Somewhere I've Never Been

Steph Kretowicz

Book Details:

Paperback, 189 pages; May 2017;

ISBN: 978-3-943196-26-9

Co-published with TLTR Press, Berlin

Editing: Tom Clark, Design: Maria Mitcheva, Additional editing: Aimee Cliff and Katie Lenanton

Generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England


Can you tell a story of a place in the same fracturing way it was experienced?

Pulling together field recordings from international soundscapes, Somewhere I've Never Been follows the author's account of loss and being alone in a self-started journey through the US, Europe and the Middle East. One part of an expanded narrative on many platforms (more at: http://thepoweroflove.cz/), and against the grain of dominant visual narratives, the book is told through the sounds of corporate expansion and pop cultural hegemony heard in an ever-uneven era of globalisation and cultural mediation.

Drawn away from the music of loaded family pasts and brittle presents to the sprawling inertia of a US road trip, Kretowicz is hooked by Jason Derulo, Fairuz, Harry Partch, Lipgloss Twins, poorly pronounced Polskibus safety announcements, the crucial influence of Celine Dion; in the end pulled back to the jarring patter and endless shifts of London.

Highly personal, and deeply implicating, this selection of research-based creative essays by a music critic-by-trade are tensely complicit with the global audio-space they are extracted from. With only her ever-present dictaphone as a constant, what Kretowicz hears--filtered by her own experience--is confronted by the moving contradictions of visualised space, histories of physical and 'virtual' mobility through geographical bubbles and the policed intersections of a world split and bound by movement.

Radio Show Teaser

Made by the author and the artist Kimmo Modig, the radio show playing on NTS.live, is another part of SINB's distributed narrative.

Listen to the full show here

Extract from Los Angeles:

"Somewhere I've Never Been," radio show made by Kimmo Modig and Steph Kretowicz playing on NTS.

"I tell Robin I'm in LA to take footage of capitalism-become-popular culture at its most refined and she shows me her own static shots of the empty paved arcades and misshapen glass reflections of Bunker Hill on her laptop. Built from the bottom-up in the space of 59 years and still going, it's the city's Downtown financial district. The blinding parabolic surface of Walt Disney Concert Hall and quartz-like structure of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (COLA) are here-the latter is situated on West Temple Street. The area had been home to the city's poorest-DIY subdivisions of once opulent mansions repatriated by the people left behind when its wealth was bled dry by shifting infrastructures-only to be bulldozed again by banks and new office blocks."

"I'm on my borrowed bike at the corner of Union and Venice where the clipped carousel tune of an ice cream truck--its original name scratched out and hand-painted over with "Tony's Ice Cream"--cuts through the festive sway of an accordion playing through a woman's sedan window. The almost baroque monophonic composition eventually dips out while a man from El Salvador, also called Tony, is being paid $10 an hour to stand on the corner in a hot mascot costume waving around a sign advertising "examenes y radiografias." He must be cheaper than a billboard."

About the Author

Steph Kretowicz is a London and Los Angeles-based editor, writer and journalist specialising in music, contemporary art and digital culture. Her writing appears in Flash Art, Dazed & Confused, Resident Advisor, The Fader and The Wire, as well as Somesuch Stories, Arcadia Missa Publishing, and Live Art Development Agency, among others. Kretowicz is also co-founder and editor of London and Berlin-based arts publication AQNB.com.