FRACTURED AIR

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Posts Tagged ‘Jim White

Chosen One: Jim White and Marisa Anderson

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Let’s say we are improvising a piece of music, is it the moment when your mind is still (calm) that is the best, does stillness relate to transparency of what’s behind it?”

—Jim White

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The resolutely unique sound of Jim White’s drumming has long been one of the most beguiling, breath-taking sounds to ever come across: whether it’s from the mythical Dirty Three songbook, or his (more recent) collaboration with George Xylouris (as the legendary duo Xylouris White) or the endless songwriters and musicians he has collaborated with over the years (Cat Power, Bill Callahan, Nina Nastasia, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey). The Australian drummer’s fluid, expansive drumming – whether it’s heard on record or witnessed during a live performance – creates a timeless and utterly shape-shifting experience. The artist’s fingerprint is forever forged inside these recordings; which reflects the unique artistry at hand. The drum also waltzes.

This year sees the arrival of the legendary drummer’s latest collaboration, alongside his close friend and esteemed guitarist Marisa Anderson. ‘The Quickening’ (released earlier this month on the prestigious Chicago-based Thrill Jockey label) documents the coming together of two wholly unique musical voices, which in turn, creates a rich, poignant and highly emotive sonic voyage of boundless horizons.

The rolling thunder of White’s drums serves the perfect opening lines of ‘Gathering’, before Anderson’s cathartic electric blues merges in perfect unison. The guitar and drums as the shared lead instruments. Immediately one feels the electricity and sheer intensity come flooding from the studio’s walls.

The dynamic range of this album is one of its rare feats. How the soft spun of acoustic guitar on the heartfelt lament ‘The Lucky’ is followed later by the psych rock rhythms of ‘Last Days’ is a joy to savor. In between, reverb guitar hangs in the air amidst White’s call-and-response drum patterns of ‘Unwritten’.

The lyrical folk gem ‘Diver’ feels like a long lost parable from ancient times. The album’s title-track highlights the vast riches of this sumptuous collaboration. Introspective moments steeped in beauty, showcasing the deep telepathy between these two remarkable musicians.

As sublime percussive flourishes of ‘November’ are interwoven with crystalline guitar bliss, ‘The Quickening’s rich musical journey comes to a fitting close.

‘The Quickening’ is out now on Thrill Jockey Records.

 –

https://marisaanderson.bandcamp.com/album/the-quickening

https://thrilljockey.com/

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Interview with Marisa Anderson & Jim White.

 

As a duo, I feel the deep musical telepathic connection between you both throughout these utterly hypnotic and compelling recordings. Firstly, can you recount your memories of first crossing paths? It is obvious from the stellar musical paths you have individually embarked on thus far, how natural and logical this collaboration would become. What were your primary concerns and objectives from the outset?

MA: We first crossed paths in 2014 when Xylouris White and I shared a bill in Portland.  Then in 2015 we went on tour together for 3 weeks. Jim was usually the DJ during the long rides between shows and my early impressions of getting to know him are based on his musical selections in the van.

From the outset of the collaboration, one of my primary goals was that the drums and the guitar have equal roles and voices; that there be no foreground / background instrument. My other main concern was dynamics. I want dynamic range in everything I do. For these recordings I was thinking in terms of fast/slow, loud/soft and the different combinations you get from mixing and matching those four elements between the two instruments.

JW: Xylouris White and Marisa Anderson shared a bill together in Portland in the early days of Xylouris White – around the time of our first album Goats. A friend loaned me a kit with calf skins on it that was so fun and warm sounding, the bounce of the stick is less and the sound much warmer than the synthetic heads. My first impression was Marisa was self-sufficient, her and her guitar and amp. My impression was that Marisa was self-possessed and interested which has been borne out. A year or two later we, Xylouris White and Marisa Anderson shared a tour and vehicle. It was a good trip and I listened to her set often. Before playing two traditional songs she talked about them from a different perspective than that of the obvious protagonist. Marisa and I share a lot of points of view but often have come from a different perspective to get to them, and I like that. We listened to a lot of country music in the car.

