prices / ordering


all engraved glass releases can be purchased via the bandcamp page:


https://engravedglass.bandcamp.com/merch

mp3 extracts from engraved glass releases

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

issue four - december 2010

- is now published & available to view or download for free by clicking here

Monday, November 22, 2010

new release on engraved glass / . point engraved edition




Sonata for clarinet & nodar (mp3 extract)

'sonata for clarinet & nodar'


Jez riley French (field recording / composition)
Joana Silva (clarinet)
Luis Costa (field recording)
egcd035 / nodar002
(a joint release between engraved glass & edições nodar)
in the last days of my residency at binaural (Nodar, Portugal) an idea came from a series of chance occurrences. Luis spotted Joana in the village & knew she was a clarinet player & that she had come from Lisbon to visit family for the summer. In the days before, myself & Luis had talked about recordings of instruments & singers in the natural environment - the roots of field recording. A decision was made to ask Joana if she would be willing to play her clarinet whilst walking slowly along a path that swept around the curve in the Paiva river that runs through Nodar. Joana, still at school, still learning the instrument, agreed & a day was arranged.
I think it's fair to say that what took place was truly a unique moment. This was not a 'perfect' realisation of a score that had been rehearsed. This was not a seasoned performer with a vast experience of contemporary composition playing a piece they knew well. Instead what was captured was a young player truly exploring the idea for the piece. There was no detailed instruction to her in regards to overall duration or the space between the played sections. This, therefore, is a composition of a moment.
Of course, the very nature of field recording & one of it's charms, is that it is a gesture to capture an unpredictable environment. Given the rural nature of Nodar village some aspects of everyday village life were bound to make an appearance. It was another chance occurrence that at the time we were recording someone decided it was time to trim the overgrowth on their plot of land with one of the loudest machines invented for the purpose. As this sound went on & on my thoughts went from frustration to resignation - we were, after all, capturing an aspect of life as it was happening. In composing the final piece it would have been possible to leave this intervention of modern rural reality out. However doing so would have also removed a memorable part of the experience.
It is the emotive capture of this day, this moment that motivated the composition drawn from the recordings made that day & the decision to create this release.
my thanks to Joana for her openess, exploration & dedication to the essential qualities of the music (both performed & environmental) & to Luis & all at Binaural for their hospitality & commitment.



to order the cd version please see the first post on this website



from a review by Brian Olewnick / Just Outside:

An interesting take on the integration of field recording and traditional music....Here, clarinetist Joana Silva plays a composition by Henri Rabaud, "Solo de Concours", while walking through a rural landscape, dutifully followed by French and Costa recording her embedding therein. The clarinet doesn't appear until some 11 minutes in, but then occupies center stage, though Silva pauses often, allowing the landscape its say and drifts off into the distance on occasion.
....can imagine deriving enjoyment from the physicality of the experience, walking though glades, over streams, up hills, etc. while, in "3D", focusing on either the clarinet or the ambiance or both. I have to say the chain-saw encounter captures one's attention...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Julia Holter - 'celebration'




. eg.p06 - cd edition sold out

DIGITAL RE-RELEASE DOWNLOAD NOW AVAILABLE:


Julia Holter - 'celebration'

Bars in Afternoons
recorded in Paris, France, December 2008
and Los Angeles, CA 2009

La Celebración
recorded in Los Angeles, CA April 2010
and Orange County, CA July 2010

Harmony 17 (edit)
recorded at Union Station
Los Angeles, CA August 2009

(realisation of Michael Pisaro’s score)








review by Richard Pinnell / The Watchful Ear:


