Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier – “Discovering Mathematics 2”

Belgium artist, writer and musician Felicia Atkinson, also known as Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, has re-released her “Discovering Mathematics 2,” a forty-two minute cascading collage of repetitive sounds and noises on a limited edition cassette through No Kings records. Atkinson’s immersive compositions sound brilliant on the out-of-date format. Also, the limited edition of sixty cassettes makes the listener feel as though they are actually part of a larger art experiment, much like a happening that might occur in a small art gallery on the outskirts of some European city.

The title of the album, along with the high school textbook inspired artwork leads the listener to believe that they’re going to be taught something. What one is taught is that there is a balance between noise and space; there is a relationship between the openness of sound and the potential of art. What JSLPC has given us is a quiet lesson in the mobility of meaning. At first listen, Atkinson’s careful compositions do sound repetitive and somewhat annoying. But as I allowed the tracks to play out on my headphones, the warmth of the sounds replaced any misplaced annoyance I felt.

My mind leads me to believe a track such as “Radiant Cheeks” could be used on a film soundtrack to musically mark the moves of a mental patient shuffling though a 19th century asylum. At the same time, Atkinson’s strongest track, “Dust Stadium Dillusion” recalls a romantic image of the sun shining in on a couple clad in white underwear, waking up from a late night full of sexual discoveries. The softness of JSLPC’s voice mixes well with the New Order-like warmth of the track. At this moment, I’ve become part of something larger than music.

Through a shiny gold cassette tape, Atkinson has made me part of some existentialist art project that is only limited by the inherent movement of mathematics when presented on a thin strip of accumulated magnetic tape.

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November 3, 2011. Albums.

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