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Jim Haynes Telegraphy by the Sea
by Dan Warburton

Paris Transatlantic, March 2007

Those familiar with Jim Haynes' informed comments on leftfield electronica in The Wire will know by now where he's coming from and whose music he likes – think Nurse With Wound, Hafler Trio, William Basinski, and the sound artists whose work has appeared on the Helen Scarsdale imprint (Matt Waldron, BJ Nilsen, Loren Chasse..) – but in case you're not familiar with Haynes' work with Chasse on Coelacanth, Telegraphy By The Sea shows he's just as good at making music as he is at writing intelligently about it. It's a huge sprawling piece, nearly an hour long (in fact there's an installation of the same name that lasts six hours, which Haynes performed at the Diapason Gallery in New York, some of whose rough recordings found their way into this condensed version), full of the sonic rust Haynes is so good at scraping off his source sounds. Huge swathes of grimy drone are sprinkled with grainy shortwave static hiss and carefully twisted into shape to form an imposing, even intimidating sound shipwreck. "The title is mostly poetic," writes Haynes, "with occasional references to communication technology found in the use of shortwave throughout the composition. There's plenty of water recordings in the piece, but my memory is foggy as to whether they're recordings of the Pacific Ocean or not. The album seems to locate itself for me somewhere north of San Francisco, on a craggy coastal tract of land dappled with telephone wires, cellphone towers, etc. A barren place, but one that has the fingerprints of technology smeared across the landscape." Ah, remind me to play it late at night walking down to the Point Reyes lighthouse. Ever seen The Fog? That's where it was filmed, as I recall. Found this while snooping around Google: "Because of incessant wind and fog on Point Reyes in some seasons, the Point Reyes Lighthouse was plagued by 'incidents of insanity, alcoholism, violence, and insubordination,' notes a publication of the National Park Service, which now owns the lighthouse. One lighthouse keeper even took to drinking the alcohol shipped for cleaning the lens and 'was often seen lying drunk by the roadside,' the Park Service publication added." Telegraphy would be the perfect soundtrack. If this had come out under the Nurse With Wound moniker, you'd have heard about it by now for sure.