FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Fractured Air 34: In This Place (A Mixtape by We Like We)

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Copenhagen-based quartet We Like We comprise the gifted talents of Katrine Grarup Elbo (violin) Josefine Opsahl (cello) Sara Nigard Rosendal (percussion) and Katinka Fogh Vindelev (voice). All four members are classically trained, but each share a desire for exploring, experimenting and shaping a unique sound of their own, as reflected in their diverse musical influences. The group’s first live performance took place at FROST festival in Copenhagen in February 2013: a unique double-bill concert with Efterklang. We Like We have collaborated with an array of musicians and projects in the past: Efterklang; Julia Holter; Mew; Sofia Gubaidulina; The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few. We Like We’s debut album ‘A New Age of Sensibility’ is available now on The Being Music.

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Fractured Air 34: In This Place (A Mixtape by We Like We)

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/fractured-air-34-in-this-place-a-mixtape-by-we-like-we/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Gustav Mahler ‘Symphony #5, 4th Movement, Adagietto, Sehr Langsam (with The Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle) [EMI Classics]
02. Jordi Savall ‘Ductia’ [Astrée Auvidis]
03. Ligeti György ‘Hungarian Rock’, Barrel organ performed by Pierre Charial [Sony Classical]
04. Joni Mitchell ‘The Last Time I Saw Richard’ [Reprise]
05. Martin Lohse ‘In Liquid’ 1. movement [Dacapo]
06. Feist ‘The Bad in Each Other’ [Arts & Crafts]
07. Marius Neset ‘Birds’ [The ACT Company]
08. Dmitri Shostakovich ‘Song of Ophelia’ from Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok Op. 127
09. Stravinsky ‘Concertino for String Quartet’ [Sony Classical]
10. Per Nørgård ‘The Gentle, The Penetrating’ from I Ching [BIS]
11. Julia Holter ‘City Appearing’ [Domino]
12. Hans Abrahamsen ‘Schnee, Canon 2a: ‘Lustig spielend, aber nicht zu lustig, immer ein bisschen melankolisch’ [Winter & Winter]
13. Quadron ‘Jeans’ [Plug Research]
14. Leonard Cohen ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ [Columbia]
15. Maurice Ravel ‘La Valse’ [Columbia Masterworks]
16. Tenniscoats ‘End Of The Day, Slight Hunger’ [Room40]
17. Maria Callas ‘Tu Che Di Gel Sei Cinta’ (Turandot) [EMI, Columbia]
18. Franz Schubert ‘String Quintet in C Major’ D. 956, 2nd Movement, Adagio [Deutsche Grammophon]
19. Kuku Sebsebe ‘Feqreh Beretabenye’
20. Tys Tys ‘In This Place’ [Loretta Records]
21. Isao Tomita ‘Clair De Lune No. 3’ [RCA]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

 


 

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‘A New Age of Sensibility’ is out now on The Being Music.

http://welikewe.com/
http://thebeingmusic.bandcamp.com/

 

 

Written by admin

March 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Chosen One: Carlos Cipa

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Interview with Carlos Cipa.

“The examination of musical form, harmony or mostly rhythm is an ongoing stimulation for my thinking about writing music and expressing yourself through music.”

—Carlos Cipa

Words: Mark Carry

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Last November marked the highly anticipated sophomore full-length release from the gifted Munich-based composer and multi-instrumentalist, Carlos Cipa. ‘All Your Life You Walk’ is a collection of stunningly beautiful piano-based compositions; representing an artist at the height of his powers. The latest offering – and follow-up to Cipa’s mesmerising debut ‘The Monarch and the Viceroy’ (both albums released on the prestigious German-based Denovali imprint) – features an array of rare instruments, found sounds, atmospheric touches and gentle beats that evokes an utterly timeless and deeply affecting experience.

Over the last two years, the German composer amassed a treasure of musical instruments that were no longer in use: a very rare instrument built by Hohner in the 1960’s, primarily played by musicians like Warren Ellis, Leo Abraham and Mum; an old radio receiver that belonged to Cipa’s grandparents (serving the magical opening tones of ‘All Your Life You Walk’); an old Framus bass guitar from the 60’s among several others. Above all, the Cipa’s deft touch of hand and resolutely unique sounds generated from the piano instrument becomes the vital pulse to the record’s rich sonic tapestry. A series of fragments are wonderfully embedded in the album’s striking narrative that further adds to the ethereal dimension the music effortlessly taps into. The album was self-recorded, performed and produced by the German composer in his very own “Beatschappen Studio.”

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‘All Your Life You Walk’ is available now on Denovali.

http://www.carloscipa.com/
http://denovali.com/

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Interview with Carlos Cipa.