Somewhere along the way this idea of playing together came about, for me it was important to not have to make a product out of the attempt to play together. When I was on the west coast of USA I went up to Portland and we played in Marisa’s house once and then in Type Foundry studio. A couple of the songs on the record are from there, and it was enough of a start that later we decided to try to make a record. Marisa spends time in Mexico regularly and I was happy to go and be there. It was a good location because there were no disturbing distractions, we’d get a taxi to the studio, play, listen back, work on sounds at the start and as we went along, have a break, do some more. We listened back and checked and marked some pieces as we went along.

We didn’t want to make up pieces by taking an idea and consciously constructing it, we wanted to take the pieces as they happened. Intentions matter but the music wasn’t belaboured. I think we both had our eye on the overall picture. We didn’t enter into any arrangements where we were committed to a product in anyway, it was no one’s business but our own what we were doing. I didn’t have any externally driven dialogues in my mind. Everything about the record has happened with intention but not stress. As it happens we have what feels like a record. After the session we took the files away. I think I went on tour and Marisa went through the files and sent me more selections and some back and forth and we ended up with this record. Sometimes a record is so besieged by overwork you can’t listen to it for many years without feeling the struggle it was and all its associated memories. This record doesn’t have a lot of peripheral stress in it, not in the action of recording it, no struggle of taking a preconceived idea and trying to realize it in the studio, even though that is, hopefully, one of our skills as musicians – to get into that moment of translation. I can listen to the record without baggage and I’ve noticed that coming back to it now later, in the corona virus isolating period, that its taking on more emotional qualities as time goes past, that’s a good thing. To me.

Aesthetically, the richness and intensity of the music is really striking. Can you talk me through the opening half of the record, from the opener ‘Gathering’ into ‘Unwritten’? The latter could be my personal favourite with its subtle flourishes and many nuances that blend so well together. Also, ‘The Other Christmas Song’ could be vintage Dirty Three with its spellbinding ripples.

MA: In ‘Gathering’ I was playing with a technique of trying to fret all the strings in places that could create as many perfect intervals (octaves, fourths  and fifths) as possible in one position. From there I was playing as many strings as rapidly as I could and moving between positions that gave me those intervals. I wanted to find perfect stillness (my left hand/the intervals) inside rapid movement (the fingers of my right hand).

‘Unwritten’ is a more intuitive piece, I was trying to grab a mood and turn it into a melody.

The first recording session took place at Portland’s Type Foundry. I’m surprised by the fact these songs were borne from improvisation, with no rehearsals taking place prior to the sessions. Did you feel progress was made immediately once you were in the room together? Which of the tracks were formed here?

MA: We recorded Unwritten and November at Type Foundry. We made the decision to record everything from the start for a couple of reasons. I find that first takes on  improvisational musical ideas are often very fruitful and it is almost impossible to recreate those moments. Better to catch them as they happen. Also, we did not decide that we were making a record until after the Type Foundry session. We didn’t go into the studio with the pressure of having to make a record; we went into the studio just to document what we might make together, and once we found that it was fun and interesting, and that we enjoyed the process, we decided to keep going.

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Later on, you recorded songs in Mexico city’s Estudios Noviembres. I can imagine the acoustics of this space was special and proved an inspiration? What happy accidents, so to speak happened musically during this period in Mexico City?

MA: I spend a lot of time in Mexico City, and it’s a place I love. In my experience, it is a city of extremes. The apartment where I stay when I’m there is in the center of the city, and during the day it is unbelievably busy, crowded, noisy, constantly in motion, but in the wee hours of the night it is dead quiet, completely still. When I’m awake at that hour I’m aware that I’m in a silence at the center of 20 million people. Like all cities, Mexico City has a pulse; a current that hums through it that I enjoying trying to tap into.
The studio was kind of a time capsule of the late seventies. I don’t know when it was built, but it had been a recording studio throughout the seventies and maybe into the early eighties? Until something unknown happened and it had to close up overnight. It stayed closed until a few years ago when a trio of young engineers found out about it and tracked down the owner, who was in his eighties, and persuaded him to let them open it back up. You definitely go back in time when you walk through the doors.

Can you describe your mindset and headspace as you improvise- and the inner dialogue that ensues?

MA: In the ideal situation there is no inner dialogue while I’m playing. If  I’m aware of myself talking to myself than I’m in the way- I’m not fully in the music. At best I hope to be immersed, operating beyond language. When things are going well I can see/hear a few beats ahead, I know where my fingers should land, I know what the sound should be. But as soon as I become aware of being in that space, it is gone. So it’s best for me not to think too much about it.

