Everyday Unknown 4 & 5

Into the Blue Unknown Latest project from French sound artist supremo Eric La Casa…Everyday Unknown 4 & 5 (SWARMING 1S2001) is released as part of his “Collection Supranaturelle” series and has been several years in the making, based on recordings and mixage from 2017 to 2021. His previous outing Installations was, in comparison, quite large-scaled and very collaborative, with judiciously-selected locations for his field recordings and the participation of talented like-minded creators. Conversely Everyday Unknown is a solo work, perhaps more modest in scale, somewhat inward-looking…
The plan is to investigate the “inaudible”, and that itself is a challenging enough proposition if you’re working with field recordings. La Casa seems to be describing a life for himself where he spends every day listening to his surroundings; his recent discovery is that there are more things “beyond the threshold of my hearing”, and he’s slightly concerned that he’s missing them out of his daily ingest of audio materials. From here, he starts to speculate about these “infraliminary dimensions”, as he calls them, and whether it’s even possible to perceive them. Aye, as is often the case with this highly intelligent creator, his ideas about sound soon spiral off into philosophical areas. He begins to ask searching questions about the limitations of his recording equipment, and his own body in respect of these elusive goals, and muses about what this may mean for our perception of the “present time”, as alluded to in a quote from Etienne Klein, the French physicist and science philosopher who was written many books on atomic particles, the nature of the universe, and the passage of time.
Having conducted this mind-expanding research on the nature of the inaudible, the unsayable, and all things that are beyond the reach of man’s perception, Eric La Casa has produced another very satisfying record of sound art. Given the above screed, you may have expected something extremely quiet, “lower-case” recordings along the lines of those extreme statements released on the winds measure recordings label, but instead Everyday Unknown 4 & 5 turns out to be rich in fascinating and mysterious details, with no irritating stretches of silence or near-silence that have often blighted other works in this genre. I’m coming away with a sense of near-microscopic examination of…something…which may turn out to be a very ordinary something, as La Casa wishes to stress that it’s the “everyday” which preoccupies him, and we can indeed see that very same thread in other works such as Paris Quotidien and FRICHE: Transition. The former in particular (from 2018) was a benchmark work in finding beauty and depth in the most unlikely and unpromising source material.
The theme is picked up with the insert of eight colour photographs, all taken by the artist simply looking outside his window; and we see an array of different colours, cloud shapes, moods, and textures, in which context the close-up image of a bug on the window can be seen as a startling appearance. Recommended listening as a means of rediscovering your own surroundings, seeing and hearing new things, and reconnecting to the local environment.
Ed Pinsent, october 2022, The sound projector

Something Éric La Casa mentions twice in his short program note for Everyday Unknown 4 & 5 is infraliminary, a word used synonymously with invisible — yet just enough of something to not be nothing. A search for that six-syllable term lands on journal articles that discuss the makeup of an Xray, historical experimentation to determine the nature of periphery "infraliminary elements" and otherwise hazy spots "produced by the summation of shadows of infraliminary elements," etc. Further complications: "When an accumulation of many small similar details is found in an object, apparently the roentgenogram only shows part of them." You can see why this phenomena might intrigue someone — thirty years into a career — attempting to infuse their sound source to specks of dust... Coming off a globe-sized project of largely literal ambient recordings with his and Philip Samartzis's 2020 Captured Space, La Casa returns to his microscope and magnifies until reaching "beyond the threshold of my hearing...in these territories of the inaudible" while also looking at the relationship of the body to listening (versus what a microphone hears) for Everyday Unknown 4 & 5. In line with this act of using such a miniscule ink well, you would expect the results to be less active than La Casa's explorations of air ducts, room ambiences and so on. Not so. A gust of wind, a fax machine, ungrounded speaker wire, a seemingly large fly, pinhole drones, round bassy clouds, CB clicks with someone muttering on the other end, and other bits sputter and jump or sing at the ranges of human hearing. La Casa pivots frequently between relatively disparate colors and blocks of sound, chopping instead of coalescing to enhance internal dissonance. However, the album's interest lies in La Casa's ability to digitize the analog and repurpose it into sprawling android worlds. While the aforementioned interdependent minutia occupies the listener's attention, the artist gradually introduces a hissing, peppered-with-insects soundscape that, upon closer inspection, is perhaps a simulation crafted from a sophisticated amplification of hard drives motors, ant hills and squeaky pipes acting as birds. Versions of this happen throughout; some are stifling (hot air balloon burners popping off in your ear during a hurricane, wandering in a building stairwell), some enchanting (rocking chair on a porch), but all are delicate, intriguing and realized with aplomb. It's fashionable now — not just among people who dress in black and staple Christian Death patches to their jackets — to discuss and plan a survival strategy for the End of The World. I frequently wonder what I will do for music (listening to / performing) if the juice runs out. Everyday Unknown 4 & 5 is a worthy answer, as it echoes the following Cage thoughts: "Until I die there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music." They might be undiscovered and/or hiding in plain sight, but La Casa is going to find them.
Dave Madden, in Squid's Ear https://www.squidco.com/cgi-bin/news/newsView.cgi?newsID=2478

Here we have a composer mainly known for his work with field recordings, and this new release is no different; perhaps, in some way, it is. La Casa writes that the two compositions on this CD deal with the inaudible and the unspeakable, and that "Everyday Unknown is a series devoted to the representation of infraliminary sound phenomenons of the reality, of everyday life". I had no idea what infraliminary is, and it seems a straightforward translation of the French word "infraliminaire". But let's assume this is the sort of sound we usually don't hear, and now La Casa made them audible. The recordings are from his immediate environment. I believe I heard an old fashioned fax machine at the beginning of 'Everyday Unknown 4'. While the sources may be inaudible, they are no longer now. La Casa 'translated' them back into the audible domain, and via the use of sound collage, he combines various sound events into two compositions. He uses slow crossfades to get from one section to the next and just very occasionally by a short montage of sound. Except for the previously mentioned fax machine, none of these sounds can be easily traced back to something you might recognize. The 'invisibility' gives the music a much more abstract character, electronic obviously. The field recordings are obscured, and I must say, I enjoyed this abstract character quite a bit. There is a certain vagueness about the music that makes it obscure and mysterious. You are aware of impending danger (that breach in the electricity network you just can't hear?; you pay close attention, but you can't put your finger on it. Then it disappears and is replaced by something else that is equally mysterious. Nice! (FdW)
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, 1308