Congratulations Carlos on the incredible new album, ‘All Your Life You Walk’. It’s a real pleasure to talk to you again and discuss this very special record. Firstly, I love how the musical compositions are deeply embedded in this entirely other space and dimension. For example, the inclusion of several fragment pieces – dotted throughout the record – adds to this sense of journey and how ‘All Your Life You Walk’ is a captivating and cohesive whole. Please discuss the making of this new record, Carlos and please shed some light on the album-title and the ideas you wanted to explore on ‘All Your Life You Walk’?

Carlos Cipa: Thanks a lot for all your interest in my work and these kind words, it’s a pleasure to speak with you again and talk about my new album with you. I’ve been working on the compositions, musical ideas and the whole concept of “All Your Life You Walk” over the last two years but the main part of the work has been done in the summer from June to September (2014). First, I finished composing all the piano parts and piano solo songs and then recorded everything on piano only. After that I continued working on writing and recording the fragments and the different colours I wanted to add to the certain songs. Every sound and instrument is carefully chosen. It’s just the exact amount of instrumental facets I wanted to add to the songs.

The title is a reference to a favourite poem of mine by Kurt Tucholsky called “Augen in der Großstadt” (engl. “Eyes in the Big City”). One of the lines has been translated in English; also all the song titles are references to different things that inspire me, films, song lyrics, poems, etc.

My current favourite is the sublime ‘Hang On To Your Lights’, I particularly love the rhythmic and percussive elements to your piano playing. Are there certain techniques or processes you have expanded on this record? In terms of writing, I wonder is a piece like ‘Hang On To Your Lights’ quite a gradual unfolding before the music is given its wings, and in full-bloom, so to speak?

CC: That’s great, it might also be my favourite. For this piece I really took long time to develop the composition. I worked strictly with scores for the piano part, so everything was written down before recording. The pattern in the right hand is developing throughout the whole piece, but the bar is always changing so you never get a feeling of rest (the piece has nearly 80 bar changes and several different tempi). The rhythmic elements are sounds from the inside of the piano; I created the beat with felt beaters on the cast iron frame and then processed it a bit with the computer. The drone/ambient sounds are piano strings plucked, bowed, picked recorded and cut, processed and layered in the computer. For a piece of that length, that’s based on a little loop pattern, I believe it’s really important to be absolutely precise with every bar in the piece and to create a million little details so it never gets boring and you’re always able to explore something new in every second of the piece.

You collected a wide array of fabulous instruments that have found their way on ‘All Your Life You Walk’, further heightening the deeply personal sound of the creations. I would love for you to discuss these instruments and the beautiful stories that are behind each and every one of these special instruments. For example, are the first notes heard on the album the sound of the radio receiver belonging to your grandparents? Also, the very rare instrument built by Hohner in the 60’s must have been a miracle of a discovery for you?

CC: I’d love to talk you through them. Let’s start with the “Hohner Guitaret”; it’s been built in the 60’s only for a very short period of time. It was meant for use in a Jazz combo but never really found its place there. It’s a “kalimba-phone” instrument but with electroacoustic pick-ups, so it can be used similar to a guitar, but has a totally different, very unique sound. You can hear it on tracks 3, 4, 9 and 11. I processed it with a variety of effects.

Then there’s the “Marimba” (heard on songs 3, 4, 5, 9, 11), it belonged to a childhood friend, and he stopped playing at a certain age and the instrument was getting all dusty in their attic until I asked him if can use it for recording and now it has it’s own space in my studio. The same goes for the “Hackbrett” (heard at the beginning and throughout song 11) but this was actually the instrument of his brother, another childhood friend of mine.

The radio receiver is as you say the beginning and ending of the album. I’ve the great luck to live and work in the house my grandparents built by them in the 50s after the war and I wanted to make a connection to them and to the space. This radio receiver was in their possession for a very long time and even if it doesn’t sound “perfect”, I am very happy that it has found its way on the record. The E-bass (also on tracks 3,4,9 and 11) is a very rare jazz bass built by Framus in the 60s, I discovered in a vintage music store here in Munich. I just love the wooden sound and how it melts with the piano and all the other instruments.

Then there are a variety of percussion instruments I collected over the years, a glockenspiel, a sansula, an ocean harp and some African instruments. I also added a second piano sound to my music; it’s coming from an upright piano, played with the felt pedal. I bought this beautiful instrument from an old lady who stopped playing and I really love how the mellow sound melts with my grand piano. All other sounds are piano inside sounds, plucked strings, bowed strings, e-bowed strings, muted notes, harmonics, layered and processed in the computer.

I would love to gain an insight please onto the space of your very own “Beatschuppen Studio”? What is the set-up in the studio itself, Carlos?