JW: I read an article on a scientific experiment involving brain monitoring. It discovered that when you think for example, to stand up, that actually your body has already decided to stand up, the scientists can see the message going from the brain to your leg and it occurs a tiny fraction of a second before you think that you want to get up.

Presumably you have thought about standing up before in your life and if you are going to the fridge for example you are aware what you bought at the shop. You also learnt that you shouldn’t stand up when the ceiling fan is over your head and really low for some reason, you know all these things, maybe later on you will regret that decision to open the fridge and get that beer and that will be taken into account next time, I don’t know but does that answer the question?

All the decisions, intentions, conversations, are in there but they aren’t gonna help you now. Like yeah, tell yourself what you want to do but don’t look at it in your mind directly, sneak a look from the side maybe, perhaps. Ideally, improvising is no different to anything else. Your body is improvising, not your mind – at that moment, but what you talked about at lunch will affect it, how that happens is your question I suppose. Let’s say we are improvising a piece of music, is it the moment when your mind is still (calm) that is the best, does stillness relate to transparency of what’s behind it? Or when you suddenly wake up and you realize you’ve been in the zone or whatever the athletes call it, was that the good stuff? Or was it just before you got to that, or just after or actually when you were in some horrible struggle trying to get somewhere intentionally which I’m not discounting either. No idea.  

The contrast between the quiet bliss of those introspective moments to the intense maximalist roaring and resounding moments is one of the hallmarks of ‘The Quickening’. Did you have a big canvas of songs to cut down to, in terms of the finished album? Once the recordings were completed, how did you find the process of selecting the final recordings?

MA: There were many hours of music to carve the songs out of. Between the two studios we did about 7 days of recording. Much of that was easy to weed out immediately. I had a couple of weeks after Jim left Mexico to comb through the recording files and pull out what I thought were coherent ideas and work within them to find beginnings and endings and dynamic flow. After that initial weeding, I sent Jim my ideas for what might work and we basically figured out the rest going back and forth on email. I haven’t returned to the bank of recorded files since putting the record together. I worked as close to the moment of creation as possible to find the pieces that made it onto the record.

Finally, what is your musical philosophy?

MA: Wow that’s a big question! I don’t think I’ve ever tried to put words to that idea…

Maybe the closest thing I could say is -Try to sound like yourself-.

‘The Quickening’ is out now on Thrill Jockey Records.

 –

https://marisaanderson.bandcamp.com/album/the-quickening

https://thrilljockey.com/

 

 

 

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May 27, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Mixtape: Fractured Air – April 2020

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It’s been a while. The beautiful light of spring has finally descended upon us; filling the void (of current circumstance) with birdsong, blooming flowers, blue skies and all signs of glittering life. Even though nature does not mirror the dark surface that permeates all of our lives at this present moment; remember all things must pass. These days offer moments of introspection and quiet: to be at peace with your own self during this slowed down, prolonged period.

The art of music remains a trusted constant. Light In The Attic’s lovingly assembled compilation of Seattle-based recording engineer Kearney Barton is an exceptional document of divine pop, soul and R&B spanning the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. ‘Architect of the Northwest Sound’ is filled with a seamless array of timeless musical discoveries.
Another essential compilation is Morr Music’s soon-to-be-released ‘Minna Miteru’: collection of hard to find music from the Japanese independent scene, compiled by Saya, who plays in the iconic duo Tenniscoats. We have an exclusive track (peformed by Takako Minekawa and Dustin Wong) on this month’s mix.

The L.A-based composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s shape-shifting sonic explorations continue to evolve on her Ghostly debut ‘Expanding Electricity’: an epic and enriching foray into visionary fourth world dimensions. Essential. Russian electronic musician Kate NV’s forthcoming full-length ‘Room for the Moon’ on Brooklyn music institution RVNG Intl represents another singular voice in the contemporary musical landscape of today.

The debut collaboration of Australian drummer Jim White (Dirty Three/Xylouris White) and renowned guitarist Marisa Anderson arrives soon on the legendary Chicago label Thrill Jockey (and first single ‘The Lucky’ offers the first glimpses into this enchanting body of work). Cellist Helen Money’s new Thrill Jockey full-length and Rebecca Foon’s latest Constellation solo release are things of beauty and boundless magnitude.

