FRACTURED AIR

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Guest Mixtape: Rauelsson (Sonic Pieces)

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We are delighted to present to you a special guest mix compiled by revered Spanish producer Rauelsson, whose 2018 full length ‘Mirall’ – released on the ever dependable Berlin-based Sonic Pieces imprint – unfolded deeply affecting electro acoustic explorations interwoven with gorgeous electronic textures and neo-classical splendor. The collaboration between Raúl Pastor Medall (Rauelsson) and Erik K. Skodvin (Deaf Center) on the soul stirring score for the Danish film ‘Darling’ (2017) is another essential musical document (as is Rauelsson’s 2013 Sonic Pieces-debut ‘Vora’ ). Below are some words from Raúl describing this special mixtape he has assembled.

Rauelsson pic

‘Ghosts, Friends and Acquaintances’

Listening to music made by friends feels particularly satisfying to me. There is something special about listening to sounds and words that come from a place that you know; somehow, you feel part of a shared journey. I have been lucky enough to meet some talented musicians over the years that I can now call friends. Some of them are gifted, glowing souls that have been very important in my music world. As an expression of gratitude here I am compiling an all-over-the-place, all-over-the-map playlist featuring some songs that might only have one thing in common: I discovered them thanks to friends or have been written and played by friends, or friends of friends. And ghosts, there are some ghosts too, so there you go Ghosts, Friends and Acquaintances.

Some –random– notes about these songs:

If you drive to Barcelona airport from the south you might take highway C32, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea coastline. The southern section of this highway is called Autopista Pau Casals, named in honor of the celebrated Catalan cellist. The first time I noticed that this highway was called Pau Casals I was on my way to catch a plane to go back to Portland, OR. The day after I arrived in Oregon I had breakfast with my good friend Adam Selzer and he showed me a NPR article about some recordings that Robert Johnson and Pau Casals did (separately) in the and 1930s (Adam loved the sound of those early recordings). A few weeks later I was on the road headed to Seattle to play a show, and the violinist I was traveling with at the time played a CD with some gorgeous cello pieces (JS Bach’s cello suites) interpreted by Casals; she was shocked and confused by the fact that I had never listened to this before. It felt as if the world was telling me that I had to pay attention to this man that was born in Catalonia, so close to where I grew up. I did pay attention, and some of his concert recordings gave me goosebumps. This playlist opens and closes with Casals playing a traditional Catalan song, El Cant dels Ocells, and Le Cygne by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Through friends and acquaintances I have discovered a lot of good music. Years ago, for instance, several unconnected friends got me interested in the life and work of the incomparable Louis Thomas Hardin, aka Moondog. On my first trip to Berlin, a friend gave me a copy of a Moondog compilation called The German Years 1977 -1999. On that same trip I learned that Moondog moved to Germany in 1974, the year I was born. His discography is truly vast and fascinating; it is hard to pick just one record or song. Here I included the intricate and amazing Marimba Mondo 2, a hypnotically beautiful work of melody and percussion.

Together with Otto A Totland, I was once helping stick download code stickers on some coupons at Sonic Pieces HQ. Erik (K Skodvin) was helping as well, and to make the job easier on us he was spinning some records. He played a lot of great new music but a record called Tooth, by Raime, really caught my attention. The entire record is fantastic; energetic and enigmatic. I particularly like the first track on the record, Coax. As many people know, Otto and Erik make incredible music together (as Deaf Center) and solo. Getting to know them personally has only increased my respect for their work. Here I included Time Spent by Deaf Center and Flames from Erik’s solo discography. Also in Berlin I once attended a Christmas dinner party that Monique Recknagel (Sonic Pieces) organized. I remember being in deep conversation with Greg Haines (Something Happened; what an amazing track!) about some concerts I was asked to organize in Spain; I was telling him that I was interested in getting in touch with a guy called Jefre Cantu Ledesma. Oddly enough, Greg told me that Jefre was sitting on the same table, having dinner with us. I was too shy to talk to him, which I regret. Jefre’s show in Spain never happened but my admiration for his work is still happening. I really like his record A Year With 13 Moons, among others. Pale Flower is part of that record.

