Hear That? An Internal Soundtrack by James Hoff

Jack Whitten, Mother’s Day 1979 (for Mom), 1979, the cover art for Shadows Lifted from Invisible Hands, James Hoff’s new EP

Somewhere amidst all his publishing and other art world activities, Primary Information’s James Hoff created an album, and now he’s released it.

Hoff calls Shadows Lifted from Invisible Hands an autobiographical record: “Each track is composed from sources drawn from his own involuntary aural landscape, specifically musical earworms and tinnitus frequencies.”

It is not only ambient media remixed from catchy pop songs—though it is partly that. The aural elements that make up the album’s four tracks are “non-cochlear”; both earworms and tinnitus appear or are experienced inside the head without external stimulus. They’re sounds we get stuck with and accustomed to, the kind of “internal soundtrack” that, by definition, no one else hears. So it’s exceptional that Hoff transforms them into something intentional, and something that can be shared.

[TWO WEEKS LATER UPDATE: Just read about artist/musician Lola De La Mata’s project where she actually recorded her tinnitus [??] or whatever sound phenomenon was being generated autonomically in her ear, using an anechoic chamber. Absolutely fascinating and wild.]

James Hoff | Shadows Lifted from Invisible Hands is on digital and vinyl [bandcamp]
Uneasy on the Ear: An Interview with Lola De La Mata [thequietus]