Inventions is the immense collaborative duo of Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions In The Sky). Their new single ‘Outlook for the Future’ is a joyous, uplifting sonic voyage. “What is your outlook for the future?” is asked beneath colourful woodwind patterns and rhythmic pulses, before an elderly female voice responds: “I don’t worry about the future”. Live in the present: in the here and now. Music never ceases to surprise and awaken something deep inside of us all.

 

Fractured Air – April 2020 Mix

01. Ann Wilson & The Daybreaks ‘Through Eyes and Glass’ (Light In The Attic)
02. Maki Asakawa ‘No Ga Kowai’ (Honest Jon’s)
03. Takako Minekawa & Dustin Wong ‘Party On A Floating Cake’ (Morr Music)
04. Kate NV ‘Sayonara’ (RVNG Intl)
05. Inventions ‘Outlook for the Future’ (Temporary Residence)
06. Group Listening ‘A Little Lost’ (PRAH)
07. Cate Le Bon & Group Listening ‘Here It Comes Again’ (Mexican Summer)
08. Hamish Kilgour ‘Crazy Radiance’ (Ba Da Bing!)
09. Arthur Russell ‘You Did It Yourself’ (Audika)
10. Yves Tumor ‘Gospel For A New Future’ (Warp)
11. El Michel’s Affair ‘Rubix’ (Big Crown Records)
12. MF Doom ‘Ninjarous’ (30th Century Records)
13. Four Tet ‘Something in the Sadness’ (Text)
14. Cucina Povera ‘Saniaiset’ (Night School)
15. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith ‘Expanding Electricity’ (Ghostly)
16. Laraaji ‘Hare Jaya Jaya Rama II’ (Numero Group)
17. Drab City ‘Working For The Men’ (Bella Union)
18. 24 Carat Black ‘You’re Slipping Away’ (Numero Group)
19. Pentangle ‘Light Flight’ (Sanctuary)
20. Jim White and Marisa Anderson ‘The Lucky’ (Thrill Jockey)
21. Enablers ‘Even Its Lies’ (Lancashire And Somerset)
22. Helen Money ‘One Year One Ring’ (Thrill Jockey)
23. Rebecca Foon ‘Ocean Song’ (Constellation)
24. A Winged Victory For The Sullen ‘Adios, Florida’ (Ninja Tune)
25. Brian Eno ‘Deep Blue Day’ (Editions EG)
26. Tropical Rainstorm ‘Flying Bird’ (Light In The Attic)
27. Aoife Nessa Frances ‘Less Is More’ (Basin Rock)
28. Dark Arts ‘The More Things Stay The Same’ (STROOM)
29. Windy & Carl ‘Crossing Over’ (Kranky)
30. Colin Self ‘Once More’ (RVNG Intl)

ANNOUNCEMENT: Xylouris White (AUS/GRE, Bella Union) / DALI, Cork / Fri. 5th April 2019

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We are delighted to welcome back the legendary duo Xylouris White for a Cork show on Friday 5th April 2019. All details are below.

Fractured Air & Dali Live present:
Xylouris White & special guests
Friday 5th April
Doors 8PM (EARLY SHOW)
Dali
Careys Lane,
Cork

TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/fractured-air-dali-present-xylouris-white-and-special-guests-tickets-57166586800

photobymanolismathioudakisstanding

Xylouris White (Jim White and George Xylouris)

Xylouris White is the inspired collaboration between Greek lute player George Xylouris and the Australian, Brooklyn-based drummer Jim White. Both composers are legends in their own right, the former through his Cretan lute-led sounds of the Xylouris Ensemble, the latter through his membership of mythical Australian trio Dirty Three and myriad collaborations over the years (Nina Nastasia, Cat Power, Bill Callahan, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, to name a few). Both have harnessed truly unique and unparalleled playing styles and levels of musicianship in their respective instruments where inspiration seems in endless supply at all times. Xylouris White create the kind of celestial, contemporary and powerful music which blurs all boundaries and constantly defies all categorization (and logic) in the process.

