The Dialogues: John Wall

by 5:4

i’m delighted to be able to present the latest instalment in my occasional series The Dialogues. In this episode, i’m in conversation with the composer and performer John Wall, whose work i’ve very deeply admired for many years. Wall and i got together over the summer, and our conversation took place within his studio, affording him the opportunity to illustrate our discussion with numerous audio excerpts, many of which are included in the edited recording. In addition to exploring the techniques and development of Wall’s 22-year career in electronic music—during which time he has gradually evolved from working with chunks of sampled acoustic sound into a world constructed from tiny electronic slivers—we explore a variety of associated topics, including sampling, compositional decision-making, collaborations and many other related issues.

In addition to those played by Wall himself, i’ve included in the Dialogue a liberal selection of pertinent excerpts from throughout his output to clarify and elaborate upon some of the points made. A complete list of these excerpts can be found below along with their timings in the audio. The Dialogue can be downloaded from the link below or streamed via MixCloud. All of the music discussed can be obtained via Wall’s Bandcamp site; his collaborations with Alex Rodgers are also available from the Entr’acte label.

Finally, i must say a huge thank-you to John Wall and his partner Kay for their time and hospitality, and also to Allon Kaye at Entr’acte for his assistance. Wall’s amazing music deserves to be known about, heard and appreciated by a significantly wider audience, and it’s my sincere hope that this Dialogue can be a helpful and tantalising starting point for the unitiated, and provide some interesting insights to those already familiar with his work.

List of excerpts:

  • 00:00:05 Construction VI: stem (from Constructions V-VII)
  • 00:10:53 Construction III: rumble/hard/abrupt (from Constructions I-IV)
  • 00:19:48 Stunde Null I (from Alterstill)
  • 00:35:23 Alterstill (from Alterstill)
  • 00:43:07 Cphon (from Cphon)
  • 00:50:36 Track 5 (from 139)
  • 00:54:57 Construction IV: dro/ickt (from Constructions I-IV)
  • 00:59:37 Construction I: stat/unt/dist (from Constructions I-IV)
  • 01:06:23 Track 2 (from Works 2006-2011)
  • 01:12:50 Construction VII: luxi var (from Constructions V-VII)
  • 01:17:00 Part II (from Hylic)
  • 01:27:22 Track 2 (from Work 2006-2011)
  • 01:36:01 Rafia Longer (from Rafia Longer)
  • 01:51:06 Statis (from Fractuur)
  • 02:04:12 Part I (from Hylic)
  • 02:15:55 Fractuur (from Fractuur)
  • 02:34:07 MutaVariations (15) (not currently available)
  • 02:46:07 Mutapool (2005-6) (not currently available)

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ed Chang

Just discovered your site – looks great. An interview with John Wall – wow. I still have his beautifully-packaged Fraacture CD… Looking forward to checking out your posts.
Ed Chang

[…] his subsequent work – as discussed at length in our Dialogue together – Wall would reduce the size and integrity of the samples still further, ultimately […]

Click here to respond and leave a commentx