments from all of the above, edited and re-edited into a jumbled chaotic mess. Junk turned into yet more junk – or to be more precise, devising a way of working that is sympathetic to the source materials. To be even more precise, it could be that Tarab is so attuned to the essence of serendipity that he feels compelled to express that inner “truth” through creating works like this, whose comprehensive sweeping actions manage to contain something of the untidy, fragmented nature of our modern environment – or at least those parts of it which we throw away, overlook and neglect. I’m sure this could all be read as a grand metaphor for something bigger. And even if it can’t, this is a very compelling listen which I enjoyed enormously. - Ed Pinsent - The Sound Projector