Two field recordists and soundsculptors, a factory and its history are the ingredients of the project “Plaqué”, the first full length release of this project by Andreas Usenbenz & Peter Schubert.
“Plaqué” is a commissioned performance project initiated by Peter Schubert (Geislingen/Steige) and Andreas Usenbenz (Ulm) in 2015″. Made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Daniel Straub’s birth. Straub made a large contribution to the industrial development of the city “Geislingen an der Steige” and it’s famous construction work, the “Geislinger Steige”. During and since it’s construction in 1850 it is known as one of the steepest railway lines in Europe.
Schubert & Usenbenz followed the footsteps of Straub’s life. Supported by archival material, they went outside to do field recordings that followed his varied life. Based on these self-made sound documents, Usenbenz & Schubert used contemporary composition and production methods to transform the location based media into a sound piece. Please find more information about the project here


Review by Silence and sound

Attachez vos ceintures et préparez-vous à remonter l’histoire, de partir sur les traces de Peter Straub, fondateur de l’usine portant son nom, spécialisée en pièces métalliques pour les chemins de fer, et dont la particularité était de proposer certains articles en plaqué.

Commissionnée par sa ville d’origine Geislingen, pour commémorer les 200 ans de sa naissance, Plaqué est une oeuvre conçue et réalisée par Peter Schubert et Andreas Unsenbenz, partis sur les traces de l’industriel et transposé à celui d’aujourd’hui.

Longue plage de 40 minutes, Plaqué est un parcours audacieux et sinueux, à coups de field recordings et d’expérimentations, qui soulève la question de l’accaparation de l’histoire, pour en proposer une narration auditive abstraite, cherchant à restituer l’histoire d’un homme qui a marqué son temps et qui continue de rayonner sur ces concitoyens de nos jours.

Peter Schubert et Andreas Usenbenz, à travers leur performance, offrent une proposition faite de cheminement et de parallélisme, mettant en opposition modernité et traces effacées, diluées dans une ville qui a continué d’évoluer et de changer de paysage, tout en restant fidèlement attaché à un homme qui lui a apporté gloire et prospérité. Plaqué est  un instantané acoustique d’une vie, habillée des bruitages et des flux d’une cité à un moment donné, composé à coups de bruitages et de mouvements emprunts d’une certaine forme d’universalité. Très fortement recommandé.

Roland Torres

Review by Chain DLK

“Plaqué” comprises a single 41-minute piece of sound art intended to commemorate the 200th birthday of a man called Daniel Straub who was influential in railroad construction and who founded a company called WMF, who nowadays produce kitchenware and cutlery. But rather than being a bunch of pots and pans clinked together, this is a thoroughly ambient work with a somewhat holistic approach, where Schubert and Usenbenz have gathered together field recordings from Straub’s home town of Geislingen and layered and gently processed them into a gradually shifting rhythmless soundscape.

Opening with a somewhat cliché arrangement of farmland and birdsong noises, the work slowly delves into odder territory, with strangely flanged sounds like running water inside pipes. The extremely subtle and measured way in which the sound morphs into more industrial and unpleasant tones- scraping and bending metals, soft distant impacts and electrical hums- is expert and surprisingly disorientating.

As we enter the second half, sonically it opens up somewhat into a broader and oddly sci-fi space where everything feels very timestretched and slow-motion. This devolves into a wash of crunchy white noise which, in turn, fades to leave just some bottle-like pure tones before we wrap up with the reintroduction of what sounds like genuine light industrial and workshop noises, which ease away so gradually into infinity that you don’t even spot that playback has stopped.

The manner in which this work evolves throughout its 41-minute duration has an exemplary execution. Whether it challenges any boundaries or contributes any new ideas to this field of sound design is debatable, as is whether a 200-year-old Daniel Straub would have appreciated the tribute (it would probably just have all sounded like tinnitus to him anyway given his old ears…), but nevertheless, it’s a quality work.