The CD I have been playing this evening, and on and off since the end of last week, is a new disc containing three pieces by Julia Holter on the Engraved Glass label as part of its .point engraved series. I don’t know very much about Holter, and google hasn’t revealed too much more to me, but that’s fine. if I was writing for The Wire here I would do the research, but as this is TWE then gut reactions and uninformed guesswork is de rigeur… Holter seems to play cello, but it would I think be fair to say that the majority of the sounds heard on this disc, which is titled Celebration involve field recordings at their heart. The first track, which is my favourite here, is named Bars in Afternoons, and as you might expect is made of recordings of said spaces, with the bars in particular here found in Paris and Los Angeles. The track begins with a clearly recorded wistful if bland piano gently floating around the sound of chattering voices and clanking cutlery and glasses. Whether all of these sounds were heard at once in the same room, or whether some layering of different recordings has taken place here its hard to tell, though certainly all of the voices are in french at this stage. A few minutes in, and Elton John’s dreadful I’m still standing can be heard, somewhat hazily, as if played on a slightly detuned radio. Then the sounds of the bar conversation are joined by the twittering of birds, and I am now sure that this is a collage of different recordings, though at the heart of it all remains the one recording from Paris. A little later, at almost the twelve minute mark, a pop song that sounds like a cross between ABBA and Nico appears, filling the foreground and staying there for several minutes while the chatter and bar sounds continue somewhere behind until the track end suddenly.
This opening track goes somewhere most field recordings don’t, though exactly where that is I am struggling to define. Holter is hiding nothing here, and is presenting just what she heard in these bars rather than focussing on the sounds we might expect (creaking doors, running taps etc) So she was in a bar when a song played, so that appears on the CD. The matter-of-factness of this piece, the documentary feeling, despite the potential amount of overdubbing done is really great. The appearance of the pop songs makes it feel very real, like something we have all experienced, and placing it here on a CD somehow makes us listen more carefully, studying the sounds, despite their seemingly everyday status. A refreshingly original piece.
The second track here, titled La Celebracion, recorded in LA and Orange County at different points earlier this year sits more comfortably in familiar field recordings territory. It opens with the dull roar of overpassing aircraft, the twitter of birds and some strange, far off sounds that could be music playing, or maybe the sound of a fairground. Despite the fact we have heard music made of these sounds before this piece is done very well indeed, with a grey haziness filling the early parts of this track that is really very beautiful. About five minutes in, some loud fireworks suddenly begin to explode in a series of loud, dull pops. Firework sounds are also far from original on this kind of release, but again they work well here, nicely chosen dramatic sounds offsetting the deadened backdrop we began with.
The closing track is a version of Harmony 17, taken from Michael Pisaro’s Harmony Series of compositions, and was originally available as a free download from the Compost and Height net label. Holter’s realisation sees her spend half an hour at Union Station, Los Angeles, late at night just before the station closed, as it apparently does every night, for just one minute. (Exactly why it does this is anyone’s guess) Holter plays cello in the station, very quietly and dry, mostly playing what must be the lowest notes possible on the instrument. She only begins playing after we have listened to the sounds of the heating and ventilation systems humming, and people’s low conversations caught in the long resonant tunnels of the space and amplified several times over. Regular readers here will be aware of my love of the sound of this kind of place, railway stations, airports, particularly in the early hours of the morning. This is a suitably beautiful recording of such a place, with as little or as much going on as you wish your ears to hear and your mind to focus upon. When the cello appears its almost a disappointment as it masks the ambient sounds slightly rather than blend into them. Amusingly, halfway through, during a space in her playing, someone approaches Holter to ask about what she is doing, sounding quite inspired by her playing rather than being upset by it. Now, in the UK, if someone sat making low droning sounds in a late night subway station they probably wouldn’t be treated so well.
While I really enjoy each of the last two tracks, it is the opening Bars in Afternoons that I am most take with here. Certainly though, while field recordings albums are ten a penny right now, and the overall quality of the genre seems to be flattening out a little, this is one disc I think stands out from the crowd, and like Anne Guthrie and Michael Pisaro’s releases on the .point engraved series from earlier this year it forms part of a nice series of discs that are testament to the taste and ear of the label’s curator, Mr riley French. Good stuff.
----------

review by Brian Olewnick / Just Outside:

Few things better than hearing exciting music from a name entirely new to me. Holter is (or was) a student of Michael Pisaro and, while one can easily detect his influence, the best work here entirely bears her own stamp.

The first of three pieces, and the strongest, is a wonderful composition called "Bars in Afternoons" which, indeed, mixes site recordings from bars in Paris and Los Angeles, presumably in the afternoon, with Holter's piano (I'm guessing), weaving through the beginning and her singing at the end. The casual, ambient conversation has a luscious clarity to it, perhaps due to it's being offset against a more distant speaker through which later on, among others things, wafts Elton John. The piano is in mid-distance, almost taking on the role of one in a cocktail bar, except playing music that sounds like highly abstracted Satie. These three dimensions, the talk, the piped in music and the piano, create a very rich atmosphere, absolutely immersive. There's a brief smattering of birds, including gulls and one or two other intrusions of displaced sound. Eventually, some 12 minutes into the 15-minute piece, we arrive at the final section wherein Holter, almost as though taking "stage" in one of the bars, breaks out in forthright, multi-tracked song, a lovely, wistful number pleading, "Don't make me over." Something of a Lynchian moment, it works beautifully. One of the single best things I've heard this year.

