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A compilation of poems by the jazz musician and poet Sun Ra, in a bilingual edition (English / Spanish). "The adventure began in a library that looks like a spaceship, next to a monument in the shape of a burned marshmallow that celebrates the first atomic reaction generated by humans. A plaque in the monument suggests that the powerful energy should be used for beneficial purposes. Inside this lunar library is the Special Collections Centre at the University of Chicago, that keeps the archive of Alton Abraham – Sun Ra Collection, comprising the period 1822-2008. Alton Abraham (1927-1999), entrepreneur and hospital technician, was a friend and partner of Sun Ra, and throughout his life he collected manuscripts, ephemera, artifacts, photographs and audio-visual recordings of the work of Sun Ra and his collaborators. Within the archive, which occupies 48 m of linear shelf space (146 boxes and a large folder) we found Sun Ra's wallet, containing his lawyer's business card, the insurance receipt for his car, a cabalistic amulet, and a million dollar bill perforated in the center. We also discovered Sun Ra's typed poems, with handwritten corrections and in various versions. His poems generate a parallel geometry, a world that is precise and ambiguous at the same time. A sidereal enthusiasm made us think that the translation of his poems into our mother tongue could bring us close to his cosmos, and simultaneously allow us to share them with the Spanish-speaking firmament." Selection and translation by Mariana Castillo Deball, Tania Islas Weinstein and Alberto Ortega. Sun Ra (1914-1993) is an African-American experimental jazz pianist and composer. A prolific artist, he recorded over one-hundred albums with his band, the Sun Ra Arkestra. His work is imprinted with esoteric elements drawn from a personal cosmic philosophy that had a great influence on Afrofuturism.

Sun Ra: En algún lado y en ninguno – Poemas

First published in 1971 on Futura by Gérard Terronès, the first album by Théâtre du Chêne Noir is a protest: non-conformist and alive. According to Gelas’ own words, "Aurora is a fantastic tale of the fabulous story of the Earth and children who fight against terrifying bird men who fly from planet to planet to enslave the inhabitants and become the masters of the universe." Acted by ambitious, radical actors, the group also made for excellent musicians! --- "In 1972, Steve Lacy recorded Solo, one of the gems in his discography, in the Théâtre du Chêne Noir in Avignon. The previous year (which was also the year in which Aurora appeared), the eponymous group of actors led by Gérard Gelas, took up residence in what was a 12th century chapel. The Théâtre du Chêne Noir is therefore not just the name of a space open to all kinds of artistic audacity, but also the name of the great Theatre Group which resides there.  Gérard Terronès showed some flair when he published, in 1971 on Futura, the first album by Théâtre du Chêne Noir. It has to be said that the group run by Gérard Gelas was right up his street: non-conformist, eccentric, protesting, just so alive… Singing too, as we can still hear today on Aurora, recorded at Avignon the 22 and 23 June 1971.  Aurora, which had been created a few weeks earlier at Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil, is according to, Gelas’ own words, a fantastic tale with actor musicians who play out the fabulous story of the Earth, and children who fight against terrifying bird men who fly from planet to planet to enslave the inhabitants and become the masters of the universe. It is an ambitious subject and thankfully (even more so for the album than for the play), the actors are also excellent musicians! If we can find «Chêne Noir» between Checkpoint Charlie and Chillum in the Nurse With Wound List created by Steven Stapleton and John Fothergill, Aurora is closer to Stances à Sophie by the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and the Divine Comédie by Bernard Parmegiani and François Bayle. So, we need to move forward cautiously in this landscape of recitals and songs, of mysteries and cries, where saxophones and flutes, electric guitars and percussions spring up… Could the tragic climax have been possible without music? The Théâtre du Chêne Noir replies no to the question and creates a fascinating mix of text and music without one dominating the other. Enjoy the show!

