AMN Reviews: Public Eyesore’s Twentieth Anniversary

Summer 2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of Public Eyesore, the experimental music label founded and run by instrument maker and sound artist Bryan Day. Public Eyesore began as a part of the DIY cassette underground, a network of artists like Day who were creating sounds far removed from the mainstream and thus were in need of distribution channels of their own. Public Eyesore was originally located in the US Midwest—Day started it when he lived in Decorah, Iowa in the 1990s—and over the course of moves through several states ended up in the San Francisco Bay area, Day’s current home base. Originally a vehicle for Day’s own work and for congenial artists from the Midwest, it now features improvisers and other experimentalists from around the world both on its regular Public Eyesore imprint and its Eh? CDR sublabel.

Guitarist Bill Brovold’s Michael Goldberg Variations [PE 142] answers the challenge Brovold’s friend Goldberg posed to him in the early 2000s: could Brovold create a minimalist work that wouldn’t be repetitive and “meandering?” Brovold’s response is this set of eleven duets and one trio. The variations in question are variations based on the very minimal, basic material of two notes a fourth apart. They serve as theme, framework and foundation: sometimes as a simple melody or melodic fragment, sometimes as an ostinato or quasi-arpeggio, sometimes as a harmonic guide. Each of the twelve variations introduces changes of texture, instrumentation, arrangement, and so forth, giving each individual piece its own character while at the same time binding them all with a common, recognizable likeness.

Michael Gendreau’s Polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado [PE 140] is—mostly–an essay in liminal sound. Gendreau is an acoustician working on noise design in built environments; the raw material of much of his work consists of low frequency vibrations and their relationship to the resonances of rooms. His recording features long stretches of sounds that exist at the margins of perception, some of which are more felt than heard. But beware: the apparent silence may be broken by an unexpected and jarring upsurge of loud sounds.

Live in Japan [eh?102] is a duo set from Tania Chen and Jon Leidecker, recorded in Osaka, Chiba and Tokyo in May 2017. Chen, a UK pianist who also makes sound with found objects, toys and lo-fi electronics, and Leidecker, an experimental electronics musician from San Francisco, both appear on a recently released recording of John Cage’s Electronic Music for Piano (which also includes David Toop and Thurston Moore); they also collaborated in 2016 on Chen’s Colour Fields for video and electronics, which is in some respects a foreshadowing of Live in Japan. As with Colour Fields the performances here are about the color and textural properties of electronic sounds (and occasionally Chen’s voice): their tone, saturation, density, and reciprocal cross-shadings.

Happy twentieth, and many more.

Daniel Barbiero

A Conversation with Nate Wooley on Solo Improvisation

Source: NewMusicBox.

As a listener, I’ve long found myself seeking musical experiences that generate a kind of sustained ecstatic energy from a foundation of rigorous thought and technique. Gaining access to that plane as a solo improviser is a particularly challenging task. It takes a special type of artist who engages deeply with the details of sound, upending instrumental conventions while setting boundaries and reference points (as if to say, “Here is a trumpet, unadorned—let’s see what I can do with it.”) and who is able to transfer an emotional experience through the instrument to the listener. Part of what makes trumpeter/composer/writer Nate Wooley such an extraordinary musician is his ability to achieve all of those things in performance. He is a true sonic explorer who has redefined the capabilities of his instrument while making profound spiritual connections with his listeners.

Nate’s music and relationship to his instrument has been a huge inspiration to me as a violinist. Nate wrote an eloquent introduction to the liner notes of my debut solo violin album, Engage (New Focus Recordings – August 3, 2018), and graciously agreed to have a conversation with me about solo improvisation for NewMusicBox. I’m very grateful to Nate for taking the time to offer his take on some thoughts I’ve had since recording the solo improvised material on Engage, and to share a veritable masterclass on improvisation as part of my series of posts.

Freq Reviews

Source: Freq.

Moskus – Mirakler

Konstrukt and Keiji Haino – A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire (Live)

The Delaware Road: Black Propaganda

Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik – Hugsjá

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

Rich Halley 3
The Literature (Pine Eagle Records)

Travis & Fripp
Between the Silence (Panegyric Recordings)

Gilad Hekselman
Ask For Chaos (Hexophonic Music/Motéma)

Kang Tae Hwan
Live At Cafe Amores (NoBusiness Records)

Jeremiah Cymerman
Decay Of The Angel (5049 Records)

David Dove & Justin M. Jones, Tag Cloud, Amptext in DC, August 24

Source: Sonic Circuits.

David Dove & Justin M. Jones, Tag Cloud, amptext

David Dove (Houston, Texas)
Trombone Player, Improviser, Composer, Educator
A trombone player, composer, improviser, and educator, David Dove has given performances and workshops across North America and internationally.

Justin M. Jones is an improviser, vocalist, and writer from Houston, TX.

Tag Cloud is ambient/noise including kit built electronics, analog and semi-modular synths, cheap keyboards, acoustic drone instruments, and percussion.

Gary Rouzer (cello, amplified objects, clarinet, field recordings) was born in Washington DC and works in the area between free improvisation and composition.