Originally trained as an architect, Ruben Nachtergaele (°1974) has explored a maximalist approach in exploring music and sound. Active listening (recording) has always been a native attitude to explore the environment (social, ecologic, geo-politic). It’s a way to focus, reflect and interact.
“It’s all about listening: trying to reveal the core of an event, of a place, of somebody. And then: trying to capture the sonic reality and finding a way to present that to other listeners. In this process, organising and labelling is crucial. I use both connotation (a story) as the intrinsic quality (pure sound as a physical phenomenon) to deal with my recordings.
Apart from this pure and minimal approach, processing the recordings can be a way of creating completely new realities. Juxtaposition and composition can form new dynamics, new meanings. In this way, I want to add something new and valuable to the world; create perspective.
As an architect, I am naturally interested in the context of sound, and the amount of ‘space’ it contains. This is in the first place a technical issue (scale, distance, reverberation, reflections, recording methods) but also an emotional issue. A sound can, for instance, carry a history – of a place – in it, it can contain a present or a past event. Starting from and working with all this material, I am interested in creating mental spaces.”
At the time of his first released record ‘lewis in heaven’, he used field recording as compositional tool for electro-acoustic music production and performing. Later on he explored the possibilities to collaborate as a musician/sound artist with artists working in other media such as film, installation work and performing arts.
Processed field recordings, electronic music and experimental noise-impro-music emerge in the artistic output. This happens in many different contexts with various intensions: as a narrative tool, to evoke and explore the emotional field, to communicate the unspeakable, to create fiction.
Lately his solo-work is again focusing on sound art installation and field recording. In various projects and collaborations he uses his skills as a sound designer, sound engineer and audio-post-production-guy (ADR, SFX, set recording, re-recording mixer, mixer).
He has worked, performed or presented installation work in Critical Path, Sydney, ctrl-alt-del Istanbul, klink og bank Reycjavik, Wiener festwoche, Happy New Ears, STUK, Worm, Almost Cinema, Europe house Tbilisi, international art centre Vooruit, STAM Ghent and many others.