CC: As said before, I am living and working in the house of my grandparents, it’s an old house from the 50s and I built my little studio in the basement over the last few years. I work in two rooms and my grand piano is upstairs in the living room, so most of the time recording means running up and down stairs… it keeps you fit, though. At the moment I am working with RME interfaces and pre-amps and mostly Neumann microphones, I prefer to keep it simple and this setup is working out just fine for the moment.

I can also shed some light on the name of the studio; one of the basement rooms was the child room of my mother when she was growing up in this house and she used to be a big fan of the Beatles (like me) and so she used to call her room like that (in English kind of like “beat music shed”). I thought it’s a funny name for a studio.

I love the cinematic feel that permeates the cathartic ‘Step Out From Time’. Can you talk me through this piece of music please?

CC: I think you get this feeling because this piece might be the one that has the least solo-piano feel to it. This might originate mostly in the instrumentation/production. I divided left and right hand into two different instruments (the right hand plays the melody on the clear and brilliant grand piano, the left hand plays accompanying figures on the mellow and soft felt muted upright). All the other sounds (bowed Hackbrett, Guitaret, bass guitar, marimba) are interwoven with both these piano elements to create a levitating atmosphere around it. The whole piece is based on the little fifth-based melody that spins around throughout the whole piece, until the piece finds rest in those choral-like upright chords in the end. In November, I rearranged the piece for a dance performance for a little ensemble, piano, flute, violin and cello and it worked out really great. I hope I can upload a proper recording in the near future.

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You are currently studying contemporary classical composition. I would love to know more about this area of study and indeed what contemporary classical compositions have served (and continue to serve) the biggest influence on you? You are involved in every aspect of the music-making process, from recording to producing; I wonder do you see these various stages as same thing?

CC: Even though I am studying classical composition at the moment, I think my work for the records is something totally different. To include the aspect of recording and producing (which means I indeed totally equate these two things with the process of composing, which opens yourself doors that otherwise would be shut), the aspect of sound in the compositions (and also even the aspect of writing music for an audience), means distancing yourself from existing methods in the contemporary classical scene. Also, of course, my musical language draws equally from popular music and classical music, which also separates me from that particular scene.

But despite that, I learned so much from contemporary music, not only from the usual suspects (like Reich or the minimalists) but also from a lot of other totally different composers. The examination of musical form, harmony or mostly rhythm is an ongoing stimulation for my thinking about writing music and expressing yourself through music. I included most of these recent influences in the mixtape I compiled for your site a while ago. Of course all those wonderful composers wrote a hell lot more amazing pieces that are equally worth checking out. Contemporary classical music is a very difficult field of music to get into, especially in Germany, but once you start discovering some of the rare diamonds, you are able to comb through the jungle of terrible stuff that seems to be everywhere you look.

You must be very excited to play shows across Europe this December. Forgive the generalization (in advance) but discuss the magical moments and emotions that you, as a composer must experience when performing these piano compositions live to an audience?

CC: The tour has been amazing. It’s always great to be on the road with my fellow label friend Poppy Ackroyd, but this tour was even more fun then before. I am very happy with my live set at the moment, playing the new pieces is really special and I got great responses from all the audiences about the concerts and the new album. I am also doing a little more improvisation than before, which makes it also more interesting and joy for me to play, because you never know what will happen and you get a chance to explore the different pianos and the different responses from audiences every night in a better way than if you’re just performing the songs. That’s something I really love about touring.

What records have you been enjoying the most these past few months, Carlos?

CC: The new Björk album. I can’t wait for the vinyl. This album is just so beautiful and amazing, I can’t stop listening and loving it. From the wonderful production to the amazing string arrangements, of course her always fascinating voice and the incredible beautiful and challenging songs/compositions. It’s just perfect.

Brian Reitzell’s score for TV series “Hannibal”, very recently released on vinyl. I adored the score in the series, but this collection for the records is even more rewarding!!

Alfred Schnittke – Concerto grosso No. I, a wonderful piece by one of the best composers of the 20th century. Even if it is a famous piece, it’s still totally underrated in contemporary classical music.

 


 

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‘All Your Life You Walk’ is available now on Denovali.

http://www.carloscipa.com/
http://denovali.com/

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Written by markcarry

March 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Mixtape: So Etched In Memory

