Kamran Sadeghi Recorded his New Album Inside a Nuclear Cooling Tower
'Loss Less' is out digitally on March 13.
The tower in reference is that of Satsop, one of five nuclear power plants built by the United States in the late 1970s in response to projected energy demands of the rapidly growing Washington state region. The construction was suspended shortly before the facility was completed and what remains is a structure 129 meters across at the base, and rising to a height of nearly 152 meters.
From 2004 to 2008, a small team worked to open the space to artistic interpretation, recognizing within the space the interplay of site-specific sound, weathered industrial architecture, and the natural environment.
In 2008, Sadeghi was selected resident and, inspired by American composer Alvin Lucier’s I am Sitting In A Room, he amplified an original electronic music passage lasting two minutes into the structure and recorded the outcome of the tower’s acoustic response. This recording was then re-amplified back into the structure and re-recorded. Sadeghi repeated this process 10 times, and with each cycle the natural acoustics of the tower began to reshape the original passage until it disappeared entirely.
The result is a 25-minute sonic experience full of audible artefacts that document space, time, and our environment. The composition was created on location and in real-time, allowing all natural elements such as wind, rain, wildlife, resonance, and feedback-distortion to be a part in the process and therefore the end result. Sadeghi used no post-production effects.
The album comes with a Rework version, a studio interpretation recorded live using samples of the original composition, processed through effects, and used as a guide for added atmospheric electronic tones as counterpoint.
The title, Loss Less, is a reference to the term “lossless compression,” a process that allows for the preservation of audio data. In this case, the audio was not preserved, rather intentionally degraded. The title also taps into the reality of catastrophic loss and destruction caused by nuclear energy, and the call for less.
Line is located in Los Angeles, California, and is curated by Richard Chartier. Founded in 2000, the label publishes editions documenting compositional and installation works by sound artists exploring the aesthetics of minimalism, including Mark Fell, Frank Bretschnieder, and William Basinski. Read more about it here.
01. Loss Less (original) (25:15)
02. Loss Less (rework) (22:53)
Loss Less is out digitally on March 13. Meanwhile, you can hear clips and pre-order here.