When Gary James Joynes (also known as noise artist Wind Rose) lost his father two years ago, he was hit with a wave of tumultuous emotions spanning sadness, anger, frustration and confusion, which he channelled into his new recording Lamentations.
He hadn’t intentionally set out to create it, though. His Wind Rose gear (a vintage Minimoog and ’70s analog delay box) just happened to be set up at the time and, as he says, he was smart enough to hit play and captured what was initially meant to be a cathartic experience.
“Essentially I was just really trying to process the emotion I was feeling at the time,” Joynes says, noting he had also felt a sense of relief because his father had been suffering for some time. “I was with him when he died, like I was physically with him. I was alone with him when he passed and so it was just sort of still being in that moment. It was just incredible to be the one that was with him when he passed and holding his hand. He looked at me in the eye and I said, ‘Dad, it’s OK for you to go,’ and he thanked me and then he left. That was it.”
It sounds heavy, and Joynes admits it is, but he also believes the pulse-noise pieces are accessible—but he’ll leave that judgment call up to his audience. Regardless, Lamentations is a journey, not only for Joynes but for his father: the piece has four distinct phases that imagine the stages of his father’s spirit passing over to the other side. It begins with the initial stage of grief before building in an intense crescendo into an inevitable explosion and release, meant to symbolize the moment of his spirit breaking through before translation and arrival.
“I was trying to imagine what that might be like and the confusion he was probably feeling, and I guess also in my own personal belief that it’s actually a pretty great place to go—not talking about any specific religion or anything,” Joynes adds. “I guess I believe that our energy goes on, moves on and that’s the simplest way I’ll put it. It’s really hard for me to imagine that this is it.”
Lamentations will be released on limited-edition cassette featuring custom Mezzotint-designed artwork by Shaun Caulfield at the inaugural YEG Sound Art & Noise Festival. The show will be presented on an 8.1-channel surround system that local artists like Scott Smallwood, Raimundo Gonzalez, Borys, Gene Kosowan and others will be experimenting with. Joynes notes the space itself is unique to the genre as well.
“To stage a sound art and noise genre in an art gallery setting is a unique opportunity here for the city,” he adds. “I think these are very contemporary artist forms, as important as any other genre or media. The fact that dc3 Art Projects is supporting this is a real testament to the gallery’s vision of pushing things here and taking some risks in the city.”
Sun, May 4 (2 pm – 10 pm)
Part of the Sound Art & Noise Festival
dc3 Art Projects, $5