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So Etched In Memory [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/so-etched-in-memory-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Adrian Crowley ‘The Wild Boar’ (excerpt) [Chemikal Underground]
02. Benoît Pioulard ‘So Etched In Memory’ [Kranky]
03. Sam Prekop ‘Invisible’ [Thrill Jockey]
04. The Declining Winter ‘The Declining Winter and the Narrow World’ [Monopsone]
05. Katie Kim ‘Wicked Game’ [Bandcamp]
06. Low ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’ [Chairkickers’ Music, Rough Trade]
07. Julianna Barwick ‘The Harbinger’ [Dead Oceans]
08. Bing & Ruth ‘TWTGA’ [RVNG Intl]
09. The White Stripes ‘This Protector’ [Sympathy For The Record Industry]
10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra ‘Multi-Love’ [Jagjaguwar]
11. Jib Kidder ‘World of Machines’ [Domino]
12. Panda Bear ‘Boys Latin’ [Domino]
13. Little Sister ‘Somebody’s Watching You’ [Light In The Attic]
14. The Band ‘Up On Cripple Creek’ [Capitol]
15. Bixy Guidry & Percy Babineaux ‘The Waltz Of The Long Wood’ [Tompkins Square]
16. Kenny Knight ‘All My Memories’ [Paradise Of Bachelors]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

To follow Fractured Air you can do so on Facebook HERE, or Twitter HERE.
http://fracturedair.com

 

Central And Remote: Seán Mac Erlaine

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 Interview with Seán Mac Erlaine.

“The aim was (and is) to develop a responsive electronic world which matches somehow the sound and approach I had developed with saxophones and clarinets.”

—Seán MacErlaine

Words: Mark Carry, Artwork: Craig Carry

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Seán Mac Erlaine is a Dublin-based woodwind instrumentalist, composer and music producer, recognized as one of Ireland’s most forward-thinking creative musicians. Mac Erlaine’s works intersects folk, free improvisation, jazz and traditional music. He also collaborates with a range of non-musical artists particularly in theatre and radio.

An accomplished saxophonist and clarinetist, Mac Erlaine holds a PhD in music (practice-led research around customised live electronics in solo woodwind performance), a first degree honours Masters of Music (Jazz Performance) and a Diploma in Jazz Performance awarded by The Guildhall School of Music, London.

Mac Erlaine has collaborated with a hugely diverse range of musicians and artists reflecting his own versatility and interest in cross-platform work. He has performed with leading musical figures including Bill Frisell, David Toop, The Smith Quartet, Hayden Chisholm, Lisa Hannigan, Frank Gratkowski, Ronan Guilfoyle, Iarla O’Lionaird, Damo Suzuki and many more. He has also performed as a special guest with Detroit techno legends Underground Resistance and The Gloaming.

One of the pinnacles of the Irish composer’s work are the two utterly compelling solo works already under his belt: the mesmerising 2012 debut full-length ‘Long After The Music Is Gone’ (recorded entirely in a small room in Leitrim) and last year’s eagerly awaited follow-up ‘A Slender Song’, consisting of live recordings of improvised performances around Ireland over a four-year period. The illuminating live performances took place across the length and breadth of the country (in turn somehow reflecting the Irish landscape and its unfathomable beauty) encompassing Cork, Dingle, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Meath, Mitchelstown, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow. Both records are available on the innovative Dublin-based independent label, Ergodos.

The near-mythical Irish/Swedish quartet of This is How we Fly is a contemporary folk band with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh – fiddle & hardanger fiddle, Seán Mac Erlaine – clarinets & live electronics, Nic Gareiss – percussive dance, and Petter Berndalen – drums and percussion. Their music sees Swedish folk music rhythms meet the texture of traditional Irish fiddle, percussive dance from America & improvised jazz and electronics. The band’s self-titled debut is a timeless gem: a distillation of contemporary music’s infinite possibilities as an emotion-filled mystical world is unleashed with each timbre and tone of incomprehensible sound cast by these four gifted musicians.

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‘A Slender Song’ is available now on Ergodos.

http://www.seanmacerlaine.com/
https://ergodos.ie/

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Interview with Seán MacErlaine.

It’s a pleasure to ask you some questions about your otherworldly musical compositions. Firstly, congratulations on the stunning new album, ‘A Slender Song’; it’s a work of tender beauty. This record is a collection of live recordings of improvised performances around Ireland over a four-year period, which in many ways offers a snapshot into various moments in time; reflections on life and indeed, the landscape and trajectory of the Irish landscape. Please take me back to these live performances and the art of improvisation?

Seán Mac Erlaine: Thanks so much for asking, listening and the kind words. I started playing live solo shows around 2006/2007 but in 2010 my approach and tools changed fairly radically as I packed up my dozens of hardware pedals and acres of cables (it just got too heavy for the bicycle!) and started developing and using customised software and a computer alongside my woodwinds. This coincided with quite an increase in solo performances mainly in Ireland, and pretty much all over Ireland, and happy to say, mostly in really interesting spaces for people who (gave the impression) were listening! And being in a space with people is pretty much key to the improvisation thing for me. I’m doing my best to respond to the place and generate some form of exchange with an audience. It seems that to create new music afresh with no predetermined plan is an honest way of attempting that. I guess if you meet a friend for a chat you don’t want either party to really know what going to be said beforehand, to my mind that gets stale very quickly.

