We’re previewing this album as I type for a blog review (and a post-release mix project). The dedication to Harold Budd is very apropos, given the delicate, sparse & beautiful piano & electronica being worked with on this new release . . . ___________________________________________________________________ Time and duration are core themes in the work of both William Basinski and Janek Schaefer, and this long-distance collaboration took a suitably long gestation of eight years from start to finish. In that time, our collective perception of time has at times become disorienting. “ . . . on reflection ” remodels that instability as an exquisite work of art – one that is unmoored by time or space.
Limitation breeds creativity, revealed as an expression of minimalism and close focus. Deploying a delicate piano passage from their collective archive, Basinski and Schaefer weave and reweave in numerous ways, forging an iridescent flurry of flickering melodies. The sounds of various birds heard from late night windows on tour can occasionally be heard throughout, ricocheting off mirrored facades, reflecting on themselves as they continually reshape their own environments with song.
“ . . . on reflection ” looks backwards, a bustling revelry of positive emotions heard through the aging mirrors of memory. It is a celebratory meditation where sound shimmers through time like the light of the sea’s waves glistening as it folds and unfolds upon itself.
Created 2014-2022 between L.A. & London. Mixed at Narnia, Walton-on-Thames.
Hania Rani announces ‘Music for Film and Theatre’ a personal selection of recent compositions for film, theatre and other projects.
Writing music for film and theatre has always been a big part of Hania Rani’s musical world. It is also a part of the creative process that can be tantalisingly out of reach for listeners, either the project doesn’t come to fruition or the music simply isn’t available away from the film or play. From early collaborations with friends, to last year’s two scores for full length films (xAbo: Father Boniecki directed by Aleksandra Potoczek and I Never Cry directed by Piotr Domalewski‘) Rani has been involved in many such projects, each representing an important step in her artistic development and life as a composer and artist:
“Composing for motion picture or theatre is for me a very different kind of work than writing for my own projects. Firstly, I need to collaborate with somebody else who sees the world through the lense of their own art and craft. That’s why these kinds of encounters can be so exciting – they are a promise of creating something very new, as a result of creative work of so many people from all walks of life. Secondly, I feel that music in film is an invisible character, a missing emotion that creates a special atmosphere and sensation. It doesn’t illustrate, it completes the work of art. I think it is an extremely sensitive matter that rejects banal associations and easy solutions. I feel like composing for film works like an exercise for my imagination.”
It is the nature of these collaborations though, that sometimes the composers own preferred compositions don’t make the final cut. This is where Music for Film and Theatre comes in as it allows Rani to present a selection of her own personal favourite pieces composed for film and plays. Pieces that made it to the final cut and pieces that were rejected by the director or the producer. Bringing the music together as an album offers a chance for Rani to share her music with her listeners on her own terms and a chance for her fans to hear a different side of her art.
“I put them in one place, as a collection of precious objects that were kept for years in a drawer. Some of them were composed a couple years ago, some are the result of recent research. I am very happy to finally be able to present them as a separate project.”
Rani is of course grateful to all of the directors who have entrusted her to create music for their projects, but she professes especially warm feelings for the pieces composed for her first ‘real’ theatre play, Pradziady, directed by Michał Zdunik. The title comes from ‘Dziady’ a term in Slavic folklore for the spirits of the ancestors and a collection of pre-Christian rites, rituals and customs that were dedicated to them. The essence of these rituals was the ‘communion of the living with the dead’, namely, the establishment of relationships with the souls of the ancestors. “I felt this story needed extremely dark and fragile music, and at the same time a sound that could express the mixture of the two worlds – the living and the dead. I decided to compose part of the soundtrack with a string quartet but including two cellos, viola and only one violin. We recorded in a little house, completely built from wood, mostly from Finnish pine. I always felt this space has a very special, warm and natural acoustics – especially when it is combined with string instruments. The track composed for this theatre play is called Ghosts but actually didn’t finally make it to the performance, although I like it so much that I thought it would perfectly fit
this compilation”. Other highlights include the enchanting Soleil Pâle written for a collaboration with director Neels Castillon, and improvising dancers Alt Take, the beautiful melancholy of In Between (from the film score for xAbo: Father Boniecki) and the magical bliss of The Beach (from I Never Cry) and together they create a beautiful offering from an artist whose every note is worth hearing, but for whom the journey is just beginning:
“I am very happy to see that many artists consider my music as the right soundtrack for their works, because film music was always a huge inspiration for any of my compositions. I find there a lot of life and real emotions, but also a feeling of freedom. Freedom from my own thinking patterns and prejudices. I also believe strongly in collaboration between people, I always feel this is the way to create something really new, based on a mixture of different ways of thinking, feeling, expressing.”
This then is Hania Rani, Music for Film and Theatre – enjoy!
Artwork by Łukasz Pałczyński Design and layout by Adam Heron
A new set of Frippertronics from 1981 will be released in CD/DVD and 2LP format in April 2022. These live Frippertronics performances have been taken from recordings in New York City between July and August 1981 and have been mixed and produced by David Singleton from audio painstakingly restored by Alex R Mundy.
The set is regarded as the finest example of Frippertronics in performance. The DVD features the material in 24/48 hi-res stereo and DTS-HD Surround Sound (Quad 4.1). The 2LP edition is on 200gram vinyl and has been cut by Jason Mitchel at LOUD Mastering.
This is the Frippertronics album that should have come out in 1982. The forty years that have passed have done nothing to diminish the power of the music. The material appears on both discs with the DVD offering the audio in hi-res stereo and DTS Surround Sound, the nature of the loops lending themselves ideally to this method of production
The series of Frippertronic concerts were held in aid of a Soho-based theatre group and they find the guitarist using his technique of slowly building the music from the ground up, step by step. It’s an approach which demonstrates how the addition or subtraction of a single note can change the entire mood of a piece as we move in the space of a few bars from an atmosphere of pensive anticipation to one of yearning hope.
