Some time ago a colleague emailed me and informed me that an artist made a short video of herself knitting to The Rita‘s ‘Thousands of Dead Gods.’ I watched the short video and thought it was interesting, but then also noticed that the woman had a link included on her ‘Instagram’ account for her sculptural works. I had a look at her work and was instantly taken by the sheer immensity and power of her structures, all exemplary of long hours of labour and provocative patterns behind the materials. The most notable structure for me was the piece ‘Untitled Form (Barrier)’ which was made up of timber, bricks, mortar and a semi-dynamic use of the material chiffon to hold bricks in a hanging fashion. The semi-opaque, stretching quality behind the white chiffon with height of almost 8 feet instantly brought to mind the focus of my past recordings that delved into the world of nylon and stocking fetishism, eventually contemplating the semi-opaque salmon pink qualities behind the tights used by classical ballerinas and the expanded practice and tradition therein. Looking at an imposing 8’4 x 8′ structure like Megan Miller’s ‘Untitled Form (Barrier)’ and it’s materials made me think that any sound made by the structure’s movement of bricks against each other piled in a virtual sling of moving chiffon would be perfect for textural, abrasive sound source. After some discussion with Megan, it was decided that a new structure would be built for a collaboration with The Rita that embraced not themes of fetishism, but expanded utilitarian themes around the use of nylon; the stockings, tights and nylon that women wore to work, what our mother’s wore for warmth, comfort, and most importantly the virtual make-up of the fabric, the inherent qualities it featured. Her eventual new outdoor sculpture was entitled ‘Queen Sheets’ and also made use of brick and mortar, expanding over a flat area with semi-opaque chiffon stretching over the whole of the area, covering it. ‘Untitled Form (Barrier)’ was also erected again in the same outdoor area, and this time the labor intensive building process of both sculptures was recorded for eventual processing by The Rita”. Sam McKinlay
‘’An exquisite and entirely feminine material, much can be said of nylon. It moves like us and with us, stretches like us and with us, and, although extremely delicate and easily torn, the fiber is strong enough to make me wonder if it could support bricks. Pantyhose become our second skin, our birth-skin held in its softness. The sound of its softness is remarkable – the sound of second skin of birth – skin and the light sweet between.” – In a letter to Sam from Megan on March 31 th , 2014 – (in response to the Rita’s ‘’Ballet Feet Positions”)
Both records are impressive, inspired and near perfect examples of Mr. McKinlay brutal sonic talents. This is easily one of the highlights of this year noise releases and a high point in the The Rita discography. A must have item for HNW/Noise fans; but also a great entry point into the genre to see how one of the masters of the form performs.