I was very interested to read that you see ‘A Slender Song’ as a sister album to your debut solo record, ‘Long After The Music Is Gone’. How has the process changed or technique altered since recording the debut record, Sean? The compelling sound of the woodwind instrumentation in addition to the innovative live electronics conjures up such a timeless and enchanting sound. I can imagine there is a close dialogue and sort of symbiosis existing between the acoustic and electronic worlds of sound for you?

SM: The first record was made in private, in a room in one location, Leitrim. In many ways in was about that location and drilling down into some ideas around that. While it’s full of improvisation there was also much deliberation and reworking and attempting to create a coherent piece of work. There was a lot of learning about the sound world I was presenting. With ‘A Slender Song‘ it was a case of playing with all I had learnt from the first record and bringing it to audiences in different parts of the country and really seeing if I could create new music from scratch every night from a type of solo woodwinds and electronics language I had worked on.

Since I started working with computers, this new set-up allows me to work with live electronics in a much more nuanced way than the guitar stomp boxes I had been using. The aim was (and is) to develop a responsive electronic world which matches somehow the sound and approach I had developed with saxophones and clarinets. I spent the years since then working with this new system (built-in Max/MSP) so that I can improvise with it like an instrumentalist would. Everything you hear comes first from the instrument – there’s no external sampling or prepared sounds, I think this helps bridge a gap between the organic and electronic.

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Please take me back to your earliest musical memories? At what age did you begin playing clarinet and saxophone instruments?

SM: My predominant memories of really getting into music are through radio. Back in the day (!), Dublin’s pirate stations played many hours of 1960s chart music which I listened to for hours on end. I was playing piano back then and refusing to do the exams and buying the big book of The Doors arranged for piano was a major turning point. By that time I was playing a lot of guitar and was writing songs and playing Dublin’s singer-songwriter scene as well as terrible lead guitar playing in a band playing Velvet Underground tunes and the like. But for whatever reason I became fascinated with the saxophone, I was about 16 by then. To this day I listen a lot to those early song-making heroes but I ventured deep into the world of instrumental music and now my fingertips hurt when I pick up the six string!

In terms of influences, I would love to gain an insight into the composers and musicians you feel have inspired you – and continue to inspire you – on the path of creating new sounds and music-making?

SM: Well, the important early ones are Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bowie (jeez I sound like a dad-rocker), when the saxophone arrived it was all Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Miles Davis and I practised everything I could understand from their music for years. I rarely listen to them anymore. I’m much more likely to listen JJ Cale than Bill Evans these days but maybe that’ll change. I’m really into guys like Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Toshimaru Nakamura, Jon Hassell, Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan and heaps of other non-related stuff.

As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, please discuss for me the essence of this technique and the parallel that exists between this area of interest and music?

SM: Explaining the essence of Alexander Technique is quite the challenge, as it encompasses and influences really a lot of things and has been one of the most significant things I’ve encountered. One explanation is that it’s a training of one’s thinking, a development of a mental discipline which allows the student to improve in whatever they are doing. Another description is that I help to teach people how to think and move freely, easily and more efficiently. Music is something that I really care about doing, Alexander Technique allows me to do everything better so music falls into the everything net. It has brought much pure joy to me during performances perhaps sometimes in place of what might have been occupied by negative thinking or anxiety.

In terms of collaboration, you have been involved in many wonderful projects having performed with Bill Frissell, The Gloaming, Lisa Hannigan among many others during the recent past. I can imagine these collaborations must help your own development as a musician and performer? Please recount your memories of playing with some of these musicians? Do you have other collaborations planned in the near future?

SM: Absolutely. Music is a communication and getting to play with other musicians (and artists outside of music) of such a high calibre is really quite a spin. You can learn a ton of things from even watching someone great on stage and then sharing that stage really builds on that. I’m always collaborating with people so in the next few months I’m working on a new theatre piece with an amazing team of actors and dancers; I’m writing for a small improvising choir and setting (some of) Finnegans Wake for them; I’ve a gig with a monstrously good string quartet; and some more secret surprises that I can’t blurt out yet. But each one is a true privilege to be able to spend time and create with these folk.

You are also a member of the highly innovative and awe-inspiring Irish/Swedish group, This Is How We Fly. It’s one of those rare and magical events to witness This Is How We Fly in concert, and I’m glad to have witnessed your show earlier in the year. Please discuss the inception of This Is How We Fly and how each of you crossed paths? Please shed some light on the forthcoming record and what ideas you feel could materialize on the band’s follow-up?