Le Théâtre Du Chêne Noir – Aurora

Black Truffle’s documentation of the prolific recent work of legendary American composer Alvin Lucier continues with Works for the Ever Present Orchestra. This is a very special release for the composer as it presents pieces written for the thirteen-member Ever Present Orchestra, formed in 2016 exclusively to perform Lucier’s works. At the heart of the ensemble are four electric guitars, an instrument Lucier began composing for in 2013 with Criss-Cross (recorded by two core members of the Ever Present Orchestra, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, for whom it was composed, on Black Truffle 033). Through the use of e-bows, the guitars take on a role akin to the slow sweep pure wave oscillators heard in many of Lucier’s works since the early 1980s, but with added harmonic richness. Like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, the pieces recorded here focus on acoustic phenomena, especially beating patterns, produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches. The work presented here is some of the richest and most inviting that Lucier has composed. Though all of the pieces clearly belong to the same continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space and make use of related compositional devices, each takes on a strikingly different character. Titled Arc, for the full ensemble of four guitars, four saxophones, four violins, piano and bowed glockenspiel inhabits a world of sliding, uneasy tones, punctuated by a single piano note. Where Double Helix, for four guitars, rests on a pillow of warm, low hum, EPO-5, for two guitars, saxophone, violin, and glockenspiel possess a limpid, crystalline quality. Accompanying the four new compositions are two adaptations of existing pieces for radically different instrumentation, demonstrating Lucier’s excitement about the new possibilities suggested by this dedicated ensemble. Works for the Ever Present Orchestra is an essential document of the current state of Lucier’s continuing exploration, as well as offering a seductive entry-point for anyone who might yet be unacquainted with his singular body of work.2CD release presented in a deluxe 4-panel digipak with cover artwork and liner notes from Alvin Lucier plus a 16-page booklet with live photos. Disc 2 of this release includes the bonus Adaptions for the Ever Present Orchestra featuring two pieces (“Two Circles” and “Braid”) that are not included on the vinyl version. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Design by Lasse Marhaug.

Alvin Lucier – Works for the Ever Present Orchestra

"Premier recordings of two recent works by legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier. A friend and contemporary of pioneers like Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Gordon Mumma, and Christian Wolff, Lucier has been crafting elegant explorations of the behavior of sound in physical space since the 1960s. Lucier is perhaps best known for I Am Sitting in a Room (1970), in which he repeatedly re-recorded his own speaking voice being played back into a room until the room’s resonant frequencies entirely obscure the spoken text. Beginning in the early 1970s, he has written a remarkable catalogue of instrumental works that focus on phenomena produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches, such as audible beating, often using pure electronic tones produced by oscillators in combination with single instruments. Demonstrating the restless creative drive of an artist now in his 80s, the two recent works presented here both feature the electric guitar, an instrument Lucier has just recently begun to explore. In Criss-Cross, Lucier’s first composition for electric guitars, two guitarists using e-bows sweep slowly up and down a single semitone, beginning at opposite ends of the pitch range. The piece is a model of simplicity, exemplifying Lucier’s desire not to ‘compose’ in the conventional sense, but rather to eliminate everything that ‘distracts from the acoustical unfolding of the idea’. In this immaculately controlled performance of Criss-Cross by Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, (for whom the piece was written in 2013), a seemingly simple idea creates a rich array of sonic effects – not simply beating patterns, which gradually slow down as the two tones reach unison and accelerate as they move further apart, but also the remarkable phenomenon of sound waves spinning in elliptical patterns through space between the two guitar amps. In the comparatively lush Hanover, Lucier draws inspiration from the beautiful photograph that provides the LP with its cover, an image of the Dartmouth Jazz Band taken in 1918 featuring Lucier’s father on violin. Using the instrumentation present in the photograph, Lucier creates an unearthly sound world of sliding tones from violin, alto and tenor saxophones, piano, vibraphone (bowed) and three electric guitars (which take the place of the banjos present in the photograph). Waves of slow glissandi create thick, complex beating patterns, gently punctuated by repeated single notes from the piano. The result is a piece that, like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, is simultaneously both unperturbably calm and constantly in motion." Design by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M Belin. “Criss-Cross” recorded at Studios Ina GRM, Paris by Francois Bonnet and mixed by Alvin Lucier. “Hanover” recorded in Zurich and mixed by Alvin Lucier.