A passion for exploration comes naturally to Xylouris White, the ruggedly visionary duo formed of Cretan lute player George Xylouris and Australian drummer Jim White. For their debut album, 2014’s Goats, Xylouris White compared themselves to the titular animals, wandering fearlessly through rough-hewn terrain. Two years later, they showed how far their horizons could reach on 2016’s majestically expansive Black Peak, named after a mountain top in Crete.

Just 15 well-toured months after the band’s universally acclaimed sophomore full length ‘Black Peak’, the duo’s exploratory instincts drive them further onwards still on their third album, Mother, released last year on Bella Union, and named to denote “new life”. As Xylouris puts it, “Mother is the extension of Goats and Black Peak. Three things, all part of a whole. Goats are mothers, Zeus was raised on Amaltheia’s milk, Black Peak is Mother Earth… Mother Earth is the mother of everything.”

Across Mother’s nine tracks, Xylouris White nurture fecund growths from the spaces between their instruments. Sometimes the songs drive with an invigorating urgency; sometimes they brood, plead, yearn and lull. The duo seems to discover each other anew at every turn, teasing the songs out from their fluid chemistry with the kind of virtuosity that knows when to listen, accommodate and learn afresh. “A theme of the album is the significance of simplicity and a child-like approach,” Xylouris explains. “So, we connect mother and child and play instruments as toys. Xylouris White is still gestating.”

That ongoing gestation is a remarkable extension of already remarkable back-stories. Xylouris is a scion of one of Greece’s most revered musical families. His father is legendary singer and lyra player Psarantonis. Jim White, meanwhile, has commanded international attention for more than two decades as part of Australia’s Dirty Three. Now New York-based, White has often been called on to collaborate with numerous alt-A-listers (including: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, PJ Harvey, Cat Power and Smog), where he redeploys the rolling momentum of free-jazz to variously supple, sensitive and seismic ends. Most recently he performed with Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett on their acclaimed album “Lotta Sea Lice”.

https://www.xylouriswhite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/XylourisWhiteBand/

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Fractured Air & Dali Live present:
Xylouris White & special guests
Friday 5th April
Doors 8PM (EARLY SHOW)
Dali
Careys Lane,
Cork

TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/fractured-air-dali-present-xylouris-white-and-special-guests-tickets-57166586800

https://www.xylouriswhite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/XylourisWhiteBand/

Written by admin

February 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Chosen One: Xylouris White

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Interview with George Xylouris & Jim White.

All these things forge our sound and make us more who we are and where we are from. Pictures and sounds, deserts and forests and towns and sky and people, and I woke up in the bus in Arizona at 6 in the morning at sunrise and everything was pink, I’d never seen anything like this.”

—George Xylouris

Words: Mark Carry

george and jim

Xylouris White is the inspired collaboration between Greek lute player George Xylouris and the Australian, Brooklyn-based drummer Jim White. Both composers are legends in their own right, the former through his Cretan lute-led sounds of the Xylouris Ensemble, the latter through his membership of mythical Australian trio Dirty Three and myriad collaborations over the years (Nina Nastasia, Cat Power, Bill Callahan, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, to name a few). Both have harnessed truly unique and unparalleled playing styles and levels of musicianship in their respective instruments where inspiration seems in endless supply at all times.

A catharsis of energy is unleashed throughout ‘Black Peak’ with an incredible force and unwavering beauty that has become one of the treasured hallmarks of the duo’s incendiary sound (ever since the duo’s 2014 debut full-length ‘Goats’). A wider sonic palette is masterfully explored here with the addition of George Xylouris’s immense baritone vocals (on several tracks) and a myriad of special guests from the extended Xylouris family (George’s father Psarandonis and Will Oldham carve beautiful new textures and colour to the duo’s visionary sound), further heightening the revelatory experience that awakens with each pulsating beat and enriching narrative.

If ever a song embodied the spirit of a record it comes with the closing epic ballad ‘The Feast’. A rich tapestry of otherworldly sounds gloriously ascends amidst a whirlwind of life’s fleeting moments. George’s father Psaradonis takes the lead role: his soaring lyra and voice weaves majestically around his son’s hypnotic lute playing and White’s joyous and sprawling drums. The Last Waltz. The gorgeous, sombre feel could be any one of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s deeply moving records and shares the infinite possibilities and sacred space of Dirty Three’s Ellis, White and Turner.

