Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds (GW 010)

Design (and photo) by Yuko Zama


We are very happy to announce the release of GW 010, a 72-minute CD version of Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds, for crotales and sine tones (composed by Michael Pisaro, performed by Greg Stuart, mastered by Michael Pisaro and Joe Panzner). Those interested in more info and sound examples can look below. The disc also comes with extensive notes and a reproduction of a page of the score. 

From the notes:

"This record consists of four crotales, each bowed for 16 minutes. Against each crotale I have placed sine tones, one after another, for four minutes each (four for each crotale note). The score gives 10 possibilities for each crotale (over the two octave range of the instrument there are 250 possibilities). Greg selected four instruments, and then sent me the recordings. I took some time to select and scale the volume of the sine tones, work with the stereo balance and mix each crotale/tone combination in a slightly different way.

What emerges from the vast possible selection is four connected pieces, working their way up in range, each having a distinct profile, structured perhaps with a distant echo of a four movement symphony."

Ordering, as always, can be accomplished with the widget on the right column of this blog.


Detail from the score.


Monday, October 28, 2013

GW 010: excerpt and pre-order



Below I've posted a SoundCloud link to an excerpt from Part 1 of the disc, about four minutes of the eighteen minute section. The image above (which is that of the excerpt) might give you some idea of what you are in for.





Greg Stuart, crotales
Michael Pisaro, sine tones (and composition)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GW010 Is Getting Closer



Happy to post Yuko Zama's cover for Gravity Wave 010 (Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds). 

The 72-minute CD should be out by mid-November. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Announcing GW 010



The next Gravity Wave disc (GW 010) will be a recording of Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds for crotales and sine tones.

The piece was written at the request of Greg Stuart in 2011/12. (Greg plays the crotales with the subtlety of a bowed string instrument.)

The premise is simple: a crotale is played for sixteen minutes, and one by one, four sine tones in the same register are placed against the sound of the crotales (with some variance of dynamics).

What results is not simple. This is music that sounds differently every time the listener moves their head or moves around their room. Also, the resultant “extra” (i.e., combination) tones evolve and change with each pairing.

The possible relationships here are so numerous and unpredictable, that the score created ten versions (i.e., ten different sets of sine tones) for each of the 25 crotales of the two octave range. That is, there are 250 possible 16-minute pieces. For the disc we selected four pieces, with as wide a range of effect and affect as we could find.

The physics of the crotale are very interesting, since like all metal instruments, its actual motion is relatively chaotic. It is not the absolutely stable and regular sound that it appears to be, but has fluctuating character, perhaps a bit like the reflected glare of any shiny object. This might be the best analogy for what the sine tones accomplish: each provides a singular mirror (with a distinct tint) to the ongoing sonic relationship between performer and object.

Release should be mid-November.


(Photos of the crotales are by Sarah Williams.)



Friday, January 18, 2013

Voice Shattering Stones (GW008 and GW009 now available)

The Middle of Life (Die ganze Zeit) and The Punishment of the Tribe by its Elders are now both available from erstdist.


I will be posting translations of all the texts Oswald Egger reads in The Middle of Life (Die ganze Zeit). But as that might take a while to complete, I thought I would provide one from the first passage heard in the piece, just to give some idea of what it's like. This comes from Egger's 2010 book Die ganze Zeit:


Wie geht es mir? Halte ich inne und schaue nach innen? Sage ich »gut«? Oder: »es geht«? Und bin umgänglich oder imstande, umgehend zu sein, unumgänglich soundso, so geht es und soundso nicht, mir nicht, dir nicht, ich habe keinen Umgang, mehr geht ja nicht, weil nichts mehr geht. Rien du rien. Ist keinen Umgang haben unumgänglich? Ich habe keine Zeit dafür, und ich nehme mir nicht die Zeit dazu. Ich kann sagen, was ich will, solang ich denke, daß ich spreche, genügt es.

Die Innenwände der »Gänze« bilden gleichsam eine Menge von Landschaftsskizzen, deren verwickelte Aventüren aus einem Guß entstanden sein wollen. Die gleichen Areale, oder beinahe die gleichen, sind stets von neuen und aus verschiedenen Richtungen her angepaßt, wie angegossen, immer neue Bilder entwerfend, für deren Grund plus Figuren große, durch Singen und Stimme zerspringende Steinchen verwendet werden, worin arealflächige Fenster und Felder, in welche die das Muster zusammenbildenden Kieselstücke exakt verkittet in Vertiefungen und caréts eingebeetet scheinten, hineingepuzzelt oszillieren: die ganze Zeit ist eigentlich nur eine Inkrustation bunter Steine, aber mehr als arktisches Trikot als ein trojanisches passim-passepartout.

