Anne Tardos is an American poet, visual and vocal artist. She has developed a unique performance style that allows her to move fluidly within, and between, media. This is evident in Gatherings, which was originally published on cassette by New Wilderness Audiographics, and holds recordings from 1974-1981. It stands as one of Tardos’s seminal audio documents.
Two forms of sound are examined here: observational and static recordings of the artist’s loft: Percussive sounds from heat pipes expanding and contracting, and the irregular pulse of her refrigerator defrosting. The reflection of chaos found in nature is encapsulated and tagged here in its simplest form. Tardos rolled those moments of found sounds onto tape, reexamining the meaning (and the ultimate absence) of stillness.
The other form of this album is multichannel solo voice works. They are intimate, close-miked, and playful; morphing from harmonic swirls to whisperings. They capture a dynamic exploration of her extended vocal range.
The contrast between pieces is dramatic. The final piece, “Real Sleeper, Real Dreamer,” integrates both forms. It is a self-portrait of the artist sleeping, bending inside breath and air . . . a study of the physical surface above dreams. The durational search within the expanse of the self. The phenomenal depth of the shallows is splashed in our ears.