Alvin Lucier – Criss Cross / Hanover

「Small Stone」  "In Japan during the Covid-19 lock down we saw a movement. It was created from a woman who raised her voice to say NO via SNS to one of the controversial bills, a revision of the public prosecutor's office law* that was about to go through the Lower House without a fair public hearing. This tiny voice of hers went viral and formed an online demonstration to protect our democracy. It is very rare in Japan for the public to be actively involved in any policies. Alas the bill was temporarily suspended because many finally stood up. When we threw lots of small stones, the mountain got moved a little. However we shouldn’t celebrate yet. We need to be calm and grounded and observe what the government will do.” says Kyoko Koizumi, an actress and a producer whom I respect dearly. Her phrases sums up things that do not change so easily.  *A proposed legal revision that would raise the retirement age for prosecutors became the centre of controversy this week when it was taken up by the Lower House. Unlike officials in other administrative organizations, prosecutors have wide powers to investigate, arrest and indict anyone, even prime ministers and other high officials. They must remain highly neutral and independent from other authorities and political powers. Since the proposed revision could allow the Cabinet to intervene in the personnel affairs of prosecutors’ offices, many experts fear it could jeopardize the independence of prosecutors and the separation of powers.   「Serene」 The music of Eric Dolphy lives with Breathing. We never forget the day May 25th 2020 for the world we can freely breath in and out.  「Two Blue Kites」 June 4th 1989 , it is a very memorable day for me.  31 years ago I took part in a demonstration for the first time ever in my life. It was a small resistance held in Tokyo. I was with the Chinese people raising my voice out loud in the crowd. I couldn’t do anything but I felt that I had to do something.  In the beginning of the 90s I was going back and forth between Tokyo and Hong Kong making music. I was offered to make music for a film portrait the night before the Chinese Cultural Revolution called “ The Blue Kite”. The producer of this film invited me to make the music for the film. The film director was banned from making this film in mainland China and he escaped to Japan via Hong Kong. The film was finally completed in Japan. Hong Kong was still in British colony then. This film made my film music career begin.  June 4th 2020 The Hong Kong government banned the public to organise and attend the candlelight rallies to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre. Despite the harsh policing and the Covid-19 regulation many people (still) defied the ban and tried to attend the commemoration. I was thinking of many of my friends there at the moment.   I wonder how this little country, Hong Kong, that “brought me up” and “ shaped me who I am today” will be from now. My heart is full of concern for its future. The film The Blue Kite is still banned in China to this date." - Otomo Yoshihide In Japanese / 日本語訳 「Small Stone」 日本では、ステイホームの期間中の5月8日、一人の女性の発言をきっかけに、現政権がやろうとしていた三権分立をゆるがすようなひどい法案(検察庁法改正案)に対し多くの人々がSNSを使って異を唱え、それがデモのような効果をもたらし、5月18日国会での法案決議を阻止するに至った。 「小さな石をたくさん投げたら山が少し動いた。が、浮き足立ってはいけない。冷静に誰が何を言い、どんな行動を取るのか見守りたい。」 敬愛する女優でありプロデューサーの小泉今日子が5月19日にSNSで呟いたこの発言は、そのうねりのことと同時に、しかしそう簡単に現状は変わらないことも表している。 「Serene」 エリック・ドルフィーが作る曲は呼吸とともにある。2020年5月25日は忘れてはならない日だ。 みなが伸び伸びと息ができる世界のために。 「Two Blue Kites」   6月4日は個人的にも忘れられない日だ。31年前のこの日、わたしは初めてデモに参加した。東京でおこなわれた小さなデモだった。東京に住む中国人たちと一緒にわたしも声をあげていた。いてもたってもいられなかったのだ。 90年代初頭、わたしは香港と東京を行き来して音楽をつくっていた。そんな中1993年、文化大革命前夜の北京を描いた「The Blue Kite」という中国映画の音楽を作ることになったのが、わたしが映画の世界に入る切っ掛けだった。中国で作ることを禁じられ、香港経由でフィルムを持って日本に脱出した監督が東京で完成させた映画で、香港のプロデューサーがわたしを誘ってくれたのだ。当時香港はまだイギリス領だった。 2020年6月4日、香港では天安門事件31周年の集会が新型コロナを理由に禁止されていたにも関わらず、多くの人たちが集まり追悼集会が開かれていた。きっと多くの友人もそこにいるのだろう。わたしを育ててくれた香港はどうなっていくのだろうか。 「The Blue Kite」は今でも中国での上映が禁止されている。

Otomo Yoshihide – 「Small Stone」

Takuroku

Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.

