New Releases From Recital Records

Source: Recital.

Malcolm Green “Electric Landlady” CD
Malcolm Green (b. 1952) is a British artist, dancer, and publisher. His eccentric, liquid ideas seem to come with a smile. Or is it a wry grin? His colorful paintings, usually adorned with phrases, are little riddled plaques. Luckily, Malcolm is of the ilk of visual artists who also records audio works (this multiplicity is always interesting). Green’s own label Seedy CDs/Sieh Dies issued a number of CDrs between 2000 and 2005, including many of his own works, along those by friends Jan Voss and a CDr reissue of Dieter Roth’s classic Die Radio Sonate (2006). Green is, in fact, a member of the Dieter Roth Academy — and furthermore gracefully ropes the pillars of Roth into his own artistic process. When Recital head Sean McCann approached Malcolm about republishing an album, Electric Landlady excited both of them immediately. It is the sound of an Epson 90-dot matrix printer running sheets of the score for John Cage’s 4’33”. It is piercing, though a world of ricocheting meaning can be uncovered in between the lines. Green says, “this particular rendering of Cage’s handwritten score is in fact somewhat contrary to Cage’s intentions, because every performance on the Epson 90 will be more or less identical. For this reason I have titled it differently: Electric Landlady — in honor of a felicitous misprint of the famous Hendrix record I once encountered in Italy.” The subsequent tracks are beautiful, harmonic re-renderings of the printer’s voice, “played live without post-editing, with the (accidental) addition of a booming guitar sound that came with the PC program I was using.” Electric Landlady concludes with a jaw dropping DJ-remix of the printer, with airplanes and dogs flying high above a field of beats. Includes four-page pamphlet holding program notes by Green

Sean McCann “Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings” CD
Sean McCann on the release (January 2020): “Ten Impressions dates from the fall of 2010, when I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I was contemplating starting Recital at this time, envisioning the first release to be a double-LP of my ambient, slow works. Amassing violin and piano fragments over the next months, I ended up with over four hours of recorded material. Well, then… I sat and looked at the files on my computer and lost all interest. An odd gapping period overtook me and I stopped working on music. Twiddling my time, my listening interest in classical and art-y avant grade music flourished. A year later, or so, I waded back to the pool of strings and keys and thought, ‘oh, well, some of these still feel nice.’ So, I opened the chest again. I knew this would be the last ‘ambient’ record I would make for the foreseeable future (still mostly true). I sculpted them lightly, to a sort of pastoral sadness. Working again on these pieces was familiar and easy. This was just before the obsessive editing microscope was glued above my eye (trying to rip it off, now, though). Ten Impressions is available as a clean CD now. I appreciate the confidence from Root Strata (who originally published this as an LP in 2015). So, thank you Maxwell August Croy and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. This is my most Eno/Budd effort, and I feel the recordings stand well ten years later… Not as an Eno/Budd record, but as a taste of what was before and, if I never got into Fluxus and sound poetry, what could have continued to happen.” Four-page pamphlet holding program notes; gatefold wallet

Aki Onda “Nam June’s Spirit Was Speaking To Me” LP
Recital label head Sean McCann on the record (2020): “A spellbinding tribute from one multi-faceted artist to another. New York-based artist Aki Onda (b. 1967) conjured a transduction to the Korean multi-media pioneer Nam June Paik (1932-2006). Aki himself describes the project: ‘Nam June’s Spirit Was Speaking To Me occurred purely by chance. In 2010, I was spending four days at Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea for a series of performances and had plenty of free time to wander . . . I have always felt a close kinship with him as an artist, and so it was a great opportunity to immerse myself in his works and ephemera. It was that night I made the first contact, via a hand-held radio in a hotel room in Seoul . . . Scanning through the stations, I stumbled upon what sounded like a submerged voice and I began to record it in fascination. I concluded this was Paik’s spirit reaching out to me. The project continued to grow organically as I kept channeling Paik’s spirit over long distance and receiving cryptic broadcasts/messages. The series of séances, conducted in different cities across the globe, began in Seoul in 2010, and continued in Köln, Germany in 2012, Wroc?aw, Poland in 2013, and Lewisburg, USA in 2014. The original recordings were captured by the same radio which has a tape recorder, with almost no editing, save for some minimal slicing and mastering. Paik is known for his association with shamanism, a practice that constantly surfaces in his works all through his career. In an interview, he stated ‘In Korea, diverse forms of shamanism are strongly remained. Even though I have created my work unconsciously, the most inspiring thing in my work came from Korean female shaman Mudang.’ . . . These recordings also became a way for me to explore the mythic form of radio — a medium which is full of mysteries. The transmissions captured may be ‘secret broadcasts’ on anonymous radio stations. There are in fact hundreds of those stations around the world, although the numbers dwindle as clandestine messages can now be sent via encrypted digital channels…’ Nam June’s Spirit is a beautifully formed homage, I cannot think of any other like it. An intimate, flickering language discovered through the air.” Includes 20-page art booklet including rare photographs of Nam June Paik from the set of Michael Snow’s film Rameau’s Nephew (1974), two essays on radio-wave phenomenon (by Onda and Marcus Gammel), and a remembrance of Paik by Yuji Agematsu.

