On the Record is a weekly column that rounds up details about new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of upcoming release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon and other online record stores, social-media posts, and similar resources. Dates cited correspond to U.S. release of physical recordings where applicable, and are subject to change. These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philip White’s self-sustaining systems
You have to assume that Philip White has gotten used to explaining what it is that he’s doing. It goes with the territory when you specialize in making music with electronics, especially when the tool with which you’re most closely associated is the no-input mixing board – literally a mixing board plugged into itself to generate feedback.
White, a composer, improviser, and instrument builder, has performed and presented works at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kitchen, Issue Project Room, the Stone, and points beyond. He’s worked with the Kronos Quartet, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Urban Bush Women, and fellow no-input mixing board champion Toshimaru Nakamura, and is half of two prominent duos: one featuring the improvising saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos; the other, R WE WHO R WE, a partnership with composer-vocalist Ted Hearne.
Up to now, White has issued recordings of his work principally via his Bandcamp site, as well as a CD apiece on the Carrier and New Focus labels. But this month he takes matters into his own hands – quite literally – with the establishment of AntiCausal Systems, a new label devoted to idiosyncratic sounds and individual voices. The label’s first three releases, available in cassette and digital formats on April 29, include Collapse, a thrilling second release by Pitsiokos and White; emulsions i-iv, a set of pieces by Weston Olencki for analog synthesizers and digital interfaces; and Ggggg, an arresting solo session of extended-technique vocal improvisations by Charmaine Lee.
Marking the arrival of the initial releases, White, Pitsiokos, Lee, and two artists featured on future AntiCausal Systems releases, Lester St. Louis and Paula Matthussen, perform at JACK in Brooklyn. To set the scene, White responded to a set of questions delivered by email, discussing what prompted the new label and what he hopes to do with it.
NATIONAL SAWDUST LOG: What prompted you to start a label?
PHILIP WHITE: I wanted to support artists who have or are in the process of developing a highly idiosyncratic practice. I’m really drawn to the artist who, in describing the world around her, also proposes new ways of understanding; artists who in expressing their experience also open the door for new possibilities and new ways of describing.
With Anticausal Systems, I want to highlight the artists doing that and advocate for and encourage artists who are on that path.
On the practical side, with my audio background, I can help artists record, mix, and master for little or no money, which lifts at least some of the barriers to getting this kind of stuff out there.
So… why cassettes? (Understand, this isn’t skepticism; I’m very pro-tape.)
While I think cassettes will be our go-to for the time being, we’re not really tied to any format. Cassettes make it very feasible financially to do a physical release, especially since I went ahead and bought all the equipment to do duplication in house. I’m in it for the long haul and making sure that everything stays sustainable is really important to me.
But, it’s not all financial. There’s something (for me at least) about putting on a tape that says “I’m going to listen to music now” that’s different than say putting in your earbuds and waiting on the train.
Your duo with Chris has been running for five years now. What does the new tape demonstrate about how the duo has grown and developed?
I think the playing is both more unified and more lyrical. Between Paroxysm and Collapse I designed/built an entirely new instrument. While it’s still based in a kind of analog David Tudor-esque non-linear feedback, the controls are all digital, which allows for more direct interaction based on analysis of Chris’s performance. So, often times what you hear on the new album is a situation where Chris and I are both kind of driving the electronics at the same time.
Likewise, Chris’s playing has become more lyrical over the past few years, which I’m really into. Finding the space where we can marry the more timbre-driven material with the melodic feels like a very natural process for us both, I think.
Is the duo’s method completely free, or somehow structurally guided, or some combination of both?
It’s all improvised. There are inherent limits in the instrumentation that certainly shape what we do. At this point we’ve played together quite a bit and when we go to record it’s usually a 3-4 day affair. There’s enough there that I think we’ve built a common vocabulary, deconstructed it, and rebuilt a few times now.
How did you choose the other two projects in the initial release batch?
Initially it was supposed to be five, but a couple of the projects weren’t quite ready when the time came to start sending releases, and ordering tape, so we went with the three that were ready. Like I said above, I’m really interested in artists who have or are developing unique voices. Charmaine and Weston are both virtuosic, compelling performers making great work, so I feel lucky to have them be among the first batch.
