My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

tag: classical

Current Favorites: Icelandic Viola, Processed Piano

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them. (This weekly feature was previously titled Current Listens. The name’s been updated for clarity’s sake.)

Sola is Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti performing a three-part piece by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. If hyper-attenuated, ghostly strings are your thing (they are mine), this is ideal listening. As a bonus (and a model for other labels), the three tracks are followed by seven containing a conversation between composer and performer. Releaed on the New Focus Recordings label.

▰ Solo live performance by Raffael Seyfried for piano, complemented and transformed by synthesizer. The track is titled “Haptic,” and it is recommended you watch as he touches the equipment throughout.

▰ A fine synthesizer piece, titled “Frozenfir.” A lot of current synth material can over rely on plucked and warped sounds, but this performance by Ambalek, who has quickly become a personal favorite, strikes a smart balance.

▰ Due out in mid-March, the upcoming Devin Sarno album, Evocation, offers welters of noise and a brief expanse of ether in its two preview tracks.

▰ Also spending a lot of time with two pieces I wrote about in a bit more detail this past week, both solo live synthesizer performances, one by Orbital Patterns and the other by Electric Kitchen.

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Current Favorites: Police Scanners + Waterphone + Saxophone

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them. (This weekly feature was previously titled Current Listens. The name’s been updated for clarity’s sake.)

▰ Gorgeous live performance of saxophone being reworked in real time (layered, pitch-shifted, looped) from Kin Sventa, who is based in San Francisco, California.

▰ Beautiful three-track set of gently glitching, quavering tracks from Brian Biggs, the accomplished children’s book illustrator (and an old friend). The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, police hover just below the surface on occasion, in the form of just-shy-of-intelligible scanner recordings.

▰ Three tracks are up currently from Waterphone II, an album of eerie music made with the title instrument. The musician is Toshiyuki Hiraoka, a prolific film composer (Naked Cannibal Campers, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance). The full release is on January 26, 2020.

▰ Also spending a lot of time with Fall by Tulpa Dusha as well as with a live organ performance by Claire M Singer.

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Claire M Singer at the Organ

A live December 12, 2020, performance

The Touch label has posted this gorgeous, nine-minute footage of Claire M Singer performing an incredibly slow, and incredibly moving, performance on an organ at Union Chapel, London. It was recorded December 12, 2020. The organ dates from 1877. The piece’s overtones are so rich, you might think you hear Singer herself singing along. It starts quiet as can be, and builds from there, from a devotional whisper to a heavenly scream.

Video originally posted at Touch’s YouTube channel. More from Singer at clairemsinger.com.

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First Track from Forthcoming A Winged Victory for the Sullen Album

A production based on an Italo Calvino novel

It’s almost exactly two months until Invisible Cities, the new album by A Winged Victory for the Sullen, arrives. But the first public track, “Desires Are Already Memories,” is already up on its Bandcamp page.

The music is the score composed by AWVftS’s Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie for a theater production by Leo Warner (see Warner ‘s 59productions.co.uk for details). The title comes, clearly, from the Italo Calvino novel, of which the Warner production is an adaptation.

“Desires Are Already Memories” is classic Winged Victory, which is to say it’s post-classical: all stirring, minimalist chamber-ensemble undergirding, an angelic choir component, and touches of modernity in the form of artful maudlin-techno pulsing and what sounds like a Jew’s harp emulating rave-era Underworld. More than enough reason to get excited about for what’s to come when the full record is released.

Album originally posted at awvfts.bandcamp.com.

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Ambient Gets More Trombones

Thanks to Benjamin Louis Brody

This brooding, speedily hypnotic track combines two trombones, played by Alaina Alster and Max Sholl, with synths performed by the piece’s composer, Benjamin Louis Brody. The title, “Oscillations,” is spot on for the heavily vibrating opening, a volatile drone that slowly recedes (though only partially) as more immediately recognizable horn playing begins to surface. The track was released back in mid-2018, but I first learned of it only last night when Brody replied to a tweet I had made about how “Ambient music needs more trombones.” This is further proof of the truth of that statement.

Track originally posted at benbrodymusic.bandcamp.com. More from Brody (raised in New Jersey, based in Brooklyn, New York) at benbrodymusic.com.

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