“Nostalgia (from nostos – return home, and algia – longing) is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images – of home and abroad, past and present, dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.” - Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia” “I’m not deliberately out to antagonise an audience or spite them or anything like that, but if they adopt the attitude of ‘This isn’t what we expected’, then yippee, I’m gonna wallow in that, because you shouldn’t sit back and expect anything at all.” - John Lydon, “Anger is an Energy” Spring time. Three period instruments from the turn of the century: Yamaha CS1X, Korg MonoSynth 2000, MicroKorg Synth Vocoder. Fingers fumble, sounds happen - obnoxious, unapologetic, fragile like a wobbly cassette that you’ve listened to a million times on the Walkman you dropped before you could afford a Discman. I’m not playing the instruments, they are playing themselves, they are playing me and there is no forcing or fighting them. Faded-photograph sunshine sounds of ’90s electronica, caramelised sweetened condensed milk, the beach, rage, DIY chamber music for cats. Then, it stops: the end of nostalgia and the end of the world as you know it. We are getting old and the sounds have lost their innocence. Thank you to Ed (Teddy) Bennett, Michael Keeney and Hannah Peel for the synth love.  -- Xenia Pestova Bennett - composition / performance / recording / mixing -- Ed Bennett, production / creative & artistic concept Antony Ryan (RedRedPaw), mastering Oliver Barrett, cover design from a photo by Xenia Pestova Bennett

Xenia Pestova Bennett – Atonal Electronic Chamber Music For Cats

OTOROKU

In house label for Cafe OTO which documents the venue's programme of experimental and new music, alongside re-issuing crucial archival releases.

Born in 1964, Yukihiro Isso is a Japanese Noh flutist (hayashi-kata fue-kata) from a family that has been playing this instrument since the 16th century. He received his initial instruction in flute playing from his father Yukimasa Isso and performed on the Noh stage for the first time at the age of nine. From his middle school years he began to listen to a variety of different kinds of music and studying new instruments including the recorder, flute and piano. An acclaimed performer of classical Noh repertoire, Isso is also an accomplished improviser and has performed with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Peter Brötzmann and John Zorn.. Born 1946, Roger Turner grew up amongst the Canterbury musical life of the 1960’s with a strong jazz foundation. Since 1974 work has been concentrated on exploring a more personal percussion language through the processes of improvisation. Solo work, collaborations with experimental rock musics & open - form song, extensive work with dance, film and visual art, involvements in numerous jazz-based ensembles, & workshop residencies have formed part of that development. Takanehishigu is the audio documentation of the first time these artists played together. The results are a breathtaking new music which remains respectful to the individual traditions whilst simultaneously subverting them. --- Yukihiro Isso / Nohkan (noh-flute), shinobue, dengakubue, gemshorn and recorder. Roger Turner / percussion --- Takanehishigu was recorded live at Cafe Oto on 23rd Sep 2015 by Shaun Crook Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Paul Abbott. Edition of 500 copies.

Roger Turner / Yukihiro Isso – Takanehishigu

For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support.  We're very pleased to announce Pat Thomas's ‘The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari’ on our in-house OTOROKU label. Recorded live at OTO in May 2015 and mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi, the LP comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists. In Pat's own words: The title for this album was inspired by the incredible automatic water clock invented by Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. Al Jazari refers to the fact he was born in Al Jazira which lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates in what is now Northern Iraq. Badi al Zaman means prodigy of the age. He is known by historians of technology as the father of modern robotics. The Elephant Clock at seven metres high is a testament to his engineering genius, it utilizes Greek water raising technology, combined with an Indian elephant, Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures, Persian carpet and Chinese Dragons celebrating the diversity of cultures in the world. This and other marvels of engineering can be found in his Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices translated by Donald Hill (Pakistan Hijra Council). Over 50 devices are mentioned. Amongst them the first analog computer, his remarkable Castle Clock, however, the debt the world owes this muslim genius is found in his remarkable water raising devices, particularly water raising device number 4 where for the first time a crank connecting rod system is used. The crank is considered to be the most important single mechanical device after the wheel, by 1206 this is found fully developed in Jazari`s machines predating Francesco di Giorgio Martini by 3 centuries. 'For Al Haytham' is dedicated to the great polymath genius who wrote the great book on vision, the first person to give us a true understanding of how we see. 'Lubb' is an Arabic word meaning innermost consciousness whilst to conclude proceedings 'Done' is loosely based on a well known standard. - Pat Thomas 26th May 2017 --- Pat Thomas / piano --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 4th May 2015 by Mark Jasper. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photo by Fabio Lugaro. Design by Maja Larsson. 

