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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Where Piano and Tape Meld

A duet by Danny Clay and Greg Gorlen, both of San Francisco

The syrupy, slurpy, melty place that Danny Clay and Greg Gorlen map in intimate, elegiac detail on “marigolds i” makes for an enticing sonic cul-de-sac, a turnaround in which to get pleasingly disoriented, happily stuck. Time, genre, and technology loop back on themselves and on each other.

The piece appears to be a duet for piano and tape cassette, the latter as much a medium for the former as it is a source of sounds itself. Every form of media lends some quality to that which it documents, and the dissolving, warping aspect of the tape here blurs the place between the piano and the droney, nostalgic sonic space the two musicians seek to produce.

The piano, just a few keys hit in slow procession, creates tones that get stretched in static-laced loops, the brittle little seams heard as tiny crunchy footsteps. The tape bends and frays at times, making the piano come in and out of focus as if it’s a landscape seen through a window dotted with clingy raindrops. Occasionally it is quite clear but misshapen, and other times it returns to its proper dimensions but is tantalizingly difficult to fully make out.

This is apparently a track from a longer forthcoming album-length work. Something to look forward to, for certain.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/nocturnalsignal. More from Gorlen at cascadingfragments.tumblr.com and Danny Clay at dclaymusic.com. Both Clay and Gorlen are based in San Francisco.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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