Jon Dale – theatre CD-R
“Jon Dale has not recorded an album in over ten years. With the release of theatre, he still has not recorded an album in over ten years. This may seem like an ignoble dismissal of the work in question, but theatre is a rare work that consciously dismisses itself. It invites you to fill its thick silence with questions, none of which it cares to answer. The accumulation of unanswered questions becomes the totality of theatre’s content. This, of course, doesn’t factor the minutiae of sound actually occurring into account. If one affords theatre the necessary focus, the details arrive like aural phantasms redolent of erased lives. Similar to the imprints left behind after lines are erased, the cast of sound phenomena occurring can easily be lost unless viewed in certain lights and at certain angles.
“It would be easy to assume Dale was having a laugh at the listener’s expense, almost as though asking the listener what it means to listen. It is only by absorbing the sheer single-mindedness of such an exercise that it becomes apparent how deliberately executed theatre is. While the purpose can seem elusive, one senses it exists in abundance and whatever difficulty we have finding it rests with the listener. It strikes me that most of what exists in abundance does so beyond our focus as abundance fosters complacence. If there is a lesson within theatre’s thick swathes of illusory nothing, it is not one posed by Dale, rather the listener orchestrates the lesson and teaches themselves. What they come away with depends on them.” – Matthew Revert