Pat Thomas – The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari

For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support. Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

HAINO KEIJI / JOHN BUTCHER – LIGHT NEVER BRIGHT ENOUGH

Two years after having recorded Aurora, which Gérard Terronès released on his Futura Records label in 1971, the Théâtre du Chêne Noir put on another show, Miss Madona, first at Avignon, and then at Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil. Fromthis play, Gérard Gelas’ group took three sound extracts which they made, with no further ado, into a single.Miss Madona is thus the second recording by Théâtre du Chêne Noir. The two sides(and three tracks) offer up an unbelievable instrumental theatre with something of a white magic ritual about it. The actors, so much better for the record, were also musicians; alongside Miss Madona, ex-star of the circus and now idol, were the piano and electric organ of Daniel Dublet, the saxophones of Pierre Surtel and Jean-Louis Canaud, and the trumpet of Gilbert Say. But there are also the vocals of Beatrice Le Thierry, Bénédicte Maulet, Jean Paul Chazalon, Monik Lamy, Nicole Aubiat... which added to the mystery of what happened on stage. The sound of this particular theatre may remind us as much of John Coltrane as of Ravi Shankar, Pierre Henry or the Art Ensemble of Chicago. There are voices from beyond the grave, inspirational for future musicians: Steven Stapleton, for example who included Théâtre du Chêne Noir in his Nurse With Wound List. On the occasion of Record Store Day 2020, Souffle Continu, who are just to reissue Aurora, can be proud of re-releasing this single, which is rare in more ways than one.

LE THÉÂTRE DU CHÊNE NOIR – MISS MADONA

This recording is not a "best of", it is a reflection of Tori Kudo's evolution as a composer, from playing with seasoned musicians, to playing with people just starting out, from playing with meticulous scores, to playing call & response melodies written down, to the songs here on "Je est un Autre": instant improvisations based on keyboard compositions that Tori plays for the group. Yes, that is it. He plays a recording of himself on the keyboard, with singing or humming sometimes and he leaves it to the "big band" to interpret this on the spot. Sometimes, you can make out the melody, other times it is quite obscure, as if a sort of common shyness flows out of the collected instrumentarium.And other times, well, it is a big party.Mr Kudo and the group were invited to tour Europe to celebrate 20 years of the project Le Ton Mité, members of which are absorbed into the ensemble. The recording evolves from the static sound of hermetic conditions to the live concert in the later tracks. The studio here, is a trendy concert hall in Brussels Les Ateliers Claus. You hear the applause of the brave ears that weathered the ride of accidental psychedelia & moiré of various notes fading into and out of each other. This is only a sliver of the material from the 20 hour recording marathon documenting the new composing/playing style of Mr Kudo & snippets from the last concert of the March 2018 tour. Perhaps the album should be called "Je est un autre : Volume 1" in a vague reference to "My Brother The Wind" series from Sun Ra. In any case, here you have four sides of ten inch vinyl to take you on a journey into Maher: Je est un autre...  --- Tori Kudo : electric guitar, keyboard, voiceMikiko Suzuki : electric guitarMarina Shibazaki : electric guitarCorneliiiii : acoustic guitar, melodionNaoki Otani : trumpet, voiceChie Ozeki : trombone, bass, fluteJunko Harada : euphoniumTakahashi Tsukasa : drums, percussionJunko Suzuki : percussionsMomoko Maejima : pianicaShiu Yeung Hui : violin, melodicaEric Kinny : slide guitar, mandolinZach Phillips : bassJeremy Latch : clarinetEleonore Kenis : alto saxophoneMcCloud Zicmuse : bassoon, alto clarinet, recorder, chanter, synthisizer, voiceHans Bloemmen : tenor saxophoneOona Libens : musical sawFrançois Schultz : musical sawRecorded 18 & 24 March 2018 at Ateliers Claus, St Gilles, BelgiumEngineer : Christophe AlbertijnMixed by Tori Kudo at at Village Hototoguiss studio Dogo, Ehime, Japanall compositions by Tori Kudo exceptRecercada segunda sobre el canto llano "La Spagna" by Diego Ortiz (c. 1510 - c. 1570)Les Barricades Mystérieuses by François Couperin (1668 - 1733)Crickets by Jim Wilson