"La Celebración" almost sounds as though recorded some warm night by hanging a mic from a window, muted bass throbs emanating from a neighbor's house, birds, airplanes, a freeway some distance away. About five minutes in, this nocturnal calm is interrupted by what I guess are firecrackers, though the sound is rather muffled and, had I not had the title as a clue, I might have guessed it was, I don't know, someone punching a large cardboard box. Soon, however, the streamers and fireworks make themselves known with clarity, bursting all across the soundscape. Then, back to calm. A nice enough piece, though there's something fragmentary about it, at least when compared to the prior track.

Lastly, there's a realization of Pisaro's "Harmony 17", with Holter on cello amidst the sounds of Union Station in Los Angeles. I've not seen the score but from what transpires here, it might be that the instrumentalist is asked to play very quietly for the first portion of the piece, more prominently in the middle section and quiet again toward the end. You can just hear the bowed cello near the beginning (unless I'm mistaking some regional hum for it, which is quite possible given Pisaro's penchant for lengthy silences to begin a piece), blending in with the airy sound of the large room. At seven minutes, the low arco tones become overt, though again (deliciously) sounding as though they could have emerged from engine vibrations, then recedes again. The entire piece dips out briefly about midway through its 34-minutes, resurfacing with cello upfront, still carrying that low drone. A naive young man strolls over, interested in what's occurring, claiming to be a bassist yet not recognizing the instrument Holter's playing. "That's, like a violin, right? Whoa, no, a violin is super-small, right?" Love it. And the work continues, the cello either extremely soft or not playing, then once again emerging, etc. the sounds of the station a constant, that initial soft hum reappearing.

A fine release, very happy to have heard it.

review from 'the cookshop' (web):


I’m not one to usually philosophise about what does or does not constitute music. I would say that I uphold John Cage’s definition: “Everything is Music”, and perhaps more-so if it’s been released on a CD, LP, cassette, etc. I’m only bringing this upfront because Celebration was the first release in quite a while to make me outright wonder about what I’m hearing.
Most field recordings are used with either the intent to capture and introduce you to a certain environment or to make you really focus on, notice and enjoy sounds that you might have otherwise missed – yet ‘Bars in Afternoons’ simply doesn’t seem carry out these goals. Could someone have recorded something as a literally “stand-alone” piece – meaning that she or he (she, in this case) wouldn’t have wanted anyone to hear it? After all, Henry Darger spent his entire life writing two gargantuan novels, each containing a whole universe unto itself (hence successfully securing the first and second position, respectively, in the list of longest written works created) and painting hundreds of enormous paintings – borderline murals – without ever telling anyone of their existence. It seems like, as opposed to asking to be listened to, this piece desired nothing more than to simply exist. It wanted me to go outside and have my own afternoon in a bar and leave it alone. Then, suddenly, we hear Julia’s voice and a bona fide, “real” song slips into the foreground. Her voice vaguely reminds me that of Nico’s and she is companioned by a cello and guitar. A melody so incredibly fragile and so staggeringly beautiful, ending just as inexplicably as it began.
The second piece ‘La Celebración’ comes somewhat closer to the usual field-recording territory. It appears to consist of at least two recordings made at two very different locations: halfway in, one witnesses loud noises that may or not be the sounds of fireworks going off in order to celebrate something. The final and longest piece ‘Harmony 17’ is a realisation of one of Michael Pisaro’s scores, gathering sounds of the Union Station in LA. Before close to closing time accompanied by a cello which drones away at the lowest registers, almost as if trying to disappear completely from existence. The sound of a lonesome woman lost amongst the depressingly haunting beauty of the city’s everyday murmurings. (77ships)

Thursday, November 4, 2010



engraved glass is pleased to announce that issues two & three of 'tristesse engraved' - the free to download & view online arts zine - are now available at the links below.

