1. Miss Dove, Mr. Dove 59:17
John Hudak has been interested in sound and music from the age of four when he began to play a variety of instruments.
At the University of Delaware (BA, English 1981) and Naropa Institute for the Arts (1979), he studied video, photography, creative writing and dance.
He then began to create taped soundtracks for his solo performance-art/dance pieces that later developed into sound-only pieces.
In recent years, he has concentrated solely on sound, particularly natural sounds. Hudak’s current work focuses on the rhythms and melodies that exist in our daily aural environments.
These sounds usually remain hidden, as we tend to overlook their musical qualities, or their musical qualities are obscured through mixture with other sounds.
In simplified terms, what he is doing could be considered "re-framing what is already there so that it can be admired."
His work has been published by labels such as Alluvial Recordings, and/OAR, Korm Plastics, Aesova, Intransitive Recordings, Digital Narcis, Presto!? and many others.
"Miss Dove, Mr. Dove" was especially created by John Hudak for a release on Afe. Here's a description of the album inception in his own words:
"During the late spring of 2007, my family spent some time visiting relatives in the Czech Republic,in a small village outside of Prague called Pelhřimov. One morning there, I woke to the sound of many doves. The building we stayed in was directly across from another similar building, and the space between the two created a wide echo. The birds sat on the adjacent building, making their plaintive sounds, at the crack of dawn; their sound mixing with the sounds of people talking as they left for work, and the sounds of trucks idling while making their morning deliveries."
The original field-recordings
were manipulated via software treatments to create a one hour long composition which is intended to be played as background sound/music.
"...Hudak turns in a classic and delightful series of recordings of doves on the aptly named "Miss Dove, Mr Dove". Hudak's keen artistic ear picked up the sound of cooing doves whilst on a break in the Czech Republic, and realising the auditory potential of the birdsong, combined with a natural echo between two buildings, took recordings and then subjected them to various treatments back at his studio. The overall sound is at once slightly haunting and spiritually uplifting, as the birdsong undergoes all manner of transformations, and quietly subtle transitions."
"Since many years I closely follow the work of John Hudak... On "Miss Dove, Mr. Dove" he uses field recordings made in the Czech Republic, recording doves at dawn, while traffic and people on the street increases. These sounds are treated with some kind of unnamed software and the entire piece lasts an hour. "It is intended to be played as background sound/music", it says on the press release, and that's quite right. The music has changes, but throughout they are quite minimal, with envelopes on specific sounds being opened with great care. Music to be played while doing something - reading being my preferred kind of activity. Non-intentional music, the perfect back-drop. Like Satie intended with his music for furniture. Ambient music as Eno intended, but of a somewhat stranger kind. The bird like sounds are rhythmical, cut-up and not endlessly flowing. Very nice."
Vital Weekly [more]
"...This effort is based on a field-recording of birds made in Czech Republic during the summer of 2007, and later manipulated and reshaped via software in order to create a coherent composition. Suggestion of the liner notes or not, after having read the sound-source are birds it all made more sense, but I write it just for those of you who want to know the hows and whys of a weird CD. Infact if I had to base the review just on the music I'd write this and interesting, abstract soft piece of pointillist-minimalism. I suggest you to do a field-recording of birds yourself, you'll be amazed by the discovery those tiny animals emit sounds in a really rhythmical manner, add Hudak recorded it all from an adjacent building to that from which the sound of the birds where coming that means he has to deal with a great amount of echo. This American sound artist sticks to the minimalist dogma of reducing the music to a really small number of sounds, thus if you're looking for hyper-sophisticated releases I guess that's not exactly suitable with your taste, but if you're in the ranks of those who are able to sit down patiently and listen to the developing of a minimal composition, I think this is definitely worth of a shot."
Chain D.L.K. [more]
"È alquanto improbabile che John Hudak, dopo un ormai innumerevole numero di realizzazioni, possa produrre ancora qualcosa di stupefacente, ed è anche illecito chiederlo, ma comunque i suoi lavori continuano ad essere deliziosi, straripanti di delicata poesia e dotati del solito fascino dalle tinte soffuse. E così anche questo "Miss Dove, Mr. Dove", le cui fonti sonore sono state registrate nella Repubblica Ceca a Pelhřimov, finisce per conquistare con la sua sequenza di fenomeni acustici visti al microscopio... Hudak ben comprende, e ben interpreta, anche la concettualità del silenzio, degli spazi vuoti, e se la definizione minimalismo ha un senso è alla sua musica che va applicata. Molto carina anche la confezione, il che non guasta..."
Sound and Silence [more]
"Hudak's methodology is to distil natural sounds into musical soundscapes, and he tends to operate at the quietest ends of the audio spectrum. "Miss Dove, Mr Dove" is no exception; he recorded and processed the sound of doves cooing in the resonant space between two buildings - he also recorded traffic and conversation from passers by, though there's scant evidence of that on the finished work. It sounds like he's allowing the birdcalls to trigger piano and flute sounds, thus ironing out their microtonal detail and teasing out the melodic content of birdsong. The end result is a charming, if rather inconsequential work..."
The Wire [more]
"Intended by the composer as "background/sound music", this album was made with software treatments of previously recorded sounds of doves, the birds captured in 2007 in a small town in the Czech Republic, where Hudak and family were visiting their relatives... The general sonority equals picking electric guitar strings in the overacute register and applying a tiny degree of slide, oscillation and acceleration to the deriving figurations. Undersized bleeps, atonal whistling, thin powders, you get the point..."
Temporary Fault [more]
"...For the whole piece Hudak just keeps circling these patterns of strange creepy sonic pitter-patters tones/tinkles; which in itself doesn't sound very appealing or rewarding, yet he mangers to really pull you into the sound and creepy you out at the same time. With the track's eerier/uneasy child like patterns and haunting harmonic trails hypnotizing you into this strange haunted and uneasy nursery type feel/vibe; like you're stuck in some vast playroom of uneasy and childhood nightmares. "Miss Dove, Mr. Dove" is an highly effective minimalistic and chilling childhood atmospheric tinged hour long piece that very effectively sucks you into it's half-lite and uneasy sonic world. And it really shows Hudak considerable talent as a sound artist to take something as simply as dove bird song and turn it in to this eerier and hypnotic piece."
Musique Machine [more]