Three years have passed since a day in bel bruit, and lilien rosarian has used her time well. The new cassette sings of the intricacy of spring, with tendrils of sound sprouting forth like shoots from the earth. The blue and pink tape even looks like a baby’s play toy (but don’t let baby eat it!). Spring, cribs and the cover art (culled from YouTube) combine to produce an impression of innocence and wonder.
While not everyone will hear the tape as a tape (this being the digital era), there’s no escaping the sound of tapes as they spin forward and unspool, as the loops thread and repeat. The buttons of the cassette player are also audible from time to time, producing a tactile feeling even when one does not own the tactile object. A ceramic cat is also pictured (although not available separately), a reminder that even a tape can be a tchotchke.
This tumbling collage rearranges memory through sound. The effect is like the culling of a photo album, all negative associations removed until one’s history seems more like a happy path than a mine field. Every snippet has its own subjective value. What once lacked rhyme or reason now has harmonic order. An old orchestral loop nestles against an abraded piano; a melody stops and stalls. Chimes, bells and music boxes rise from the dirt, while added instruments appear on the surface, then sink into the sodden ground. lilien rosarian has used every flower in her garden to create a sonic arboretum.
If there is an opposite of haunted ballroom, this is it. Both lillien rosarian and artists such as The Caretaker plunder the past, breaking down the barriers of time through sample and loop. But while the latter produces a sense of crushing inevitability, lilien rosarian produces a wide-eyed Technicolor dream. Anything can happen in this world; the future is not foreordained. The tape itself may be a boy, a girl, or a boy and a girl. The world is as filled with intriguing sounds as the garden is filled with miraculous colors. And this is her favorite collection: bangles and gems, a magpie’s display, placed and presented, a declaration of love. (Richard Allen)