Local Wire

The Tucson Electric Fan Appreciation Society

We did it. We listened attentively — and when our habitually short attention span kicked in, inattentively — to Electric Fan Sounds Works presented by The Tucson Electric Fan Appreciation Society. Not once, but three times. And during these listens, we accomplished some things, such as editing and paperwork. We also began to ask ourselves some questions, thanks to this effort by Tucson-based sound artist Glenn Weyant, the man we previously documented cello-bowing the Arizona-Mexico border wall. The disc — part of the SonicAnta D-Construction Sound Subscription Series — features the sounds of a single oscillating fan strategically microphoned and recorded, resulting in an "immersive electric fan event," according to the liners. The 30-minute record features subtle volume and tone changes, going from an upper treble whirling to a bass-heavy drone, followed by some spooky studio mixing that makes the fan not sound like a fan anymore. So what's your first reaction? Sounds a little out there, right? But why? After all, it is just sound. Does that make it less earworthy just because an everyday noise has been captured and released on a recording? For us, one deeper question that Electric Fan provoked is this: Does the CD straddle the abstract line between our conscious and subconscious minds? Definitely so. This album questions more than answers, which creative art tends to do.