Maher Shalal Hash Baz – Je est un autre

Ecka Mordecai is a relatively new figure in the London experimental music scene. After a nomadic creative life in the North of England, forming relationships with the likes of Andrew Chalk, Tom Scott, Holly Jarvis and Kate Armitage, 'Critique & Prosper' is her first solo album and presents the most recent development of her solo practice. Melodic mantras, wandering improvised passages and refracted blues vocalisations find each other in her domestic world, revealing glimmers of sensual songcraft that opens outward. Critique + Prosper was developed and compiled within a collaborative project facilitated by artist-curator Katherine Ka Yi Liu and with artist Clarinda Tse. The text is a listening-response to the album as written by Clarinda Tse.  "Compass needle frantically spins near irregular electric fields of ghosts, and phones too. Receiving metallic frequencies of interconnected ghosts, stroked by scratchy fingers 1. astroturf melts into tufty faux fur. Strands of memory vibrate towards an open wound, lightly tapping on the soft box that withholds 2. mouth-a-boundary, finding space across fibres of a dried throat. The closure of lips contains a transcending hum, sealed an inhale but released an exhale into sweaty sticky-crisp air. Rubbery skins rub against each other in attempt to open 3. hot tarmax. We have to acknowledge skin as our biggest organ, shields against the losing of the individual, forming pockets of space in arrangement of skipping stones stirred into a dark glistening puddle. Before we notice, we are thrown off gravity and stuck onto some unknown surface, breathing with inflamed lungs. Outer fear unleash the voice of 4. critique + prosper to disjoin the cells of inner comfort. With wind brushing our eyes, we found a few hairs on the largest grassy rug, traces of inhabitation or passing. Consistency of domination. Air that passes through our head phones and ears, 5. did begun we hear or listen. Transmitting signals to the cell tower - Unarmed! Dismantle! 6. Show up or shut up in our library. Clashes of volatile shells, nails, the undead in the transparent vessel of bodily fluids." - Clarinda Tse https://clarindatse.com/http://www.katherinekayiliu.com/ -- Written, performed, recorded and produced by Ecka Mordecai   --     Mastered by Miles Whittaker Artwork design by Olver Barrett -- Track 4 (Critique + Propser) recorded by Guillaume Dujat'

Ecka Mordecai – Critique + Prosper

Saltern presents its fifth release, Charles Curtis: Performances & Recordings 1998-2018, the first comprehensive collection of recordings surveying the career of renowned, American cellist Charles Curtis. Selected by Curtis and Tashi Wada from recordings spanning the past two decades, the collection offers a broad, inclusive view of Curtis’s activities across the diverse worlds of music he inhabits, containing rare, unreleased recordings, and never-before-released music by Terry Jennings, Richard Maxfield, Éliane Radigue, Alison Knowles, and Curtis. The wide-ranging scope of this release speaks not to a musical restlessness, but to a genuine spirit of inquiry, as these areas of activity for Curtis have existed concurrently in dialogue, not simply in succession, for decades. Over two hours of music by composers and artists with whom Curtis is closely associated including Éliane Radigue, Guillaume de Machaut, Tobias Hume, Silvestro di Ganassi, Terry Jennings, Morton Feldman, Anton Webern, Olivier Messiaen, Alison Knowles, Richard Maxfield, and Curtis himself. --- “Underpinning everything [Curtis] has achieved is a deep communion with, and a profound technical understanding of, the stuff of sound itself.” – Philip Clark, The Wire Produced by Tashi WadaAdditional mixing by Anthony BurrMastered by Stephan Mathieu Second edition of 500. Liner notes by La Monte Young, Spencer Gerhardt, Curtis, and Tashi Wada. Custom packaging and screen printing by Alan Sherry.