Unexpected things can also happen with friends. A friend of mine that makes really great music once gave me a CD-r to listen to. I thought that it was his new record and I really liked it so I called to congratulate him, only to hear him laughing quite hard: it was not his new record what he gave me but 1979 by Deru, a great record that had just been released (on a label called Friends of Friends!). Another friend once gave me an original LP of Spanish guitar tunes composed by Francisco Tárrega (played by Narciso Yepes in 1983 and released by Deutsche Grammophon) without knowing that this Spanish composer and guitar player comes from the same province in Spain where I come from. I grew up having his name associated with streets and buildings before I got to know who he really was; a great guitar figure of the 19th century. I really like his ‘smaller’ compositions, like Lágrima and Adelita.

There is even music I got to know by unknown friends. Yard sales and random boxes with free stuff are commonly seen around Portland, particularly during the summer. Someone once left a box with free CDs on my doorsteps. The box had a label that read ‘ghost music from me, your friend’. The little collection of CDs was not that interesting, honestly, and it was obvious that this box was not meant to be there for me to find. However, there was one CD in this collection that looked different; a CD-r with a handmade drawing of something that looked like a ghost playing a flute and the words ‘this is a duduk’ on it. The CD-r had this gorgeous song that I later identified as Siretzi Yares Daran, by Armenian musician and duduk player Levon Minassian. Thank you ghost friend.

Gallo Rojo, Gallo Negro is a cover song by Catalan composer and singer Silvia Pérez Cruz, originally written by Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio. This is a very powerful song written in the context of the repressive, long and dark times of fascist Spain. My mom was kind enough to give me her ticket so I could go see Silvia play with an amazing string quintet (the show was sold out!). The concert was fantastic. I have not seen a show that, playing Mediterranean and Latin-American repertoire, moved me that much. She was another great recommendation made by friends. Her record Vestida de Nit is a good introduction to the work she has done with this string ensemble.

This playlist also features a number of songs played by close friends. I truly admire and love Heather and Peter Broderick’s work. Their music really touches me. Here I included Turned, by Heather’s debut LP, and Sideline, from Peter’s stripped down (recorded in one day!) album How They Are. My dear friend Laurel Simmons also features on this list with her lovely track Linden Seeds, featuring Heather on harmonies. The recently released Tekoäly, by the wonderful and skilled Tatu Rönkkö is included here too; such a powerful song!

rauelsson portrait

 

Tracklist:

01. Pau Casals – “El Cant dels Ocells”(Columbia)
02. Tatu Rönkkö (feat. Islaja) – “Tekoäly”(Sonic Pieces)
03. Moondog – “Marimba Mondo 2” (Roof)
04. Levon Minassian – “Siretzi Yares Daran” (Wagram)
05. Raime – “Coax” (Blackest Ever Black)
06. Deaf Center – “Time Spent” (Miasmah)
07. Francisco Tárrega – “Lágrima” (Deutsche Grammophon)
08. Jefre Cantu Ledesma – “Pale Flower” (Mexican Summer)
09. Heather Woods Broderick – “Turned” (Preservation)
10. Deru – “1979″ (Friends of Friends)
11. MayMay – “Linden Seed” (Oscarson)
12. Francisco Tárrega – “Adelita” (Deutsche Grammophon)
13. Silvia Pérez Cruz – “Gallo Rojo, Gallo Negro” (Universal)
14. Erik K. Skodvin – “Flames” (Sonic Pieces)
15. Greg Haines – “Something Happened” (Denovali)
16. Peter Broderick – “Sideline” (Bella Union / Hush)
17. Pau Casals “Le Cygne” (Victrola / HMV)

‘Mirall’ is out now on Sonic Pieces.

https://rauelsson.bandcamp.com/

http://www.sonicpieces.com/index.html

Written by admin

February 8, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Posted in MIXTAPE

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