Slow Wave

In a black box at Moderna museet, Slow Wave’s music accompanies Santiago Mostyn’s work (Delay, 2014). Seemingly about human interaction and distance, the work frames the artist wandering the streets of Stockholm at night, randomly approaching and physically reaching out to strangers, evoking distinct reactions as a result. The grand and ethereal soundscape of Slow Wave is so perfectly in tune with the candid gestures of the imagery that what emerges right there in front of the screen is a visceral daze consuming the body through and through. Evoking the familiar feeling of the early hours of a summer’s night, high on life, over-perceptive to sentiment and impulse, slowing your walk back home, not quite ready to give in. The song in its own right, hypnotic with a dense emotional spectrum, lingers on well after the visit to the point where identifying the authors of the music appears crucial in order to instill peace following an incessant itch to relive the musical rush from the museum. Googling various combinations of words and names, eventually leads to William Rickman and Susanna Jablonski in the blogosphere and their Soundcloud which since allows Slow Wave to become a personal soundtrack for episodes relating to various precarious matters of the heart.

For the exhibition at hand which marks the first time presenting their work in a gallery solo context, Slow Wave unveils a new work produced specifically for the occasion. The work informs a spatial music installation which departs from the idea of a collective and sensuous experience, prompted by three-dimensional circular listening confining the space of the gallery. Slow Wave as it proves, is the brainchild of two music aficionados-cum-producers whose trial-and-explore studio practice joins a multitude of layers of sound, from own vocals, self-referencing their back catalogue, musical samplings to recordings of everyday occurrences from which the musical resonances are extracted. As has been the case with the production of this work, it’s a matter of collaging sounds with an open narrative which finds itself in due time as the sounds are continuously being dissected, retried, altered and augmented. Untitled (2018) departs from bird song recorded during recent travels to Tobago to later disclosing in the midst sounds of fidget spinners, gospel choirs, vibrating cellphones and the fluttering wings of a butterfly.

The central element placed forth consists of samplings as homage to the 90’s gem ‘Back to Life’ by Soul II Soul. As the key words “Back to life, back to reality” are belted out, there is an immediate sense of recognition that will likely find itself with a generation to which Slow Wave makes part, that grew up in the early heyday of music video television. And here lies one of the fortés of Slow Wave; charged moments alluding to time, whether striking an emotional cord with the past or injecting a sense of future nostalgia in the present.

Slow Wave’s work is notably represented in Moderna museet’s permanent collection through their contribution to Santiago Mostyn’s video work ’Delay’ (2014). Their work has been exhibited internationally including Art Gallery Alberta, Canada, Nanjing Art Festival, China, Creative Times Report, U.S, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm, Clearview London, Haninge Konsthall and Moderna Museet Malmö.

Susanna Jablonski (1985) is a musician and MFA graduate from the Royal Institute of the Art in Stockholm. Her work finds itself where audio-based and sculptural experiences intersect. Through sculpture, moving images and music, Jablonski addresses each medium’s moldability and transformative character, often by employing delicate and precarious materials. She is currenly exhibited in a solo show titled ‘Good Mourning” at Marabouparken Konsthall in Stockholm.

William Rickman (1988) is a musician and producer composing both for stage and film, alongside his own and collaborative musical projects. Starting out with lo-fi electronical music in the early 2000s, moving on to screwed remixes of R’n’B songs, pop and experimental dance music, he always works with an anarchistic approach across a wide field of genres and styles.