SM: This has been a very special collaboration for me especially as I’m coming from a somewhat another world from the three other men who are steeped in traditional musics in a very deep, informed and ridiculously creative way. I was a big fan of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh’s playing for years – true story: I first meet him in my own kitchen at a party. And we had spent some time working on material and just playing before he put the group together for a once-off gig. Caoimhín was the only one who knew all of us individually so it was a gamble and we haven’t looked back since. We have been lucky to get to play as often as we do, to feel such support from audiences and to get our first record out there. The next one is slowly brewing, we are writing together and road testing the material live and bit by bit amassing new ways of creating together and listening together. Hopefully that’s what people will hear when album number two is ready!

 


 

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‘A Slender Song’ is available now on Ergodos.

http://www.seanmacerlaine.com/
https://ergodos.ie/

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Written by markcarry

February 23, 2015 at 11:39 am

Fractured Air 33: Saccade (A Mixtape by Loscil)

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Loscil’s Scott Morgan has been responsible for some of the most captivating and stunningly beautiful ambient creations over the past fifteen years. Across a compelling body of work (beginning with the 2001 classic ‘Triple Point’) – the majority of which has been released on the immense Chicago-based imprint Kranky – Vancouver-based Morgan has developed his own unique style of textural rhythms that ceaselessly blur the lines of ambient, techno, drone and modern-classical. The recently released ‘Sea Island’ marks the latest chapter in Loscil’s explorations through sound that lies at the intersect between nature and humanity.

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Fractured Air 33: Saccade (A Mixtape by Loscil)

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/fractured-air-33-saccade-a-mixtape-by-loscil/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Mica Levi ‘Love’ [‘Under the Skin’ OST/Milan]
02. Rafael Anton Irisarri ‘Will Her Heart Burn Anymore_00’ [Room40]
03. Simon Scott ‘Spring Stars’ [Miasmah]
04. Lawrence English ‘Hapless Gatherer’ [Room40]
05. Hildur Guðnadóttir ‘Strokur’ [Touch]
06. Jon Hopkins ‘Breathe This Air (Asleep version)’ [Domino]
07. A Winged Victory for the Sullen ‘ATOMOS VI’ [Erased Tapes, Kranky]
08. Kyle Bobby Dunn ‘Spem in Alium and Her Unable’ [Students Of Decay]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

 


 

krank191

‘Sea Island’ is available now on Kranky.

http://www.loscil.ca/
http://www.kranky.net/

 

Chosen One: A Winged Victory For The Sullen

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Interview with Adam Wiltzie & Dustin O’Halloran.

“I think that a big element in our music is stretching time and using the element of space.”

—Dustin O’Halloran

Words: Mark Carry

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A Winged Victory For The Sullen is the collaborative project of like-minded artists and musical luminaries, Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars Of The Lid) and composer Dustin O’Halloran. Last year marked the highly anticipated return of A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s stunningly beautiful and deeply affecting neo-classical based compositions in the form of the duo’s sophomore effort, ‘Atomos’. First glimpses of the pair’s new material – and follow-up to the mesmerizing eponymous debut, released in 2011 – was beautifully captured in ‘Atomos VII’ EP; comprising two original compositions recorded in the summer of 2013 in Brussels, Berlin and Reykjavik. This stunning release also featured Icelandic composer Ben Frost’s rework – appropriately dubbed ‘Greenhouse Re-Interpretation’ – of ‘Atomos VI’. What remains vividly present on the pair’s newest masterwork of ‘Atomos’ is the infinite beauty and unlimited emotion that pours from the intricately layered compositions of piano, strings, drone sounds and modular synthesizers. A haven of celestial sounds and heart-wrenching emotion unfolds with each and every beguiling piano tone and ambient pulse of heart-wrenching strings. As ever, the gifted duo explore new possibilities through sound with results nothing short of staggering.

Wayne McGregor, founder of Random Dance Company and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet, approached Adam and Dustin to see if they could write the score for his new oeuvre as part of the Random Dance Company. The duo were given complete artistic freedom and would record more than sixty minutes of music over a four-month period during the summer of 2013 with the assistance of their long-term sound engineer Francesco Donadello. In contrast to the group’s debut full-length, ‘Atomos’ was sculpted in a very short time-period, resulting in a broadened sonic palette containing elements of electronics, harp and synthesizers. In the words of Adam Wiltzie: “We tried to balance the discordance between being creative, and fulfilling our duties for a commissioned soundtrack with a very strict deadline, and all the while staying true to our collective melancholy.”

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For upcoming European/US tour dates click HERE.

‘Atomos’ is out now on Erased Tapes (Europe) and Kranky (USA).

http://www.awvfts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/awvfts

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Interview with Adam Wiltzie & Dustin O’Halloran.

It’s lovely to speak to you about your incredible and very special music. Congratulations on the latest album ‘Atomos’, it’s such an amazing album. The one thing that really striked me initially is the broadened sonic palette where there is new textures and nuances in the music itself. I’d love for you to discuss the different ideas and elements you had envisioned for the album from the outset?