Do you have a sense of how often you hope to release new titles? Are they likely to come in threes each time?
Moving forward, I think we’re going for a single release about once a month. I think by the end of the year we’ll have about 10 titles out.
Do you have any specific future releases already in the pipeline, so to speak? (I know Paula Matthusen and Lester St. Louis are on the record launch gig.)
Oh yeah! We’ll have Lester St. Louis later this spring/early summer. And over the next nine months we’ll be doing stuff with Jessie Marino, Paula Matthussen, Henry Fraser’s band The Full Salon, Juraj Kojs, Sam Weinberg and hopefully a couple of other folks I’m talking to.
The three initial releases from Anticausal Systems are due out on April 29, 2018; pre-orders available now via Bandcamp. Philip White, Chris Pitsiokos, Charmaine Lee, and other artists will perform in a record-launch concert on April 29 at JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Ave., Brooklyn; more details here.
New This Week
Anteloper – Kudu (International Anthem) Basil Athanasiadis – Soft Light – Shonorities (Métier) Peter Brötzmann & Fred Lonberg-Holm – Ouroboros (Astral Spirits) District Five – Decoy (Intakt) doon kanda – Luna (Hyperdub) Duo Gazzana – Ravel / Franck / Ligeti / Messiaen (ECM New Series)
Joshua Fineberg – Sonic Fictions – Pascal Contet, Arditti Quartet, Argento Chamber Ensemble/Michel Galante, Talea Ensemble/James Baker (Métier)
Uli Fussenegger – San Teodoro 8 – Ernesto Molinari, Mike Svoboda, Martin Siewert, Uli Fussenegger (Kairos) Globe Unity Orchestra – Globe Unity – 50 Years (Intakt)
Andrew Hamilton – Music for People – Michelle O’Rourke, Juliet Fraser, Maxime Echadour, Crash Ensemble, Ives Ensemble/Alan Pierson (NMC) Insub Meta Orchestra – Choices & Melodies (INSUB.) Alexander Knaifel – Lukomoriye – Oleg Malov, Tatiana Melentieva, Piotr Migunov, Lege Artis Choir/Boris Abalian (ECM New Series) David Lang – writing on water – Alarm Will Sound, London Sinfonietta, Synergy Vocals, Crash Ensemble, Real Quiet, FLUX Quartet (Cantaloupe Music) Pascal Le Boeuf – Into the Anthropocene – Gina Izzo, Jessica Meyer, Dave Eggar (self-released)
Mike McGinnis with Steve Swallow & Art Lande – Singular Awakening (Sunnyside) Maria Monti – Il Bestario (Unseen Worlds; reissue, LP/CD only) Luigi Nono – Como una ola de fuerza y luz; …..sofferte onde serene…; Paulo de Assis – unfolding waves… con luigi nono – Claudia Barainsky, Jan Michiels, SWR Experimentalstudio, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Peter Rundel, Léo Warinsky (Kairos) Arvo Pärt – The Symphonies – NFM Wrocław Philharmonic/Tõnu Kaljuste (ECM New Series) Wenchen Qin – Orchestral Works – Weiwei Lan, Wei Ji, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien/Gottfried Rabl (Kairos) Edward Simon – Sorrows & Triumphs (Sunnyside) Karlheinz Stockhausen – Kurzwellen – C.L.S.I Ensemble/Paul Méfano (Mode) John Zorn – Insurrection (Tzadik)
Elina Duni – Partir (ECM)
☆ Grouper – Grid of Points (Kranky) Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – WRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) Tigue – Strange Paradise (New Amsterdam/NNA Tapes) Nils Vigeland/Reiko Fueting/Daniel Lippel/John Popham – “…through which the past shines…” – solo and chamber works for guitar by Nils Vigeland and Reiko Fueting (New Focus)
☆ John Adams – Naïve and Sentimental Music; Infinite Jest – Doric String Quartet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Peter Oundjian (Chandos)
Architek Percussion – The Privacy of Domestic Life – works by Adam Basanta, Taylor Brook, Duncan Schouten, and Beavan Flanagan (Centrediscs) Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Awase (ECM) Michael Gordon – Clouded Yellow – Kronos Quartet, Young People’s Chorus of New York City/Francisco J. Nuñez (Cantaloupe Music) Michael Torke – Unconquered – Philadelphia Orchestra/Cristian Macelaru (Ecstatic)
