Rusting is a natural process of oxidation – often associated with neglect, deterioration, decay and ruin – whose aesthetic dimensions tend to be overlooked. Examined closely, a piece of rusted iron reveals a fantastic richness of colors, textures and forms.
The duo Rust takes its name from an appreciation of this specific kind of spontaneously arising natural beauty, most commonly encountered when human constructions are exposed to the natural elements.
RUST consists of Jean-François Laporte playing newly-invented acoustic instruments and Benjamin Thigpen playing the computer. Laporte’s acoustic instruments are often built around the use of compressed air, vibrating membranes and tubes; Thigpen’s electronic instruments frequently involve complex signal processing, gestural inputs and arbitrary mathematical processes. In both cases, the instruments intentionally occupy a space at the limits of human control – retaining, in spite of their extreme sophistication, a primitive organic element akin to that of natural processes.
The music of Rust is deeply rooted in the specificity of each component of their instruments at each particular moment in time. Arising through the uncertain interactions between willed human intervention and autonomous activities in the physical and digital worlds, it explores unpredictable, unstable processes that exhibit a life and will of their own. Based on physical materiality and acoustic realities, it interacts strongly with the acoustics of the concert space, filling the hall with complex webs of physically palpable strands and blocks of sound.
Rust does not believe that music is an intellectual activity but rather that it is a total physical experience, powerfully enveloping and sweeping away the entire being – mind, body, soul and all their interconnections with the physical and spiritual universes. The music of Rust is not based on learnedly elaborate constructions (com-position: the putting-together of isolated elements) but on the sheer power of sound itself: dense textures, rich colors, constantly evolving soundworlds, complex polyphonies emerging from within a single sound. Organic and authentic, intense and primal – at times barely perceptible, at times extremely loud – it is an immersion in the pure experience of sound.