On Repeat: Glassbirds, Schulz, Santaolalla, Westerkamp

From the past week

Brief mentions each Sunday of my favorite listening from the week prior:

▰ There are concept albums, and there is Me and the Glassbirds, forthcoming from Heejin Jang, who imagines “a laboratory in which she hatches birds from a bricolage of painted sounds.” These are the title “glassbirds,” and this is a collection of their activities: “These glassbirds are constructed with parts that are fragile, transparent, and frequently malfunctioning. As some break and others are disassembled, new glassbirds emerge on their own, eventually combining and forming a mirror image of their creator.” The result is a clanging industrial noise of the highest caliber. Three tracks are already online, in advance of the March 3 release.


▰ Jeannine Schulz’s first release of the year is out. She’s prolific, so presumambly there’s more to come. According to the calendar, we’re still in January. The three tracks, one of which is refered to as a “bonus,” are collected under the title Clicks and Tones, which properly sums up the material: rough drones, full of their own quiet drama, play host the the simplest of crackling beats on track “A” and the bonus entry, whereas “B” largely dispenses with plosives in favor of what could be a dusty vibraphone turned into a windchime.


▰ Watching The Last of Us on HBO has sent me back to the score of the originating video game, by the great Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, The Motorcycle Diaries). This slow collection of gentle yet eerie tones is one of my favorite cues:

▰ An interview by Mack Hagood with composer, field recording figure, and acoustic ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp, veteran of the World Soundscape Project, recorded in 2021 shortly after the death of R. Murray Schafer, and featuring excerpts of some of her music. (OK, this one I only listened to once, but it did lead me to revisit of her albums on repeat.)


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