issue two - the photographic slide issue # 1 click here

issue three - the expired film issue click here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Jez riley French - 'dawn chorus - north & south banks'

ltd edition taiyo yuden cdr mounted on art card

*limited edition release featuring recordings made along the banks of the river Humber in east yorkshire. The recordings were made for a durational performance as part of 'seeds & bridges' 2010 & the cd comes mounted on the art-card flyer for the event. For this release I have composed a 64 minute single piece using the unprocessed recordings - mostly recorded on the north bank near to Flaxfleet *





to order the cd version please see the first post on this website

Monday, September 13, 2010


engraved glass is pleased to announce issue one of a new free to download pdf arts edition:
tristesse engraved
featuring:
photographic response to Wandelweiser / Michael Pisaro on 'ascending' series score / David Velez - two photographs / by Amy Newton / Bridget Hayden - three works / treasure hiding pages / leaf explorer pages
to download click HERE
please spread the word about this if you can - & do consider getting involved

Monday, May 31, 2010





Isolde scores - barry chabala isolde2 (mp3)
Isolde scores - score 2 Jez riley French & Daniel Jones (mp3 extract)
*available now in very limited numbers*

various artists - 'the Isolde scores'

Michael Pisaro, Philip Thomas, Jez riley French & Daniel Jones, Anastasia Chrysanthakopoulou, Maile Colbert, Greg Stuart, Barry Chabala, Coastguard All stars*

*Coastguard All stars are: Philip Thomas, Martin Archer, Herve Perez, Steven Chase & Jez riley French

limited edition of 50 copies were printed, of which only a small handful will be available for sale - the rest being given to Isolde & the artists involved.

(engraved glass is a not for profit label with all proceeds going to fund future releases & 'seeds & bridges' events....)



SOLD OUT
Anastasia Chrysanthakopoulou also responded to the score by creating a hidden online resource that can be found here....




above: two visual interpretations by Sarah Hughes

below: the scores





review by Richard Pinnell from his excellent website 'the watchful ear':

Tonight I listened to a CDr that may or may not be still available, seeing as it was recently issued in an edition of just 50 copies, of which only “a small handful” were made available for sale. The disc is the latest release on Jez riley French’s lovingly crafted Engraved Glass label and is a full length CDr that contains eleven realisations by various artists of a series of four photographic scores by Mr French himself. A photographic score, in this case, consists of one or more photographs coupled with a few words, nothing more. An example, Isolde Score No.2 is shown below, the others can be viewed here. Before going on to discuss the music here I should mention that while I consider Jez riley French to be a very good musician, I often wonder if he might actually be an even better photographer, as his ability to find images of great beauty in the every day detail around us is extremely acute. These photographic scores in particular then are dedicated, and I think influenced by a friend of Jez’ named Isolde. he then sent the scores to a number of musicians to respond to them intuitively. The results are all quite different, and often very beautiful.

The first realisation is actually a duo piece recorded by riley French himself alongside Daniel Jones. I could be wrong, but I think this piece was recorded earlier this year in Brighton, the day after I had spent some time with both musicians in the town. Knowing the relaxed and pleasant mood of the musicians on that day, and the music they had made the night before, I can’t help but find reflections of these elements in this music, which I like a great deal. At more than eighteen minutes in length this piece is the longest on the disc. It moves from very quietly fizzing white noise into progressively more bulky abstract areas- feedback screeches, distressed metal sounds and other amplified pops and crackles come into play, all staying in generally muted areas, but with plenty going on only just under the surface. Its all improvised live rather than composed retrospectively, and a nice balance between restraint and aggression is struck as the music shifts between soft clouds of white noise and sudden thumps of electronic distortion. The piece ends with a series of jarring blasts as something rattles in the background and vibrating metal wails. Nice stuff.

There then follows four short pieces for solo electric guitar by Barry Chabala, each one responding in turn to one of the four Isolde Scores. These miniatures are quite different to the opening track, each a collection of smears of pastel coloured guitar formed into small clusters of partly blurred notes. They have a kind of late night, bluesy feel to them, but filtered through one effects pedal or another into a kind of slightly removed haze that reflects the visual impact of the scores’ photography nicely. There then follows the highlight of the disc for me, a response to the first score by the composer Michel Pisaro. The score in question presents three small images alongside a few words. So Pisaro’s piece is divided into three parts, each a heavy, hollow sounding grey rush, the identity of which I cannot ascertain, into which field recordings of birds can be heard, different each time. Each of the parts is separated by a silence, the first just a few seconds, the second maybe three times as long. That’s it, the entire track clocks in four and a half minutes but leaves a lasting impression through both its beauty and its simplicity.