In an interview with the Melody Maker published just weeks before these concerts, Fripp was asked why he continuing to perform Frippertronic concerts. “It gives me a way of working with intimate contact with members of an audience…It’s almost an excuse to put me in a situation where one has the audience, performer and music, and in a certain kind of way something remarkable can happen. And that has happened to me, and it’s not possible in a group…Frippertronics is the most enjoyable means of playing I’ve ever found.”
The Washington Square Church performances represent some of the finest recorded examples of the Frippertronics series. Unlike other such recordings where the loops are on tape in the DGM archive but the solos require painstaking matching of existing audience recordings and bootlegs to those loops to complete the picture, the solos for these shows were actually recorded but not labelled as to which solos matched which loops. The matched pairs only became possible when DGM audio engineer Alex R. Mundy realised that the loops had been picked up, at microscopic audio levels, by the guitar pick-ups playing the solos, allowing for identification. David Singleton was then able to mix and produce the resulting audio.
The music played more than rewards such efforts as, culled from the shows, (more complete versions appear on the “Exposures” boxed set), Fripp appears to explore every sonic avenue available to him as a guitar player – mesmerising loops, overlaid with beautiful solos, fast running ‘Frame by Frame’ style lines against a looped background, powerful ‘Scary Monsters’ type guitar noises and more besides.
1. WASHINGTON SQUARE I 2. WASHINGTON SQUARE II 3. WASHINGTON SQUARE III 4. WASHINGTON SQUARE IV 5. WASHINGTON SQUARE V 6. WASHINGTON SQUARE VI 7. WASHINGTON SQUARE VII 8. WASHINGTON SQUARE VIII 9. WASHINGTON SQUARE IX 10. WASHINGTON SQUARE X 11. WASHINGTON SQUARE XI
After completing the first round of concerts with a revived King Crimson starting in May 1981, Fripp headed over to the USA where he began a week-long residency at Washington Square United Methodist Church on 135 W Fourth Street in New York. Built in 1860, the church had historically been home to many congregations but in more recent years had become the venue for numerous cultural & arts organisations.
German pianist and composer Hauschka returns to Sonic Pieces with music for the experimental film Upstream. Together with filmmaker Rob Petit and acclaimed writer Robert Macfarlane he has created a slow-moving dream-flight into wildness and winter through an eerie, hypnotic soundtrack of the Scottish highlands.
The film, which is shot entirely from the air, follows the course of the River Dee in Scotland all the way to its source in the Cairngorm mountains, the highest of any river in Britain. The soundtrack to the film, seen here, is without doubt Hauschka´s most brooding, deep work and we find him in a much darker mood in contrast to his Oscar-nominated works for Hollywood films. The variation of cello, prepared piano, poems, sound effects and occasional synth create a ghostly sound as if a shadow was slowly moving through the Scottish winter. One can hear a faint echo of David Darling´s Dark Wood era in the empty, dark beauty of the bow – performed by Insa Schirmer. Hauschka sheds his more rhythmic, entertaining side to reveal something new. Together with Petit & Macfarlane he embraces the comfort and force of nature to truly mesmerising effect.
The last and shortest piece of the album Uisge dhè as well as the digital bonus track Here the Heart Fills include prose poems written by Robert Macfarlane voiced in Gaelic and English by Niall Gordàn & Julie Fowlis. The naked words spoken over haunting sound recordings of the River Dee and its source, create a mystical atmosphere heightened only by sparse cello passages. A strange, beautiful and captivating album that stands alone as a truly transportive piece of work: close your eyes and travel… Upstream.
f r O s t | experimental ambient/phonography/ambient/noise | 79:21
Looking @ the local weather, there’s not much more time left to post this themed project (snow & frost are lining my driveway & yard, with temps rising to the 50’s & 60’s this week).
This mix originally appeared under the title ‘Arctika’ in 2008 on Art of the Mix. The song sequence was strategically reordered & tweaked with five different tracks swapped out; and mixed via Audacity rather than the very limited Roxio; (rendering digital comparisons, audits & overall assessments null & void). ;- )
Listen via Mixcloud
01 Anne Guthrie – Conservatoire, pt 2 02 Brian Eno & Joanna MacGregor – Lachrrymae 03 Harold Budd & John Foxx – Underwater Flowers 04 Steve Roach & Loren Nerell – A Cavity of Liquids 05 Steve Brand – The Language of Moon & Tides (excerpt) 06 SCKE – Airplane 1981 07 Off the Sky – Beneath the Ice Shelf 08 The Winterhouse – Gathering Autumn Frost 09 Saul Stokes – Zo Pilots (excerpt) 10 Christopher Bissonnette – Downwards 11 Nikita Golyshev – Excan003, pt. 2 (chilly excerpt) 12 Droneforest – Cupressant
With Ousia, Joachim Spieth presents the third long player on his label Affin. The follow-up album to “Tides” creates imaginary spaces, translates ephemeral impressions and condenses them into cinematic soundscapes. The eight pieces illustrate an intense and emotional journey that creates expressive relationships between external and internal perceptions.
In addition, the piece “Mutuus” reveals an enchanting and so far unique collaboration between Markus Guentner and Joachim Spieth, after the two musically shaped Wolfgang Voigt’s first release of the compilation series “Pop Ambient” more than 20 years ago.
The album will be available as a double 12 ”, a limited vinyl version including a printed booklet and digital formats.
Natural Serenity is the debut album from Russian artist Tatyana Maslova, produced over the past 2 years while studying sound design. Darker ambience and soft beats pair with crisp textures and field recordings for a deep album that evokes the power and beauty of nature.