The sheer expanses covered on ‘Black Peak’ is staggering. The opening rock opus ‘Black Peak’ and ‘Forging’s momentous rock’n’roll rhythms are followed by the poignant parable of ‘Hey, Musicians!’ and divine epic love song, ‘Erotokritos’. Worlds drift in. Ancient traditions are interwoven with contemporary, avant-garde musical structures, forever embedded deep inside a mysterious, enchanting and cosmic space.

Bret Easton Ellis began his introduction to John Williams’s vintage novel ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ by saying: “A novel is about the opening of consciousness, in both the characters who inhabit the fictional narrative as well as that of the reader envisioning the novel in their head as they explore the terrain the author has laid out.” Just like the sweeping, intimate portrait of (central character) Will Andrews’s search for a new way of living, ‘Black Peak’ invites the listener to inhabit the far-reaching plains of life’s mysterious and kaleidoscopic landscape. As depicted on the striking narrative of ‘Hey, Musicians!’, music indeed never ends.

 

‘Black Peak’ is available now on Bella Union.

https://www.facebook.com/XylourisWhiteBand/
http://bellaunion.com/

Fractured Air & Plugd Records present XYLOURIS WHITE w/ KATIE KIM

TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Friday 28 October 2016 Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE)

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Interview with George Xylouris & Jim White.

Congratulations on the stunning sophomore full length ‘Black Peak’. Firstly, there is new sonic terrain covered on ‘Black Peak’ with the addition of your immense baritone vocals, and a wider sonic palette is masterfully drawn from, with special guests from the extended Xylouris family also deployed. Please take me back to the making and recording of ‘Black Peak’ and please recount for me the recording sessions? What was the studio set-up and how long did the recording take?

George Xylouris: BLACK PEAK is recorded in different studios around the world, New York, Providence, Crete, Iceland, we were on tour at the time we were recording. That’s one of the reasons we call the album Black Peak, not only because of the song about the mountain above where I’m from but also the symbol of linear B (Minoan script) for this mountain and its sister peak which maybe means the horizon (anthropological theory).

The first song recorded for the album was Forging, recorded at Guy’s studio and it also helped us with direction for the record. We recorded Black Peak (the song) in Queens, The Feast was from Guy’s in New York and finished in Crete with my father singing and playing, and Erotokritos was finished in Louisville the day we played a show there, the studio set up is different depending where we were.

In Rethymnon you can hear the birds from the open windows singing with Psarandonis. Hey Musicians! was the first time we played this song, we recorded it in Iceland in a studio that used to be a swimming pool and we played in the bottom of the pool. We recorded many songs like that, but this was the first song we recorded that day. It tells about somebody asking the musicians to tune up their instruments because he wants to sing about his old loves and he wants the air to take the words away where his loves hang out, those ones who loved him and those that lied to him and he’s got a lot to take out of his heart in a love way and then when his fantasy party finishes he says to the musicians to hang up their instruments and put them in their cases because music never ends.

A catharsis of energy is unleashed throughout ‘Black Peak’ with an incredible force and unwavering beauty that becomes one of the trademarks of the Xylouris White sound. For example, the aesthetics of the record is another important aspect, where gripping intensity of the more rock fuelled anthems (‘Forging’ and ‘Black Peak’ at the beginning) is joined with epic ballads such as album closer ‘The Feast’. In what way do you feel your live tour of your debut album help shape the songs off ‘Black Peak’. It is this energy between the pair of you – this resolutely unique duo – that evokes such a shape-shifting, enriching and incomprehensible sound. Please talk me through the creative process and indeed the space you each create that forms the bustling heart of Xylouris White? 

GX: Thanks for your comments.

We’ve played a lot of concerts in a lot of places since the release of Goats and we like to do that, a lot of time together a lot of sound checks, traveling, concerts, talking, listening, and traveling to the horizon all the time, ahead. All these things forge our sound and make us more who we are and where we are from. Pictures and sounds, deserts and forests and towns and sky and people, and I woke up in the bus in Arizona at 6 in the morning at sunrise and everything was pink, I’d never seen anything like this.

Are any of the new tracks actual traditional songs?

GX: The lyrics of Erotokritos is from the 14th century. There are different melodies – different ways to sing the words depending on the area in Crete; it’s a love epic song 10,000 couplets, we cover around 15.