The seventh track on the album is a playing of the second score and is credited to the Coastguard Allstars, who turn out to be the quintet of riley French, Martin Archer, Steven Chase, Philip Thomas and Herve Perez. their piece here is the closest to a traditional improv setting, a twelve minute purring, whistling and sometimes roaring sax, understated percussion, maybe a guitar? and I’m not sure what else, perhaps tapework or some type? It kind of meanders along a bit like a slowed down SME, without really grabbing me in any particular way. Perfectly OK improv, maybe no more than that. There then follows a nervous, tetchy piece by someone named Anastasia Chrysanthakopoulou that apparently responds to all four scores. There is that background swirl of hollow noise again, and odd clanks and buzzes come and go just under the top layers of the music, but much of what we hear resembles somebody scraping and rustling something around a contact microphone, so we hear sudden leaps of gritty sound and the boom of a small sensitive microphone knocked about. This piece is OK, if a little pedestrian in what it seems to attempt to do, and even at only seven and a half minutes in length it gets a bit boring quite quickly.

The Isolde Scores’ ninth track seems to be by Marie Colbert, another new new name to me, who responds to score no.2 with a track that is called, quite beautifully “her light dappled upon”This piece, vaguely of a brooding dark ambient nature blends what feels like heavy organ chords together with small scratchy snippets of human voice and a repeated creakily swaying sample of what might be backwards playing music. It all has quite a haunting, old school horror feel to it, a sense of analogue production values coupled with a vaguely sinister feel to the chosen sounds. Quite a nice piece if not in a style I would usually listen to often. There then comes a two minute response to all four scores by the percussionist Greg Stuart, who works here by multitracking tiny percussion sounds into a brief, highly detailed drone not entirely unlike a short fragment of his realisation of Pisaro’s A wave and waves score. Here the brevity seems to work against the music slightly, it seems to have gone before it begins, not really allowing us to sink into the layers of texture for long enough, but then I guess the photos in the scores only give us tiny glimpses of something bigger, so maybe Stuart’s piece is actually a very fitting response. The closing track, by philip thomas is (I think) played on a piano, but the thick, deep sinetones that dominate the music try and point elsewhere. Whether they were created in post production, or with some kind of live computer manipulation I don’t really know, but this sounds like more than just eBows placed on strings. Beyond these heavy tones there are rattles. rings and scrapes, some that sound like looping samples. I may have got this completely wrong and there may be no piano at work at all here, which would be disappointing as the music is quite affecting in its stark, almost confrontational simplicity and I’d like to think it was created, at least initially using acoustic means, but however it is made the track really gets into your head and bounces about inside as the incessant tone gets heavier and louder.

The Isolde Scores is a nice project that is quite different in its inception and execution and has created a good album with a few exceptional moments. If you are able to grab a copy I recommend that you do, and pretty quickly.


Monday, May 10, 2010



Jez riley French - instamatic # 6 - prague (mp3 extract) by JezrileyFrench


OUT NOW

Jez riley French - 'instamatic # 6 - prague'


egcd032

72 minute cdr on taiyo yuden disc / mounted on art card
limited edition of 100 copies

£8 UK / £10 rest of world

'earlier this year I visited prague again for a few days....the few days turned into a week due to volcanic ash closing the airspace over europe....I walked around prague sometimes recording, sometimes not....just walking & listening & looking - for my own pleasure....on the eventual long coach journey back to the UK I listened back to the recordings & found them to have captured 'something'....an evocative representation of the rich filigree of sounds that came & went on those walks....'




to order the cd version please see the first post on this website


extracts from a review by Richard Pinnell ('the watchful ear' website):


...the CDr that I have settled upon is the sixth in the Instamatic series released on riley French’s Engraved Glass label, a recent release that blends together field recordings he made while visiting Prague last year. The Instamatic series is based around this kind of travel recording, little snapshots of a place and time, a bit like leafing through a few pages of someone’s photo album....There is something that I always enjoy about this kind of site-specific field recording...Once the nature of the album was clear to me then I slipped right into the music, trying to understand where every sound came from, trying to identify where the joins sat from one set of sounds to the next, spotting the sound of approaching cars way off in the distance, listening to passing footsteps for as long as I could before they became subsumed in the next set of sounds to come along...The recording quality of this music, as with all of riley French’s work is excellent, and the disc comes attached to another oversized glossy card sporting one of Jez’ excellent photos. The real joy here is in the sounds though...if you enjoy a well made set of field recordings simply for what they are- a moment in time captured for later perusal then this CD is a really nice listen. If you are bored wherever you are, or like me sat at home after a dull day, its nice to be able to shut your eyes and find yourself somewhere else.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2 new releases: Michael Pisaro / Greg Stuart - 'July Mountain' & Anne Guthrie - 'standing sitting'


*sold out*

. Michael Pisaro / Greg Stuart - 'July mountain'

. point engraved edition eg.p05

. limited edition 3inch cdr mounted on art card
.