Charles Curtis – Performances & Recordings 1998​-​2018

In his controversial essay on white jazz musician Burton Greene, Amiri Baraka asserted that jazz was exclusively an African American art form and explicitly fused the idea of a black aesthetic with radical political traditions of the African diaspora. In the Break is an extended riff on “The Burton Greene Affair,” exploring the tangled relationship between black avant-garde in music and literature in the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of a distinct form of black cultural nationalism, and the complex engagement with and disavowal of homoeroticism that bridges the two. Fred Moten focuses in particular on the brilliant improvisatory jazz of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, and others, arguing that all black performance—culture, politics, sexuality, identity, and blackness itself—is improvisation. For Moten, improvisation provides a unique epistemological standpoint from which to investigate the provocative connections between black aesthetics and Western philosophy. He engages in a strenuous critical analysis of Western philosophy (Heidegger, Kant, Husserl, Wittgenstein, and Derrida) through the prism of radical black thought and culture. As the critical, lyrical, and disruptive performance of the human, Moten’s concept of blackness also brings such figures as Frederick Douglass and Karl Marx, Cecil Taylor and Samuel R. Delany, Billie Holiday and William Shakespeare into conversation with each other. Stylistically brilliant and challenging, much like the music he writes about, Moten’s wide-ranging discussion embraces a variety of disciplines—semiotics, deconstruction, genre theory, social history, and psychoanalysis—to understand the politicized sexuality, particularly homoeroticism, underpinning black radicalism. In the Break is the inaugural volume in Moten’s ambitious intellectual project-to establish an aesthetic genealogy of the black radical tradition.

Fred Moten – In The Break

Originally published in the mid-1970s, Womens Work was a magazine that sought to highlight the overlooked work of female artists working at the cusp of the visual arts, music, and performance. The magazine was edited by Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood and featured text-based and instructional performance scores by the following 25 artists, composers, and choreographers: Beth Anderon, Ruth Anderson, Jacki Apple, Barbara Benary, Sari Dienes, Nye Ffarrabas (participating as Bici Forbes), Simone Forti, Wendy Greenberg, Heidi Von Gunden, Françoise Janicot, Alison Knowles, Christina Kubisch, Carol Law, Annea Lockwood (also included as Anna Lockwood), Mary Lucier, Lisa Mikulchik, Ann Noël (included as Ann Williams), Pauline Oliveros, Takako Saito, Carolee Schneemann, Mieko Shiomi, Elaine Summers, Carole Weber, Julie Winter, and Marilyn Wood. The magazine was designed by Alison Knowles, who deliberately chose off-white paper and brown inks as a contrast to the sterile, white-paged publications prevalent at the time. The works contained in the magazine range in scope and take on a multitude of forms, employing both typed and written text, often with visual elements such as diagrams, drawings, and photographic images. The editors were and remain adamant that the work should be performed; that they not remain static as an artifact. We wanted to publish work which other people could pick up and do: that aspect of it was really important…this was not anecdotal, this was not archival material, it was live material. You look at a score, you do it.  – Annea Lockwood The first issue, published in 1975, took the form of a saddle-stitched magazine and the second, published in 1978, took the form of a fold-out poster. This facsimile edition reproduces both and houses them in a custom self-folding box. Womens Work is produced in an edition of 1,500 and retails for $24.00. Alison Knowles (b. 1933) is a conceptual artist known for intermedia works in text, graphics, sound, installations, transvironments, performances, paperworks and publishing. She is a founding member of Fluxus, the experimental avant-garde group formally launched in 1962. Her most recent retrospective was at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2016. In 2019 she debuted in Havana, Cuba. Annea Lockwood (b. 1939) is an artist and composer whose lifelong fascination with timbre and new sound sources is reflected in her multidisciplinary work, which has incorporated chamber music, performance, electronic and environmental sound, and visual art. Recent works include commissions for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Thomas Buckner and the S.E.M. Ensemble, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She is a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. 8.5 x 9 inchesMagazine and PosterEdition of 1500May 2019

