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Imperfect Listening: therefore's Next Chapter
Posted May 12, 2017 by Brett Alderman
WRITTEN BY
Brett Alderman
ON
May 12, 2017
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Ten years ago, therefore, the turn of the century noise-punk band, disbanded with a 12-hour show in Brooklyn. By the end of the night, the band had sold most of their instruments. What wasn’t sold, the band left at the curb of Brooklyn Fire Proof Gallery, the site of the band’s final performance.

therefore is hitting the road once more, not with instruments, but with recorders. Their pursuit is capturing the incidental sounds from various locations from the band’s history. Michael Kaufmann and Wayne Feldman, the duo that comprise therefore, will mix these recordings into the band’s latest album, Imperfect Listening.

Kaufmann and Feldman launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund this new project. With the backing they needed met, I spoke to them about where Imperfect Listening would take them.

 

Brett Alderman: How long have you been working on this idea?

Michael Kaufmann: The idea of the album developed a few months ago when Wayne and I started thinking about a 20th reunion tour.

Wayne Feldman: We've talked for the last year or so about if and why we would celebrate our twenty years of, as we called it ten years ago, "unconventional collaboration". The idea itself, of recording or capturing the sounds of our locations instead of piling on more sound to a place, is something that we've done in a number of different ways throughout our history – this is a break from that, and a continuation of the idea.

 

BA: During the past 10 years, have there been other moments when you thought about reuniting therefore?

WF: No.

MK: I am not sure therefore ever really ceased to exist, [it] just ceased to be active and intentionally or consciously engaged. Ten years ago, there was a discussion about the band calling it quits, but we did celebrate my 40th birthday with a collaborative project via telephone, recording a soundtrack for infinity on a loop cassette.

 

BA: Was there something about this point in time that was ideal for the reunion?

MK: Powers of ten.

WF: Calendars are arbitrary constructs. It is however fun to work with round numbers.

BA: With the Kickstarter successfully funded, you’re now working on a short documentary about the project. Was that always a hope for you?

MK: To clarify, documentary might be a little too specific. There will however be a film component to the experience. We were intending to do the film component regardless, but this will help us realize it more fully and more quickly.

WF: As Mike said, documentary is probably too narrow a term. This is partially because we're not making it ourselves, and we are not guiding the outcome in any particular direction other than our initial idea of making a tour film.

 

BA: Do you have any plans beyond the new album?

MK: There has been some discussion about hosting listening events, but that is still to be determined.

WF: Our last album, before the one we will be recording, was called The Bomb Grant – so maybe.

 

BA: Where will Imperfect Listening take you?

MK: First to our city of origin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. We will also be visiting some key locations from our past including Scranton, Baltimore, and New York.

 

BA: Are there any venues that you aren’t revisiting? If so, why?

MK: We are not purists.

WF: Some locations of our shared history hold denser memories than others, we'll be going to them.

BA: How will you capture the sounds of these locations?

MK: We will harvest the sonic residue via digital recorders.

WF: Imperfectly.

 

BA: Is there anything you are particularly hoping to hear?

MK: Ghosts, ancient radio transmissions, invertebrate communing, the memories of megafauna, our neurology calculating the distance between thought and action...

WF: I love those bells at gas stations.

 

Contribute to therefore's Kickstarter campaign here.

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