☆ Jean-Michel Blais – Dans la main (Arts & Crafts) Michael Blake– The Philosophy of Composition: Works for Violoncello and Piano – Friedrich Gauwerky, Daan Vandewalle (Wergo) Simone Dinnerstein & A Far Cry – Circles – concertos by Bach and Philip Glass (Orange Mountain Music)
Roman Filiú – Quarteria (Sunnyside) María Grand – Magdalena (Biophilia) Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn & Ches Smith – Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records; related Log article here) Oracle Hysterical – Hecuba (National Sawdust Tracks) Steve Reich – Live/Electronic Music (Analog Spark; vinyl reissue) Lisa Steich – pietà – Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra/Gregor Mayrhofer, hand werk/Niklas Seidl, Vokalensemble Kölner Dom/Eberhard Metternich, ensemble recherche, UT insieme vocale-consonante/Lorenzo Donati (Wergo)
☆ Ketan Bhatti – Nodding Terms – Ensemble Adapter (Col Legno)
☆ Ketil Bjørnstad – A Suite of Poems (ECM)
Daniel Carter, William Parker & Matthew Shipp – Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity) Ghost Ensemble – We Who Walk Again – works by Sky Macklay, Pauline Oliveros, and Ben Richter (Indexical) ☆ Dave Gisler Trio – Rabbits on the Run (Intakt) Rachel Grimes – The Doctor from India (Original Soundtrack) (Mossgrove Music)
Robert Honstein – An Economy of Means – Karl Larson, Douglas Perkins (New Focus) Okkyung Lee – Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Tzadik) ☆ Angelika Niescier with Chris Tordini and Tyshawn Sorey – The Berlin Concert (Intakt) Stephanie Richards – Fullmoon (Relative Pitch) ☆ Marc Sinan/Oğuz Büyükberber – White (ECM) Henry Threadgill Double Up Ensemble – Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi Recordings) Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – Dirt… and More Dirt (Pi Recordings) Steve Tibbetts – Life Of (ECM)
☆ Areon Flutes – No Era – works by Sahba Aminikia, Ryan Brown, and Danny Clay(Innova)
Sarah Bernstein – Crazy Lights Shining (Phase Frame) The Hands Free – The Hands Free (New Amsterdam) ☆ Jenny Olivia Johnson – Sylvia Songs (Innova)
Loadbang – Old Fires Catch Old Buildings – works by Scott Wollschleger, Angélica Negrón, Taylor Brook, Paula Matthusen, William Lang, Jeffrey Gavett, and Reiko Fueting (New Focus)
Jon Hassell – Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) (Ndeya; related Log article here) Colin Stetson – Hereditary (original motion picture soundtrack) (Milan) ☆ Thumbscrew – Ours (Cuneiform) ☆ Thumbscrew – Theirs (Cuneiform)
Brian Chase – Drums and Drones: Decade (Chaikin; related Log articlehere) Charlie Looker – Simple Answers (Last Things) Aribert Reimann – L’Invisible – Rachel Harnisch, Annika Schlicht, Ronnita Miller, Seth Carico, Stephen Bronk, Thomas Blondelle, Salvador Macedo, Orchester der Deutsche Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles (Oehms) Norbert Rodenkirchen, Robbie Lee, and James Ilgenfritz – Opalescence (Telegraph Harp)
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Rew, Christian Wolff, Ellen Arkbro, and John Zorn.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Playlist-May-20-2019.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-20 18:00:232019-05-21 17:28:31Playlist (Something like a bird).
Ahead of Linda May Han Oh's National Sawdust show May 16, watch a video premiere from her new album, 'Aventurine,' which finds the bassist, composer, and bandleader celebrating creativity and evolution.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Oh-banner-3.jpg8001500Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-15 12:00:282019-05-15 13:54:27Video Premiere: Linda May Han Oh