'July mountain' for Greg Stuart & Jez riley French:

---- Field recordings made by Michael Pisaro in the Santa Susanna and San Gabriel Mountains, Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita, Topanga, Val Verde, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, and Santa Monica, 2006-2009.
---- Percussion recorded by Greg Stuart in Columbia, South Carolina, 12/09-01/10.

.---- pdf download of the score can be found here

. this remarkable composition combining 20 mono field recordings & 84 percussion parts is a significant addition not only to Michael's catalogue of works but also to the deeply fascinating exploration of scoring for field recordings.

below is a photograph by Michael taken during one of the field recording trips & a photograph by Greg of the woodblock used during the recording of some of the percussion parts:










review from Richard Pinnell on 'the watchful ear' can be found here
extract: 'That the music that forms July Mountain is really very beautiful will be no surprise to anyone that has heard Pisaro’s compositions before....Fantastic work'
review from Brian Olewnick:
Not that it's so important, but I don't think I've ever experienced 21 minutes passing so quickly. The first several times I listened to "July Mountain", I was afraid there had been a disc defect and it had somehow skipped ahead; it felt as though about ten minutes had elapsed. That's only one amazing aspect of this recording. Another rather subsidiary one comes into play when one sees the score and realizes not only how densely packed and thought through this piece is but how it still manages to feel light and air-permeated. But these are sideline things next to, simply, how it sounds, which is extraordinary, mysterious, life-abundant. Twenty phased field recordings done in mountain or valley areas mix with ten percussion extracts (performed superbly by Greg Stuart) sourced from specific instrumental orientations covering an enormous range of timbre and pitch, all sequenced in a temporally exact manner (i.e., piano chord entering at 8:00). Again, as fascinating as it is to know this, the great joy is simply in lying back and letting "July Mountain" cascade over you. The sounds begin quietly with birds, wind, the low throb of an airplane engine, etc. and gradually mass into an onrush that remains strangely delicate for all its force. The piano, children's voices, sine tones, light metallic clatter and much more begin to funnel into an ever widening vortex that absolutely sucks you in while always providing oxygen. It's as if you're sitting on the mountain or in that valley having had your ears hyper-sensitized so they were picking up every sound within miles and, more, making a kind of sense of them, collating them into a semi-recognizable pattern. A great, great work, one I can easily see listening to for many years to come.
Jesse Goin has also written a very nice review which can be found here
also a nice write up by Yuko Zama can be found here

‘July Mountain’ in Tokyo


During my 2-week stay in Tokyo this May, I visited the Sound Cafe Dzumi in Kichijoji to see the owner and some of my music writer friends. The owner of the cafe was a former recording engineer and art film producer, and he has installed a great audio/speaker system there. This cafe is a nice gathering place for the Tokyo music community, where front-line music critics/writers and hard-core fans of experimental music (and also jazz fans) can get together. Occasionally, musicians like Otomo Yoshihide, Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama and Ami Yoshida present some small concerts here, too. Since the cafe owner and my writer friends were curious about Michael Pisaro's music after reading my writings online, I brought some of the Pisaro CDs and played 'July Mountain', 'A wave and waves' and 'voyelles' (from the side B of the cassette tape) on this incredible stereo.

Everyone in the audience at the cafe - including some regular customers who happened to be there - loved Pisaro’s music that I played, even though they were not normally contemporary classical music fans. We also listened to some other LP/CDs like some recent jazz, improvisation, old ECM stuff on customers' requests, but in the end before the cafe was closed, every one of them asked the owner to play ‘July Mountain’ again, since the music had captured their minds so deeply.

A few days later, one of the music writers who was there wrote a review of ‘July Mountain’ for a Japanese music website (Jazz Tokyo), so I translated it to English to put here with his permission.

I have the impression that there is something in Michael Pisaro’s music that seems to be naturally received among Japanese listeners, who are living ‘in’ the experiences of various textures of silences and the sounds of nature in their daily lives.