How am I? Shall I pause and look inward? Do I say “good”? Or: “it’s going fine”? And am social or capable of circulation, unsociable thisandthat, it’s like so and not like soandso, not for me, not for you, I have no contact, it doesn’t work for me, because nothing works. Rien du rien. Is it anti-social to have no contact? I have no time for that, and don't make the time for it, I can say whatever I want, it's enough, so long as I think that I speak.

The inner walls of the “whole” form at once a set of landscape sketches whose intricate adventures must have come from a cast. The same areas, or almost the same, are constantly adapted from new and various directions, poured into a mold, always new images outlined, for their ground plus figures, large, to be utilized with the help of singing and voice shattering stones, where area surface windows and fields, in which those that form the pattern pebble pieces puttied exact depressions and carets appeared embedded, puzzle-piece oscillating: the whole time is really only an incrustation of colored stones, but more like an arctic jersey than a Trojan passim-passepartout.

Here are the credits for both discs:

GW 008:

The Middle of Life (Die ganze Zeit) (2011/2012) (47’20”)
Michael Pisaro: composition, recording, piano, electronics, mixing, mastering
Oswald Egger: poetry, reading

Julia Holter: voice, composition
Speakers (in order of first appearance):

Taku Sugimoto (Japanese and English)
Kristín Haraldsdottír (Icelandic and English) 
Kunsu Shim (Korean)

Graham Lambkin (English)

Didier Aschour (French)

Lucie Vitková (Czech and English) 
Julia Holter (English)

The speakers are reading translations of the first sentence from Oswald Egger’s Diskrete Stetigkeit, Poesie und Mathematik (edition unseld, Suhrkamp Verlag, 2008): “Mitten im Leben fand ich mich wieder wie in einem Wald (ohne Weg).” Snippets of a home recording by Graham Lambkin are heard throughout this section.

Oswald Egger was recorded on 16 July 2012 in the fields outside of his residence in Hombroich, Germany. He is reading passages selected by Pisaro from Die ganze Zeit (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2010). The illustrations by Oswald Egger also come from this text.

Two field recordings made in Neufelden, Austria during the second year of flussaufwärtstreiben are used. The first, fading in at around 6’00”, was recorded on 2 July 2012, on the banks of the Grosse Mühl river near a small rapids. The second, fading in from about 24’20” was recorded on 4 July 2012, about 500 meters further down the river. Antoine Beuger was playing the flute. An excerpt of Michael Pisaro’s Ascending Series (5.2), performed by the Dog Star Orchestra, is heard intermittently throughout this section.

An excerpt from Julia Holter’s For One or More Voices for piano (performed by Michael Pisaro), is heard from 42’22” until the end, and is used with permission of the author.

Cover Illustrations by Oswald Egger
Design: Yuko Zama


GW 009:

The Punishment of the Tribe by its Elders  (2012)  (57’20”)

to Jon Abbey

Michael Pisaro: guitar, bass, percussion, radio, electronics, recording, mixing

Mastered by Joe Panzner

The field recording beginning at around 8’00” was made in Neufelden, Austria in the roof studio at the Station. Thanks to Joachim Eckl for providing the space and for much else.

Cover Photo: Michael Pisaro

Design: Yuko Zama

Friday, December 21, 2012

A year-end gift from Gravity Wave

Thanks to all who have supported this label over the past two years. I would not have allowed myself to dream that there would be as much interest in it as there has been. It is thanks to this that we are able to keep going.

As a small year-end thanks, I'm posting this recording of a concert at the complice gallery in Berlin on July 13, 2012 (recorded by Johnny Chang). Two pieces hinwandeln (zwischen himmel und erd) and Transparent City (2) were performed in alternation and without breaks by Johnny Chang, violin, Koen Nutters, contrabass, Gary Schultz, sine tones and myself, classical guitar. hinwandeln is a trio - and for each of the four times it appears, we rotated amongst the musicians (i.e., a different group of three players each time). Transparent City (2) is a set of instructions for how to play live instruments with a playback of recordings from the Transparent City discs (Edition Wandelweiser). Johnny, Koen and Gary play very subtly along with the Los Angeles field recordings and sine tones which form the basis of the playback. The small gallery space of complice was somehow a beautiful acoustic for this kind of performance.

Normally I think live recordings just serve as a document: interesting, but with a certain sense of "you had to be there." This one, from among many, is for me a bit more than a document.



We are getting ready for the two new releases some time in January (they are now at the printers) and will be back with you all then.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cover art for 008 and 009

We have finalized Yuko Zama's designs for The Middle of Life (Die ganze Zeit) (GW 008) and The Punishment of the Tribe by its Elders (GW 009) so I thought I would post them here. Excited to get these out into the world. If all goes well they will be available by mid-January, 2013.