V/A – Womens Work

Writings is the first collection to widely survey this singular polymath’s prolific activity as a writer. Edited by artists Constance DeJong and Andrew Lampert, the book spans the years 1961 – 2012 and includes fifty-seven pieces: essays originally published in small press magazines, exhibition catalogs, anthologies, and album liner notes, along with other previously unpublished texts. Conrad writes about his own work, with substantial contributions on The Flicker, Loose Connection, Four Violins, Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals, Early Minimalism, Yellow Movies, Slapping Pythagoras, and Music and the Mind of the World, as well as that of his peers: Tony Oursler, Jack Smith, Rhys Chatham, and Henry Flynt, among others. He devotes critical essays both to grand subjects—horology, neurolinguistics, and the historical development of Western music—and more quotidian topics, such as television advertising and camouflage. He also writes on media activism, network communications, censorship, and the political and cultural implications of corporate and global media. No matter the topic or theme, Conrad always approaches his subjects with erudition, precision, and a healthy twist of humor. Tony Conrad (1940–2016) was a multidisciplinary artist known for his groundbreaking art, music, films, and videos, although his work doesn’t fit comfortably within any of these disciplines. He eschewed categorization and actively sought to challenge the constraints of media forms, their modes of production, and the relationships of power embedded within them. --- 576 pages5 x 7.4 inchesPaperbackEdition of 2000

Tony Conrad – Writings

"Luigi Bonotto dedicated himself to keeping the work of the artists of Fluxus and Experimental Poetry alive, and to preserving, cataloguing, and promoting their poetry, music, and work, which was strongly influenced by John Cage and the key concept of his theoretical framework, indeterminacy. Published on the occasion of an exhibition curated by Patrizio Peterlini and Walter Rovere, with the collaboration of Giorgio Maffei, this catalogue delves deeply into this aspect of the Fluxus network. Rife with illustrations, the materials of the collection, as well as the movement and its history, are analysed in scholarly essays by Anna Cestelli Guidi, Alison Knowles, and the curators." Truly necessary catalogue accompanying an extensive exhibition dedicated to art works and musical scores and their relationship with Fluxus, an interdisciplinary movement of international artists, poets, composers and designers who experimented with fusing art and music in the 1960s and 1970s. The catalogue, published on the occasion of an exhibition curated by Patrizio Peterlini and Walter Rovere, delves deeply into this aspect of the Fluxus network. Rife with illustrations, the materials of the collection, as well as the movement and its history, are analysed in scholarly essays by Anna Cestelli Guidi, Alison Knowles, and the curators. The question of the notation of the new performative methodology and the new music certainly does not only involve Fluxus, Zaj and all the experimentation that arose as a result of John Cage‘s teaching. In fact, it began much earlier and spread, accompanied by various diatribes, through much of the last century. However, Fluxus had the distinctive feature of giving primary importance to musical production, presenting all its public events in a “concert” format - These were concerts, however, that systematically demolished every accepted notion of form and content in music, targeting outdated listening conventions and cultural values of the classical tradition, as well as the “scientific” and intellectualised pretensions of the more advanced European contemporary classical experiences. More precisely, the movement challenged preconceived notions about the nature and boundaries of art, and its artificial division into distinct categories: not surprisingly, the term Intermedia was coined to define the unique fusions of poetry, conceptual art, music, theatre, sculpture and performance presented by numerous Fluxus “events”.

Sense Sound Sound Sense – Fluxus Music, Scores & Records

"A classically trained Chinese bamboo flutist, Lao Dan picked up the saxophone again around 2013 as he went wildly astray in the world of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. While demonstrating an ever-growing ability to deliver explosive force and intensity in his free playing, Lao Dan keeps a brutal honesty in his approach to the instrument. He plays ‘jazz’ as what it is, not what it’s supposed to be. Navigating constantly between the East and the West, Lao Dan embraces a unique aesthetics which fuses all his past influences into a voice of glorious mayhem and sheer zaniness.Recorded in June 2019, this is a solo set in which two instruments – tenor saxophone and Zheng, also known as the Chinese zither – were played successively and simultaneously by hands and feet. The recording was made in one go with no overdub or effect added. Lao Dan never learned to play the Zheng properly before this very first attempt. As a result, he didn’t struggle at all to play it in an awkward way, while with the saxophone he did, as always, try very hard to do that.The cover art, created by Shenzhen-based artist Tiemei, is a portrait of Shennong, the Deity of medicine and agriculture in ancient Chinese mythology. The three tracks in Chinese Medicine are named after three species of herb each believed to have unique medicinal properties. It is our responsibility to remind you to take them with extra caution. In Chinese medicine, after all, every drug is a thirty-percent poison."

Lao Dan – Chinese Medicine