Coelacanth is the sound art collaboration
between Loren Chasse and Jim Haynes, operating the tools of an imagined
science to explore the various possibilities for sound to originate
from traditionally non-musical materials. Alchemy, as a systematic
if impossible attempt to transform base metals into noble ones, is
an adequate parallel to Coelacanths arena of research. We encourage
sympathetic relationships between carefully chosen materials and sounds,
and push them in ways that they might transcend their purposefulness.
Copper, stone, glass, sand, shortwave radio, rust, wind, water, and
mud are the active participants in our events and situations, providing
both metaphoric potentials and visual sensibilities for Coelacanths
activities. From these situations, we invoke a sound that is an aggregate
of sustained harmonics, continuously evolving sound forms, and broad
gestures of textural details, and which could be described as a 'broken
While compositional patterns and themes are evident throughout the
Coelacanth body of work, we do not seek to demonstrate any particular
techniques; nor do we execute specific, premeditated conceptual strategies.
We predisposes ourselves to accept the inevitability of change within
our work and the necessity of risk in its manifestation. If anything,
we welcome the accidental and even encourage it in our work.
Public performances have become a crucial element to the Coelacanth
agenda, as we have made a concerted effort to develop visual displays
that are equally as expressive as our sound constructions. In previous
works, we have constructed elaborate set designs and installations
which house shattered Christmas bulbs, heaps of rusted metal, surplus
scientific gear, and piles of branches.
Currently, Coelacanth is based out of San Francisco and has three
published recordings: The Chronograph (Partition, 2001), The Glass
Sponge (23five, 2003), Mud Wall (The Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2004),
and a CD+DVD entitled Wrack Light In Copper Ruin (2006) in
collaboration with Keith Evans. Coelacanth has performed at the Yerba
Buena Center for the Arts, The Lab, 964 Natoma, Cuesta College, ESP
Gallery, Four Walls, and many other Bay Area performance spaces.
Outside of Coelacanth, Loren Chasse is very active in Jewelled Antler,
a loosely knit collective of musicians that speak in the tongues of
pastorally psychedelic improvisations. He also is a credentialed instructor
within the San Francisco school district, where he teaches his students
in the art of imaginative listening within the core curriculum. Mr.
Haynes is an artist with a long list of international exhibitions,
describing his craft with the pithy statement "I rust things."
He is also an accomplished journalist with numerous writings on sound
art and experimental music appearing in the British magazine The