- Yuko Zama (5/29/10)

------------------------------------------------

Image

‘July Mountain’ for field recording & percussion / Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart (engraved glass p05) 2010

- Review by Masanori Tada

A limited release of 50 copies from a British contemporary classical music label. With a beautiful cover, I was told that this is a composition of percussion sounds and 20 field recordings, but the actual listening experience is something beyond the description.

I love to listen to the murmurs of the wind in the trees, the sound of rain, various sounds that occur when I ride a bicycle with my kids, while paying attentions to the perspective and the movement of each sound. This might be something similar to field recordings, but the difference between those sounds I hear and that music must lie in the composer's presence as an intermediary - who incorporates his clear aesthetics, thoughts and ideas into the materials of the recordings - prayerfully.

I saw Yuko Zama of the Erstwhile label again after ten years. When I heard her voice, I felt like I was time-tripped to ten years ago when I had a music talk with her for Out There magazine. I explained to her that my taste for music has changed after hearing Michel Doneda playing outdoor - towards the music that evokes in me environmental sounds like temple bells or the sounds of nature like murmurs of the wind in the trees - which are not really the sounds of nature but contain the similar feels and waves. I seldom listen to current improvised music these days. When I told her so, she said that a similar mindset can be found in some of composer Michael Pisaro's work. Then she played some music of Michael Pisaro at the Sound Cafe Dzumi in Kichijoji, so I had a chance to listen to his music for the first time.

This was like a sound drug - the customers who were there at the cafe including a young lady who loves noise music, a contemporary jazz fan, an artist, a recording engineer - all of them looked like they were straying away from their normal listening path to enter a new world. The cafe owner was so excited that he brought a LP of the Italian ambient music by Giancarlo Toniutti and said that he had a similar experience of discovering something completely new to him when he encountered this LP.

I cannot tell the exact differences of field recordings, noise music and ambient music in general, but I can tell that this "July Mountain" is definitely the most powerful music you can experience. You can read the more detailed story about Michael Pisaro in Yuko Zama's blog. It just feels great to listen to this CD. With the music, I can also hear the sounds of Cessna planes flying over the panoramic view of this residential neighborhood in the suburbs of Tokyo, the chirps of birds, and even the sound of the sun. If Michael Pisaro ever has a chance to visit Kyoto, I can imagine that he would make fantastic recordings of everything there - from the calm chatter of the Kamo River while sitting on the embankment, the sounds of the temple bells, the sounds of Gozan-no-Okuribi, to the sounds of a small restaurant in Kyoto.

Listening to this music carefully with my headphones is also a great experience. Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds really musical. The inserted piano sounds have even a little feeling of pop music. There are many works of ambient music in the world - that might be freer from the intermediacy of musicians. But this incredible sense of exaltation in the music of ‘July Mountain’ - that is almost enchanting - must derive from the unmatched artistic creativity of the composer Michael Pisaro, who has a splendid awareness in seeing the beauty of the world.

- Review from Radio Tagara on Jazz Tokyo by Masanori Tada (born in 1961: music writer/co-organizer of Japanese music website "musicircus")

http://www.jazztokyo.com/column/tagara/tagara-08.html

Anne Guthrie - 'standing sitting'



Anne Guthrie - TrainDCtoNYApril2008 (mp3 extract)

. point engraved edition eg.p04

. Limited edition full sized Taiyo Yuden cdr mounted on art card.

1) Beacon NY

2) Union station, Washington DC

3) Train from Washington DC to Penn station NYC

. 'standing sitting' presents 3 extended compositions for subtly treated field recordings of an art space, a train station & a train journey. Anne's work with field recordings shows a simple, yet richly evocative grasp of the nature of the spaces we inhabit & I am very pleased to be releasing these pieces on Anne's first solo edition.