Pretty Kondilies is a traditional dance and that type of melodies are traditional, there are many choices and you choose and put them in a row and often people and musicians improvise the words on the spot. it depends the situation and their feelings, the arrangement is ours.

Please discuss the rich musical lineage of the Xylouris family and indeed the players – past and present – that comprise the Xylouris Ensemble. Also, there is a beautifully vivid sense of place in your music, something that resonates powerfully with The Dirty Three and how a sense of journey always finds a way into the music, and Xylouris White is certainly no exception. Can you explain the importance of travel and the act of travelling must have on the music you create? I always feel it could be music to an epic road-trip through many journeys past.

GX: I grew up in a musical family, my uncles, father, brother and sisters, my villagers who were also feel like my family and many of my friends, we grew up together playing music and soccer in the village, and hung around in the sides of the village and cut wood and would pretend it’s a lute, and play, singing the sounds and that’s one of our fun and enjoyable games, and we also mimic dancers and musicians from our village. So I grew up playing mandolin and serenading around the village many, many times, and hung out with older people, who wanted me to play for them, to sing and have all the sounds of the wedding and parties in the square and later on when I was thirteen I left school and I went with my father to play all around the island as a full-time musician and soon I understood what I wanted do with my life.

Later on I had the opportunity to travel with my father and met many other musicians and singers and dancers and kept in touch with them through the years, exchange ideas and hear other music, keep in touch and play music all these years, unstoppable, and when I was 27 we went to Australia to play with my father and I stayed there for 8 years. A few friends and family there happened to be musicians from different traditions and background and that’s how we started Xylouris Ensemble, and that’s also when Jim and I met in the late 80s and later on Dirty Three started and they invited me to play as a guest etc.

What are your earliest musical memories?

GX: Listening to my Dad rehearsing at my grandfather’s house, a couple of my Dad’s friends were there and one is a really beautiful and unique dancer and I remember that and I never forget that I heard the melodies I already knew and I saw my Dad try to play those melodies in a different way, put more or less in, different bows and try in that way to cover the dance, talking with the dancer and tried to drive them connected to the dance and that was a huge experience and I discovered that you could play the same thing in different ways and I noticed it was for them the most important thing that was happening in the whole world , like a meeting of the big countries having a summit to save the world.

Jim White: My parents playing Bob Dylan records at parties at my house.

As masters of your chosen instruments, I would love for you to discuss your first encounter with the drums and lute?

GX: In the square at a wedding listening to my uncle Yiannis play the lute. 

JW: Listening to records and loving it but having no understanding of it at all, and then making a band with my friends which never even got together once but I decided to choose drums.

What musical philosophy you feel has remained true to you throughout these years? 

GX: To quote my Dad, – he doesn’t play with meters he plays with kilometres.

JW: Trying to understand the drums from the basics.

Can you recount for me your memories of first meeting one another? It’s amazing to think this occurred even before the beginnings of Dirty Three, another factor to what makes this duo so special and unique. 

GX: I met Jim through friends at a party, and then again when I saw Venom P. Stinger play.

JW: At a party through friends when George couldn’t speak any English, and then playing by himself at a bar in the city and then later Xylouris Ensemble by the river. 

What is your compositional approach? I wonder has the process changed or developed in any way from the debut ‘Goats’? 

GX: Everything changes. Nothing stays stable. Next year will be different again! We don’t know what we are exactly looking for but we face our direction.

The closing ballad ‘The Feast’ represents the finest moment of ‘Black Peak’s rich tapestry of otherworldly sound. The music of Xylouris White feels at once steeped in an age-old tradition of folk music and the wide expanses of experimental nuances. Can you talk me through the construction of this song and the addition of lyra & voice? It must be exciting to be playing some of these songs more stripped down as a duo (minus the added instrumentation of the guests), I wonder do the songs mutate or evolve in any way over the course of a long tour?

JW: This song is an improvisation on a melody we recorded at Guy’s house in New York, we had that and liked it very much and later on in Rethymnon at Aristotelis’ studio with the windows open on a hot day the birds came and started singing with Psarandonis (George’s dad) and George.