Adam Wiltzie: Yeah I mean I don’t know if there was a really grand scheme because we had such a limited time. I mean the process leading up to it was a little bit slow but once we got everything agreed contractually, we really had four months to do the whole score which is not a lot of time to do anything. So we weren’t consciously thinking this to be totally different from our first record because Wayne [McGregor] approached us because he loved the first record, that’s what brought him to us. But we had a limited amount of time so we were just coming up with ideas and writing so we went into some new keyboard sounds and I think if anything it wasn’t so conscious, it just happened very naturally and in a really quick way. We didn’t have time to second guess ourselves either: we would throw a palette of sound up and start writing and go with it. And you know, it was really as simple as that.

Dustin O’Halloran: Also, I think because Adam and I have our own projects -we’ve only had one record – we were really happy with that first record and you know, we don’t want to repeat ourselves; it was good timing that we had this sort of third influence in the group because I think it helped us understand what are the limits of our sound and where can we grow. The first record in some ways came really easily to us because it was very natural to what we both do so I think that it was nice to see where we can expand in our own palettes.

As you just mentioned there, it must be a lovely feeling to be thinking back on the making of the music in the sense that it took relatively so quickly. It must be this inspiration that you get so easily and quickly when you are both together.

AW: It’s definitely satisfying: satisfying in different ways for each record. I think the satisfaction was different with ‘Atomos‘ – and maybe for Dustin it’s the same – we were working on it and didn’t have much time so it wasn’t until we actually performed live that we realized, oh this actually is a really nice record. We were just trying to finish this score that would work for this dance piece where we were thinking more about Wayne and what he needed, obviously we didn’t want it to sound bad. It wasn’t until we were there, really playing it live where we realized, oh this sounds like a record and now it’s even more satisfying for me that the record really sits on its own completely separate from it: it can sit completely separate from the dance because I think most people that listen to it have never seen the dance and maybe never will see the dance. So it’s satisfying because it’s a beautiful thing that exists on its own.

Exactly and I think that’s a true testament to the music, you know with the different contexts. I would love to see the dance but I haven’t but with the music itself there is such a visual element of movement as you’re listening it feels like you are witnessing it even though on a physical level you’re not.

DO’H: I think the one nice thing about working with dance is that music really comes first so you have a lot of space and time to work with where other collaborations are not as free in the sense of the time-lines. But I think that a big element in our music is stretching time and using the element of space. In film it’s much harder because you’re dealing with stories and edits. It was nice because we were really able to draw out passages and Wayne really gave us a lot of freedom in that sense; he didn’t really try to constrict that way we work.

I love too how the album itself really feels like a number of movements but there is so much variation- there is so many different elements happening and different layers – so you can always hear something new from the music.

AW: Oh, thank you. That’s what we were hoping.

I remember Christina Vantzou saying how the process of composing was both a maddening and meditative experience. What would you feel?

DO’H: I think it depends on how you work but I think the moments that were difficult were more just based on the time. Our first record when we had all time that we needed and we took all the time we needed, it never felt stressful in any way and was really a great pleasure. Punching all that in a much shorter period of time had its challenges but I think if you let it come it comes to you at some point.

I’d be curious to know if you’re influenced particularly by Steve Reich and his gradual music philosophy?

AW: Not really. We were asked this question I think by a woman in Australia – someone recently asked us – I mean obviously I’ve known about Steve Reich but I never really listened to him; he was never much of an influence me; I was always much more into Eno- that was more of my influences for minimalism when I was young but he makes beautiful music, he’s a super-friendly guy but I never really had a signature emotional moment with Steve’s music. But saying that, art is strangely subjective in ways that I’m telling you this and you’re probably saying ‘this guy is totally fooled, he must have listened to Reich‘ you know, it seems so obvious but that’s the funny thing, at this point in history maybe I’m influenced by someone else who was influenced by him maybe; it’s all so cross-pollinating at this point it’s hard to tell where your musical history comes from.

DO’H: And you know also there is an artist named Hans Otte who was working with a lot of similar ideas that Steve Reich worked with later but he was doing it I think like in the 60’s so I think a lot of people were dealing with similar ideas. I mean it’s the same for me I wouldn’t say that was an obvious influence for me as well.

I’d be curious was there a certain Brian Eno record that triggered your love for his music?

AW: Oh I mean there is so many of them. His pop records, ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’, ‘Another Green World’, ‘Before and After Science’ and his ambient records obviously, I love ‘Discreet Music‘ and ‘Thursday Afternoon’, there are so many. Even some Roxy Music I can get into.

When you find yourself in the live setting and you have the wonderful orchestra and everything with you, it must be a real thrill for you just going on tour and witnessing obviously the music you have made in this live context?

