microphones in the trees: October 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

ant'lrd / selaroda / ki oni / dragontime

«Clouding Indefinitely' is a collection of tape meditations meant to enhance and aid journeys into the reaches of the far in. It is the damp fog rolling by in slow motion as you sit amongst the trees». inner islands

It's hard to add something to such wonderful press-release – this tape sounds really hazy, like endless ocean of fog that creates illusions and visions similar to desert mirages, but of its own kind. It reminds me states of mind that can be achieved only out of town, away from clatter and everyday haste. One may say it's meditations, but not exactly, it's something more like total openness for everything around. It's meditation that every village kid can do. When you accept everything like a river, continuing to flow endlessly towards the totality of ocean... Just watching clouds and playing around, wandering through the neighborhood. Strange thing – hazy music that induces openness, but that's true. Ironically including golden-new-age-era-style meditation tape samples, this album serves meditational purposes even better than guided hemi-sync programs or stuff like this. This is not an self-indulgence of scheduled seance in the middle of everyday routine, but specific state of mind that you can experience in almost any circumstances. To accept, to absorb, to be transparent. And go further. This is what the fog can teach us.

selaroda ~ viaje a través de sonidos transportative (inner islands, 2015)

«These pieces were inspired by the idea of sharing earthly creations with lifeforms from elsewhere in the cosmos...». inner islands

Previous tape by Michael Henning under Selaroda moniker released by Sanity Muffin was very inspiring, playing with this huge spectrum of sounds and effects that we usually call "ambient music". Deepness and simplicity, variety of moods and flexible atmosphere that depends of your own attitude – all of it found its continuation here, on new Selaroda tape by amazing Inner Islands label. It starts from multi-layered  drones and grows fluently into something really big. You may notice that it's not drone or ambient anymore and the place is totally different, but you can not say how you ended up here. This is one of the magical instruments ambient music possess and Michael uses it masterfully. Music journey starts in the middle of imaginative landscape and more you involved in the process, the wider it gets. Transitions from one state to another may happen very fast and irrational, but hey – our life flows same way! So this music is sort of "inner-contemplation-cinema" that gives you bird's-eye view of our own lifetimes... Take this ride!

listen ~ buy tape

«Inspired by a resonance with Sumatran elephants, Ki Oni summons forth lush soundscapes teeming with enough life to resemble their verdant Indonesian home. Each sample is carefully cut, looped, or manipulated to feel at home on this wet, green dancefloor». inner islands

This 100% pop tape was quite a surprise for me, as I still think Inner Islands as a home for some kinds of ambient and neo-new-age thing (whatever it really is). But it is not the first experiment with unusual forms of pop music for this label, so it's my problem actually. Time to expand boundaries! What definitely matters here is that despite being pop-oriented and very danceable, this album sounds absolutely cool and even weird. It's still not the music you hear on the TV or radio, but I hope it would be in some foreseeable future. I'll have to buy my own television set then! Behind the beats and simple melodies you can feel some intention here, sincere inspiration, wonder of life and nature. May sound cheesy, but it makes sense for old drone geek like me – sometimes you just need this simple magic of simple things to take a rest from seriousness.

I was holding this tape to the end for two reasons: firstly, because I don't really know how to describe all that is happening here; secondly – because this is something very special. Dragontime self-titled tape is the case when all beauty can be missed if you trying to capture it. Always elusive, always transforming and hiding from direct sight, Dargontime's music is something that needs specific approach. You may sit quietly and think your own thoughts without trying to analyze music around you, and if you're lucky, rainbow gate will be unlocked. Every song is different, every nimble mood can haunt you for a moment and leave without hesitation. There may be some mysterious weirdness similar to David Lynch's "Rabbits" or you can suddenly remember as neighborhood girl trusted you to read her poetry... One may remember self-invented bedtime stories or feel the presence of hattifatteners, but don't be afraid – you can always find your shelter in the blanket fort! Amazing stuff, something exclusive and pleasantly mesmerizing. 

PS: Huge thanks to Sean Conrad for doing great job releasing these gems to the world!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

norma lyon

"a collection of 16 pieces privately released by Norma Lyon in the late 1960s. all are original compositions for piano and organ. dark, moody and dramatic, each of these “sketches” was inspired by a place Ms. Lyon has lived. the tone of the record is set by its fantastic titles, including “Flight of the Spirit Geese,” “Phantom Cathedral of the Sea” and “Dirge of the Sea Gods.” the first side, “Dune Sketches,” is based on a period when she lived amidst the dunes in southwest Oregon. the second side, “Sea Sketches,” is drawn from the time she spent living with her twin sister overlooking the ocean in Coos Bay." little axe

"Norma Lyon was an Oregon, pianist, composer and children's book illustrator. she spent many years living in a small cabin in Hauser around the coastal dunes of Oregon which provided the inspiration for the first side of the record: Dune Sketches. the liner notes detail a series of setbacks for Ms. Lyon including contracting polio and a 1943 car accident which “resulted in the loss of a middle finger and the the thumb above the first joint. Plastic surgery enabled her to regain use of her thumb.” the second side Sea Sketches was inspired by living the last seventeen years in her studio overlooking the sea in Coos Bay. the album had a press run of 1000 copies was probably released in 1968 and Ms. Lyon was hoping that the proceeds from the album would help pay off her mortgage. Ms. Lyons was 58 at the time of the albums release and living with her twin sister. she has a cat named Franz and a dog named Bobby. she was at the time of the article (August 1968) working on a childrens record and book whose narrative was some sort of underwater puppet adventure where “happiness triumphs over tragedy.” backroom

si te gusta 'church organ' de Sun Ra, las sonatas para piano de Chopin, la banda sonora de las películas mudas en blanco y negro, Korla Pandit, Pierre Palla, las cascadas de piano de 'pianoketo' de Antti Tolvi (mmm), la música de órgano de los años treinta, la preciosísima 'meditation' de gurdjieff /hartmann y este mini compilado de Salvador, te enamorarás de Norma Lyon (compositora y pianista) y Marie Celia Dunn (órgano). todos los detalles de la vida de Norma, en este artículo de 1968.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

armando sciascia

"composed by Armando Sciascia in 1972, this unique library concept LP of sublime underwater sounds, ideas and trips is at last available to mere mortals. Sciascia is one of the Italian musical legends, whose other work includes classic spaghetti westerns, bizarre electronics and experimental modern orchestrals for synchronisation. the original Sea Fantasy LP is notoriously hard to find, and for many is a high point in deep underwater sounds, experiments and moods. 500 vinyl copies only. limited distribution. buy now if you are a fan of Jacques Cousteau, De Roubaix, Italian library music, scuba diving, snorkels, wearing wetsuits or you get the paddling pool out on a hot summer's day." trunk

un regalo y un recuerdo de otra época: shipwreck! nada me haría más feliz que trunk se acordase también de Walt Rockman y 'underwater vol. 1'.