squint 00R

Fingering (2012)

Christof Migone

1) it was a sunny Sunday afternoon.
2) opening for the man who makes noise out of putting glass in his mouth.
3) for a small crowd.
4) place was packed.
5) a talkative baseboard heater.
6) making it up as I go along.
7) first dip into this material the rest of which might surface some day.
8) calling from Dumbo, repeating the word fingers for the first half, and the word in for the second.
9) interruption, remaining unannounced both prior and after.

1) edited from a performance on Sunday August 1, 2010 at the Funny Farm in Meaford, Ontario as part of Electric Eclectics 5.
2) edited from a performance on Thursday February 26, 2008 at Zoobizarre in Montreal, organized by Pavilion Projects.
3) edited from a performance on Thursday August 9, 2007 at the Sala Rossa in Montreal.
4) edited from a performance on Thursday October 28, 2004 at the Sala Rossa in Montreal for AlgoRythm(e)s organized by Perte de Signal.
5) recording of a baseboard heater on Friday November 23, 2007 in a hallway of the JPL building at the Banff Center in Banff, Alberta.
6) edited from a performance on Saturday September 17, 2011 at CASJB in Sherbrooke, Québec as part of the Espace [Im]Média festival organized by Sporobole.
7) edited from a studio recording, at the Pines in Montreal on May 16-18, 2007, recorded by Dave Bryant.
8) edited from a telephone performance on Saturday November 12, 2000, aired on WLUW-FM in Chicago for the Outer Ear Festival, hosted by Philip von Zweck.
9) edited from a telephone performance on Saturday November 12, 2000, aired on WLUW-FM in Chicago for the Outer Ear Festival, hosted by Philip von Zweck.

33 rpm
9 tracks
75:04 total
2x 11″x11″inserts
two holes and a tear
digital download card
numbered edition of 300

  1.        ringfinge (11:08)
  2.        ingfinger (7:39)
  3.        finering (13:37)
  4.        figering (5:07)
  5.        Bored Heat (7:49)
  6.        fenriging (3:07)
  7.        gignrifen (5:32)
  8.        , insubstantial (9:56)
  9.        as smoke (10:43)


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Fingering_Jacket-Front Fingering_Jacket-Back Fingering_Insert-1 Fingering_Insert-2 Fingering_Insert-3 Fingering_Insert-4 Fingering_Vinyl_side1 Fingering_Vinyl_side2 Fingering_Vinyl_side3 Fingering_Vinyl_side4


Fingering, 2xLP, squintfuckerpress, 2012. Review in Vital Weekly by Frans de Waard

A double LP that comes with two inserts with two punched holes in it a ‘tear’ in the paper. You know this has to be the work of Christof Migone, who has provided us with more conceptual weirdness in the past few years, but for now his music is actual less concept based. Here we have Migone as an improviser, like he did with Alexandre St.Onge in the duo undo, but also with Set Fire To Flames, l’oreille a Vincent, Fly Pan Am, Klaxon Guele, Mecha Fixes Clock and with people like Tim Hecker, Martin Tetreault, Sam Shalabi and others. His instrument in all of these occasions is ‘gutted reel-to-reel machines’. This double LP documents his solo performances since 2000. He plays the tapes by using his fingers – or so I assume. Speeding the tape up, slowing it down are the only two I can think of, but then I don’t play this. I am not sure if Migone prepares his tapes in any way, such as recording it with his own sound material, punching holes in it, covers it with dirt (as some people do), but based on these nine pieces it’s safe to say Migone has learned a few tricks over the last fifteen years to play some varied music. Noise is never far away, which is perhaps not odd, but especially when he cuts down in volume, an interesting sonic depth arrises from the music in which electro acoustic music, field recordings and pure electronics melt down in real time sound collages, such as ‘Gignrifen’ and ‘As Smoke’. When the noise hits the van, it hits hard and loud, but it keeps bouncing off in all directions, like the rawest of musique concrete sound collages, which have been buried in gravel for about fifty years. Two heavy slabs of vinyl, a great documentation of a fine craftsmanship. Would be great to see this in concert.


Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body, book, Berlin, Errant Bodies Press, 2012 and Fingering, 2xLP, squintfuckerpress 00R, 2012, Review in Musicworks, No. 116 – Summer 2013, p. 62, by Chris Kennedy

It comes as no surprise that the first word of Sonic Somatic is “Merdre!” Migone has long been a purveyor of bodily functions, putting out recordings of knuckle-cracks (Crackers, 1999), collected bottles of spit (Spit, 1997-1999), and crassly named music projects (Fingering, 2012). However, he is extremely capable of intellectualizing this rudeness into a legitimate body of knowledge, one fully on display in Sonic Somatic. Migone takes the vibrato of the extra “r” in the above Merdre– pronounced as it is by Alfred Jarry’s Ubu– as an entry point into his discussion of the body as a punctuation point for language and sound– the body as both a generator and resonator of many of the variety of sounds, silences and noises discussed in the book. For Migone, the body is key to sound art because it leaks; the purity of sound is always disrupted because of our shuffles, stutters, farts, and coughs. For an art form still trying to define itself, this porosity allows for a multivalent approach to its possible definitions and an allowance for some of the underbelly to seep in. The text manages to balance a strong throughline– from silence, through sound, language, space, and then death (back to silence)– with a densely layered series of art-and-sound historical reference points. At one point, as just one example, Christian Marclay shares a paragraph with Aristophanes, Artaud, and Pujol the Pétomane. Migone carves digressions into interesting arguments, allowing the weight of mounting evidence to create a dense case for the intrusion of bodily functions into the sound-art terrain. Despite its subject matter, it is hard to describe this book as irreverent, because Migone very deftly writes transgression into the history books. For all its excesses, it is very tightly wound.

In contrast, Fingering is live, loose and lurid. It’s a two-LP set culled from Migone’s live solo performances over the last dozen years. His instruments of choice have been gutted-and-reworked reel-to-reel tape recorders, the reproductive equivalent of a prepared piano. He “plays” them with contact mikes, sticking them into the cavities of the machines’ bodies as they run, creating a live collage out of a searching, textured noise and the slips and slurs of the machine. The results are very tactile. The titleFingering implies a certain embodied application; perhaps even a borderline explicit one, and the sound recordings share similar tawdry textures. The recordings are surprisingly intimate, despite the fact that they document live performances. One senses by the audiences’ stillness that they sit rapt in the erotic charge, likely aided by Migone often utilizing a live video-feed in his performances to amplify his actions. The slurpy, tetchy noise of Fingering makes it the perfect audio companion to Migone’s book. Migone is somehow able to make the machine sound fleshy and alive, creating a borderline disturbing listen (a special accomplishment for a noise record that isn’t mastered at the usual extremely high volume). But it is the last side of the two-LP set that connects most directly back to his book. A series of words (fingers and in) are edited down to just the sound of saliva forming on lips and tongue, before and after the word is stated. At each point, a voice is trying to speak, but only the absence of language and the presence of body is heard.
I’ve been using contact microphones to manipulate gutted reel-to-reel machines in my live improvisations since about 1998. At first principally in the context of my work with Alexandre St-Onge in the duo undo, but also in all sorts of other configurations, with the groups: Set Fire to Flames, l’oreille à Vincent, Fly Pan Am, Klaxon Gueule, Mecha Fixes Clock; and with individuals: Tim Hecker, Martin Tétreault, Sam Shalabi, Magali Babin, etc. The Fingering project surveys the solo work with this setup.


Graphic design by Matthew Hoffman based on a concept by cm.
Mastered by Harris Newman.