to order the cd version please see the first post on this website

also available as a digital download:



review by Richard Pinnell (the watchful ear):The CDr is released on Jez riley French’s Engraved Glass label as part of the .point engraved series of short run releases. This one came out recently alongside a 3″ disc by Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart that is extremely good.
There are three tracks here, totaling more than forty-five minutes in length. Each of the tracks is made up from subtly treated field recordings, one each made at an art space in New York, Union Station in Washington DC and during a train journey from DC to New York. I’m not certain how the recordings have been treated, but the tracks that we hear all have that submerged, blurry feel to them, a grey coloured patina of haziness through which little details peak through. The first nine minute long piece, named Beacon, NY uses material gathered at the DIA arts space in Beacon NY. Much of what we hear on this piece feels like the resonant echoes through long corridors or big empty rooms, air con humming in the background, unidentifiable bangs and thuds somewhere in one of the far corners of the building, snippets of human conversation along the corridor and occasional footsteps on hard floors heard breaking through. Everything is soft, presented at low volume with the harsh edges seemingly rounded off. The treatment of the recordings seems to be just to push all of the sounds together into one aural space, giving us a grey mass of vague detail that suggests a mood and a place without ever clarifying anything fully.
The source sounds for the second piece, Union Station, Washington DC are obvious, and here Guthrie’s music reminds me most of the late night city, though clearly what we actually hear is a combination of roaring mechanical and industrial sounding engines, all muted slightly with the hustle and bustle of human activity in a busy, enclosed public space blended in throughout. Again nothing is crystal clear and what we have is a kind of impressionistic take on field recording presentation that almost sounds better if allowed to just exist gently in the room rather than studied up close. The final piece Train from Washington DC to Penn Station, NYC uses a similar technique, the sounds we hear vaguely reminiscent of train sounds, the experience of a long railway journey present in the music. Yet with the exception of a moment where onboard announcements break through with more clarity than usual, again the sounds hint at an overall sensation of place and time rather than referencing anything obviously.
Guthrie seems to play with mood here rather than dramatic structure or dynamic playfulness. There are none of the sudden cuts or momentary contrasts that seem to be commonplace in a lot of field recording arrangement these days. The shape and form of the music is mostly flat and seemingly dull, but the lovely power of this great music comes from the subtle suggestions that it exudes, feelings of inexplicable familiarity, sounds that tap into something we unconsciously think we have heard before, in my case the aural picture from a city centre hotel room, perhaps something different for others. As someone that finds the sound of large public spaces, railway stations, airport waiting lounges, art galleries to be thoroughly beautiful in themselves, the way Standing sitting reflects these situations really works for me anyway, capturing the essence of a space without pinning it down to any particular time. For me this is beautiful music, a modern day portrait of a set of very modern landscapes, reflecting the ugliness of busy 21st Century life in a hazy mirror that blurs the harshness of it all, pushing it just far enough out of reach. A really nice album.

review from Brian Olewnick:
As beautiful as Pisaro's release is, please don't ignore this lovely one from Anne Guthrie. I'd only known her work in association with musicians like Richard Kamerman and Billy Gomberg where she generally wields a french horn. Here we have three processed field recordings, one recorded in DIA Beacon, the other two from a train station and aboard a train. Not so dissimilarly from work Pisaro has done before, Guthrie interweaves sine tones (or something akin; I'm not quite sure) with the recordings, creating a dreamy between-world of the real and the shimmering. The DIA piece resonates with the kind of disembodied, space-molded voices and sounds one encounters in large interiors like those found in that converted factory, here underlain with hums that, in this case, recall the sound installation on DIA's rooftop by the late Max Neuhaus. The sine tones seem to have been applied intuitively, Guthrie allowing the field recordings to sit by themselves for a while, to establish a presence (very beautifully), then to be accompanied. It's difficult to describe why this works so well except to accede to the composer's ear and the choices she makes, but the impression, again, is of being hyper-aware, of a space and, too, picking up subliminal frequencies normally outside the range of hearing, these tones enhancing the overt sounds and imparting an air of wonder. Very impressive work.
from 'the wire' (july 2010 issue) review by Jim Haynes:
'An album of processed field recordings from specific locations, Standing sitting emphasises the sonic residues of architectural spaces. Filtered tones from the resonance of various pipes & conduits, the vibrations of electrical motors and the broad echo of cavernous halls all feature prominently in the sounds that Anne Guthrie chooses to work into composition. Many of the edges of her sounds have been blurred and smoothed, offering a soft focus quality, in particular to those sounds culled from the DIA centre in Beacon, NYC. Like the DIA centre, Guthrie's other subjects touch on the grandeur of massive architectural forms - Penn Station in NYC and Union Station in Washington DC. She's wise in her slow pace and deliberate injunctions of environmental hiss and subharmonic rattlings, which are only occasionally punctuated by a human presence. Certainly, on the strength of this recording, Guthrie's a composer to watch for in the near future'