Sean McCann, Matthew Sullivan, Alex Twomey “Saturday Night” LP
Saturday Night is the debut LP by old friends and collaborators Alex Twomey, Matthew Sullivan, and Sean McCann. Recorded over numerous evenings at the artists’ homes, and completed just before the birth of Matthew’s daughter, Flora. The album became an excuse to spend time with one another as well as perform. As the trio ordered take-out, drank scotch, smoked on patios, laughing off the weight of reality — they stumbled into moments of musical focus. This album has a prism of fidelities. High and low resolutions press together as the environment blows through the instruments. The woozy, side-long titular track of hesitant cello and pianos opens the record. Quiet music with blemishes and inebriated pauses, breathing an alleviated air. Phrases with failing propellers, teetering between melodic and apathetic. The true speed of their Saturday nights. Side two opens with “London On My Mind.” Reflecting the other pole, manic cassette treatments duel over Twomey’s placid keyboard, ultimately breaking into a little joke on the piano. “Collection” features guitar by Sullivan, remembered for his thick fog of work under the alias Earn. With Sullivan’s return to the instrument, he is joined by Twomey on upright piano and McCann processing the room in real-time. The brief final work, “Bird,” recalls the style of the group’s private press cassettes, The Bird and Charlotte’s Office: poorly-played pleasant-hearted music. In 2019, two practice sessions were filmed by Sullivan on VHS, the audio has been isolated for this cassette. Includes 20-page color photo of stills documenting the recording process

Sarah Davachi “Papers” Book
Sean McCann, Recital label head, on Papers (April 2020): “In addition to the musical objects she creates, Sarah Davachi is also immersed in the theoretical issues that surround her practice. This twin engagement began in her youth in Canada, studying philosophy and music, and working at a specialized musical instrument museum. Her compositional ambitions led to the doorstep of Mills College, fertile with history. Accompanied by a thesis for pipe organ and electronics, she also wrote a tangential document that ties experimentalism and phenomenology and the concept of the ‘irreal.’ A few years passed as Davachi continued to research and write with an extensive content development project for the museum in Canada. Since 2017, she has been working toward her PhD in musicology at UCLA, with a dissertation on critical organology (the study of musical instruments) and texture in early music, popular music, and experimental music. Papers positions historical and technological conclusions to face their philosophical underpinnings. Illuminating the mysteries of temperament and character in harmony, placing medievalism into the present, giving a narrative of studio recording as world making, and musing on her revered theories about art. Two of the essays dissect sympathetic compositions: Natura Morta by Walter Marchetti and In A Large, Open Space by James Tenney. Fingerprints bordering pathos. The book concludes with six artifact studies: an Italian virginal, a Bösendorfer piano, the Novachord, the Mellotron, the modern harp, and the OSCar synthesizer. Comprehensive details of their development, mechanisms, and cultural significance are laid to bare. I walked downstairs a few weeks ago and Sarah was tuning her harpsichord with a hammer given to us by our friend James Rushford, who had accidentally bought the wrong type a few years back. I sat on the chair beside her; she was setting the instrument to a quarter-comma meantone temperament (from roughly the late 1400s). With only a laymen’s understanding of tuning, Sarah demonstrated for me an explanation so simple and beautiful that it made me smile continually. The unique identity of each triad, in this early form, became tangible that afternoon. I could hear how one interval sounded apart from the same in another key. The book elucidates similar experiences. When I read Papers, I admire Sarah’s ability to frame the tableau of history with an elegant open end.”