The words are about someone, he’s going to marry the moon and because he loves that moment he writes the lyrics and the moon is in and out of the clouds and he calls to the mountains because he is so happy “hello friends, how heavy you are, as much as I love you” and he calls earth his mum and the sky his dad and he asks them to come to his wedding with the moon because that’s what he feels is so beautiful that he loses his mind and wants marry the moon.

 

‘Black Peak’ is available now on Bella Union.

https://www.facebook.com/XylourisWhiteBand/
http://bellaunion.com/

Fractured Air & Plugd Records present XYLOURIS WHITE w/ KATIE KIM

TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork Friday 28 October 2016 Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE)

Written by admin

October 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

ANNOUNCEMENT: Xylouris White (AUS/GRE, Bella Union) plus special guest Katie Kim (IRE) / TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork / Fri. 28 Oct. 2016

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Fractured Air & Plugd Records present
XYLOURIS WHITE plus special guest KATIE KIM
TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork
Friday 28 October 2016
Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE)

xylouris_white_poster_a2_craigcarry

 

george and jim

Xylouris White (Jim White with George Xylouris)

Xylouris White is the inspired collaboration between Greek lute player George Xylouris and the Australian, Brooklyn-based drummer Jim White. Both composers are legends in their own right, the former through his Cretan lute-led sounds of the Xylouris Ensemble, the latter through his membership of mythical Australian trio Dirty Three and myriad collaborations over the years (Nina Nastasia, Cat Power, Bill Callahan, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, to name a few). Both have harnessed truly unique and unparalleled playing styles and levels of musicianship in their respective instruments where inspiration seems in endless supply at all times. Xylouris White create the kind of celestial, contemporary and powerful music which blurs all boundaries and constantly defies all categorization (and logic) in the process.

When Xylouris White recorded their second album ‘Black Peak’ – released via Bella Union on 7th October 2016 – this most intuitive and inquisitive of duos did what comes naturally to them: expanded their horizons. For the legendary duo, one aim was to extend a core metaphor of their ruggedly visionary debut album, 2014’s ‘Goats’. “Like goats walking in the mountain” is Xylouris’s poetic analogy for their approach: “They may not know the place, but they can walk easily and take risks and feel comfortable. Really, the goats inspired us.”

That exploratory pitch is matched by the majestic Black Peak, named after a mountain top in Crete and, says Xylouris, “recorded everywhere”. A peak in both artists’ careers, the album testifies to their determination to stretch the scope of their instruments and forge something vigorously questing from more traditional roots. Where ‘Goats’ was mostly instrumental, Black Peak gives Xylouris’s full-force baritone a lead role. And where Goats was often frisky, its tumultuous, tender and terrifically expressive follow-up drives harder and dives deeper.

http://www.xylouriswhite.com

https://www.facebook.com/XylourisWhiteBand/

katie kim

Katie Kim

One of Ireland’s finest and most intriguing songwriters, Dublin-based and Waterford-born Katie Kim has two albums to date, beginning with the 2008 debut solo album “Twelve” and 2012’s seminal masterwork, the double album “Cover&Flood”. Also available is “The Feast”, a collection of ten previously unreleased remixes of songs from “Cover&Flood” while the “VALUTS” series compiles various unreleased songs. The highly anticipated third studio album ‘Salt’ will be released on the 14th October 2016 (500-limited heavy weight vinyl can be pre-ordered here). “Salt” was recorded in a self-built recording and artist space in Dublin called Guerrilla Studios which has become an integral part of the Independent Irish music scene. Since Cover and Flood Katie has toured the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium playing mostly sold out venues.

Katie Kim has supported the likes of Low and Slint to date and her influences stem from the realms of experimental, folk, post-rock, shoegaze, ambient and outsider folk. Kim’s distinctive sound is characterized by her fragile vocals, breath-taking lyricism and a constant striving for both purity and simplicity in her truly unique and utterly beguiling recorded output (akin to Grouper’s Liz Harris or early period Cat Power) casting a deeply profound spell on the listener in turn.

https://www.facebook.com/DANCEKATIEKIMDANCE/

https://katiekim.bandcamp.com/

Fractured Air & Plugd Records present
XYLOURIS WHITE plus special guest KATIE KIM
TDC, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork
Friday 28 October 2016
Tickets: €15 (ORDER ONLINE HERE)

Written by admin

September 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm