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Alfredo Costa Monteiro – Anatomy Of Inner Place

Alfredo Costa Monteiro - Anatomy Of Inner Place

CD, Monotype Records, 2007

A very introspective CD, “Anatomy Of Inner Place” is, on the surface, little more than your usual noise offering – an unfocused sprawl, 45 minutes of not very much. But consider this: everything here, the “anatomy” that makes up the whole, is unmodified domestic sounds – a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, water boiling. They cry out for their usual everyday context to fit into, but by estranging them from this we are asked consider those things that go unnoticed because we are so used to them; the mundane sounds of everyday life.
Each track acts as an aural snapshot, evoking an almost voyeuristic feeling, tinged with the uncomfortable thought that this could be a recording of your own home. With nothing to enhance the bare sounds to a level where they can be satisfactorily labelled as being made by a specific person or place, they become more than just regular noises – far from being reduced to an anonymous background hum, they are unsettling and at times overly threatening. By restricting our focus to just the sounds themselves, Monteiro (primarily a visual artist, making this purely audio offering seem even more actively severed from its usual setting) allows them to take on a life of their own: storms swell and fade in the rotor-like blades of a fan, and the steady sound of vacuuming becomes a black hole into which all notions of time and space disappear. The layered sounds are alien, jarring, becoming almost unbearable, then fading suddenly to nothing… and the silence they leave behind is deafening.


— Catherine C.

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