AW: Yeah it’s been great. We have a really great set of string players that worked with us on the record and we’ve been playing with for a while now. We’re still playing the music from the piece but it has developed in a way because we’ve been playing it so much together, we really feel more like a band now so it’s been really rewarding and great to really bond and connect with string players we’ve had so we feel really lucky.

DO’H: Instead of working with them on our first record when we had the new material it was the first time that we were able to bring string players in and that were more invested than just being session players; they really understood how we were working and they recorded all the string parts with us. It was nice because we were able to work with them on how to make it better and usually with string players you get that sort of personal investment so it was really nice to feel like we could all make it better and craft it together and it really helped make these pieces work.

I wonder what kind of plans and ideas you may have for your next projects?

DO’H: Well I think Adam’s going to be working on some of his music and I’m going to be working on some of my own music now.

AW: Yeah we’re going to take a little break and work on our own things for a little while. We’ll be back, we’ll do it again- don’t you worry.

In terms of music or film, was there something you’ve been obsessed with in recent months?

DO’H: Well recently I was in Los Angeles and I saw the composer Mica Levi and she had a twenty-piece ensemble and she performed the score for ‘Under The Skin‘. Actually when I saw the film I thought the music was good but when I saw it live and saw how she was creating her sound live, it was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen for a really long time and I really appreciated how she created all of the sounds.

AW: What was she playing?

DO’H: She was conducting and she had the Wordless Orchestra playing and they were great. She’s just dealing with more textures than melodic lines and there was a few melodic parts but the way she creates them and doubles the instruments, it was definitely like one of the most interesting things I have seen in a long time, it was pretty cool.

What about you Adam?

AW: I’m really into gardening at the moment. Although I still love music and film and art, I’ve really just become obsessed with plants lately; they seem to speak to me more loudly than anything else.

That sounds cool because I’m sure you get enough inspiration from the world outside as much as anything else.

DO’H: I think you always have to give yourself a break from music sometimes, it’s always seeking influence within music itself is like a snake eating its own tail and sometimes you just need to step away and you know, spend time in the ocean, garden or just listen to other sounds and just get outside this world of music. And I think that’s what brings fresh ideas too, you need to just step out of it, go to a museum and see art, just read [laughs] and just step away from it.

Especially when you have so much stuff always hapening – even away from A Winged Victory – as your work builds up there’s a sort of challenge to create something new. Actually it reminds me of a recent interview with Hauschka where Volker explained how he needs to “reset his mind” and having a blank canvas to start from.

AW: I mean Volker is so good at that. He’s also really good at improvisation which I struggle with a bit, I don’t trust myself enough, I don’t think. He’s very inspiring especially his tour he’s been doing lately. I don’t know if you’ve seen it? I mean it’s super beautiful where he’s going lately and I love his recent live set. It’s pretty special.

 


 

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For upcoming European/US tour dates click HERE.

‘Atomos’ is out now on Erased Tapes (Europe) and Kranky (USA).

http://www.awvfts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/awvfts

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Written by markcarry

February 13, 2015 at 11:59 am

Mixtape: Illusions and Dreams

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Illusions and Dreams [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/illusions-and-dreams-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. K. Leimer ‘Allegory’ [Palace Of Lights]
02. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith ‘Careen’ [Western Vinyl]
03. Circuit Des Yeux ‘Lithonia’ [Ba Da Bing!, L&L]
04. Hildur Guðnadóttir ‘Birting’ [Touch]
05. The Gloaming ‘The Girl Who Broke My Heart’ [Real World]
06. Planxty ‘Time Will Cure Me’ [Polydor/Shanachie]
07. Arthur ‘Sunshine Soldier’ [Light In The Attic]
08. Cem Karaca ‘Bir Of Çeksem’ [Pharaway Sounds]
09. Calexico ‘Woven Birds’ (Cinematic Orchestra Remixico) [City Slang]
10. The Notwist ‘Scoop’ [City Slang]
11. Aphex Twin ‘xmas_EVET10 [120] [thanaton3 mix]’ (excerpt) [Warp]
12. Theo Parrish ‘Tympanic Warfare’ (excerpt) [Sound Signature]
13. Wildbirds & Peacedrums ‘Soft Wind, Soft Death’ [Leaf Label]
14. Disappears ‘OUD’ [Kranky]
15. Mount Eerie ‘This’ [P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd.]
16. Dirty Three ‘I Really Should’ve Gone Out Last Night’ [Bella Union/Anchor & Hope]
17. Jonny Greenwood ‘Spooks’ [‘Inherent Vice’ OST/Nonesuch]
18. Richmond Fontaine ‘Valediction’ [El Cortez]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

To follow Fractured Air you can do so on Facebook HERE, or Twitter HERE.
http://fracturedair.com

 

 

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