Industrial Folklore Tapes Vol. III: Film as Fabric
Released in July 2018 by Folklore Tapes
Ten-inch record in gatefold sleeve with twelve page black and white machine sewn booklet and 16mm black and white patterned fabric photogram in limited edition of 250. The third Industrial Folklore Tapes release is constructed from live recordings of a performance titled ‘Film as Fabric’ by Mary Stark, which examines relationships between textile practice and filmmaking. Through the filmmaking technology of optical sound, fabric and stitch patterns are transformed into noise, referring to sonic worlds associated with textile production. From 2012-2016, Mary’s studio practice and numerous performances took place in Rogue Artist Studios at Crusader Mill in Manchester, formerly a production site of machinery for the cotton industry and a garment works. The performance has been enriched by exploration of Lancashire’s industrial heritage and Mary’s family history, which includes workers in cotton mills and expert needlewomen.
The performance repeatedly involves sound in physical formats through optical sound, work song and recordings of weaving machinery on vinyl records, the amplified mechanisms of the film projector and sewing machine, and Mary’s voice. The performance highlights the now obsolete industrial practice of linear film editing and shows photochemical film as a sculptural reflective fabric, measured and worn on the body, cut with scissors and stitched on the sewing machine. The live recordings are from performances at Full of Noises Festival 2015, and in 2016 at Islington Mill, Manchester Histories Festival and Radio Revolten International Festival of Radio Art.
Read a review by A Closer Listen here
A Closer Listen also thought it was one of the best packaged records of 2018
Summoning Ghosts of Industries Past
Released August 2016 by Fractal Meat
Summoning Ghosts of Industries Past rouses distant voices and clanking whirring obsolete machines amongst the dusty rafters and uneven floorboards of a former cotton mill in the city centre of Manchester. Loops of 16mm film showing men and women working in textile factories were given a live soundscape of industrial weaving machinery and songs relating to work with cloth and thread. Part of the performance involved Mary mixing live with 16mm film loops of moving images and optical sounds created from fabric, stitch and thread. In addition to optical sound, the performance repeatedly emphasised sound as a physical, material format: Mary sang Lace Tell and played the keyboard, as well as playing songs on vinyl records and a dub plate recording of weaving machinery at Quarry Bank Mill. The event was hosted by the Manchester based Film Material collective and took place on 26th February 2015.
Review of the cassette by We Need No Swords
OST (feat. Mary Stark) by Chaines
Released digitally in December 2015 by Slip Imprint
With a limited edition double-sided A3 poster designed by Tom Rose incorporating16mm film stills by Mary Stark
"‘OST’ is a 20-minute epic written in collaboration with visual artist Mary Stark where cartoonish, Rammstein-style aggression, plaintive guitar lines, and clunking glitch form an impish portrait of the UK’s north-western industry. But ‘OST’ is also a sincere love-letter to analogue film, with plush orchestral samples, and Stark’s disembodied voice tenderly blooming from the rubble." Slip Imprint