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Contempary composition label started in 2013 by percussionist & composer Sarah Hennies.
"Tim Feeney seeks to explore and examine the timbral possibilities inherent in everyday found and built objects. He treats his percussion setup as a friction instrument, using bows, scrapers, and rosined drumheads to capture and amplify frequencies that go unheard when an object is struck with a traditional mallet. He supplements this acoustic console with an electronic instrument, arranged from mixers, contact microphones, and effects pedals, that synthesizes and alters the spectral characteristics of low-fidelity tones, feedback, and noise. Tim worked for years within Boston’s timbral improvising community, a group of musicians interested in unstable sounds and silences, exploring austere#combinations of sound and the otherworldly ripple effects that pulse through#a silent space and alert ears. He has performed with musicians including thereminist James Coleman, cellist/electronic musician Vic Rawlings, pianist Annie Lewandowski, tape-deck manipulator Howard Stelzer, trumpeter Nate Wooley, sound artists Jed Speare and Ernst Karel, saxophonist Jack Wright, the trio Meridian (with percussionists Nick Hennies and Greg Stuart), and#the trio ONDA (with vocalist Ken Ueno and violinist Hillary Zipper. His concerts have been held at experimental spaces such as the Red Room in#Baltimore, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, the Knitting Factory New York, and the Stone, as well as the Center for New Music and Audio Technology at UC-Berkeley, the Stanford#Art Museum, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College."
Performed and recorded by Tim Feeney in Berkshire, NY, and Tuscaloosa, AL, 2010-2013.
Tim Feeney – Caroline
“Fusées” isn’t the first collaboration between Thomas Bonvalet and Jean-Luc Guionnet, their first joint effort “Loges de Souffle” appearing on Be Coq last year. The same label also put out a vinyl edition of “Fusées”, but now Sarah Hennies’ label Weighter Recordings has thankfully stepped in with a CD and download release for the rest of us. Although the two artists are primarily known for their attachments to a particular instrument (guitar for Bonvalet, saxaphone for Guionnet), these instruments are only recognisably audible towards the end of the album, with the majority of sounds belonging to the percussive and analogue-electronic domains. In fact, so rhythmically driven is the album that I would’ve guessed that one of them was a percussionist.
The album has a roughness and warmth to its timbres that is very appealing. Ideas unfold at a steady pace, not remaining static but not rushing anywhere either — a pleasure in sounds, but also in their organisation. The album title translates into English as ‘rockets’, and while there’s plenty of chemical energy and fire, there are also clear trajectories and flight plans. Whether these trajectories were planned out in advance or made up on the fly is, from the listener’s point of view, perhaps not so important. Developing structure can be clearly heard on tracks such as ‘2 mer D_v3’, where the interplay between synth stabs and pounding percussion twists and turns in an intricate dance. Even at its most off-kilter, such as in the broken ringtone melody of ‘1 mer B_v6_oct’, the music retains a sense of intention and direction; the transition through several shades of chaos is as detailed and as captivating as the harmonic micro-shifts of Hennies’ percussive rolls, just with much brasher colours.
The guitar playing on ‘3 mar N_v3’ produces both percussive rhythm and modulating sinewave-like pitches, a synecdoche for the shapes of the album as a whole. Later in the piece, long single-note sax crescendos mould timbre and volume like clay on a potter’s wheel, inflected by stop-start percussion — a stunning effect. Only very rarely, such as on the last track, does the music slide into stock free improvisationish territory, competently done but already explored. “Fusées” is a propulsive album bursting with ideas, distilled into lucid and finely-balanced forms that dazzle and enthral." - Fluid Radio
Thomas Bonvalet / audio ducker, microphones, amplificateurs, frappements de pieds et de mains, peau de tambour, banjo six cordes, componium, diapasons, plectre de pavot sec …
Jean Luc Guionnet / deux vieux orgues électriques (Bontempi Tempest & Farfisa Matador), trois petits harmoniums, une table de mixage bouclée et quelques micros contacts et magnétiques, un petit trumpet speaker mobile, trompette de poche, saxophone soprano
Recorded at Instants Chavirés, January 2014 by Adrian Riffo.
Thanks to Instants Chavirés, Adrian Riffo, La Fonderie and François Tanguy.
Thomas Bonvalet & Jean-Luc Guionnet – Fuseés
"The three duets on the record (respectively written by John Cage, Peter Ablinger, and Hennies) all feature a “solo snare drum performer in duets with three non-performative musical elements.” All three of the elements presented here (silence, noise, and tone) in some way reflect a sonic component of the snare drum’s sound, and tonal differences between each track is striking. On Hennies’ own “Cast and Work,” the composer explores the tonal variations that can occur when the snare on her instrument is turned off and then mixed with other pitched elements. Like Cage’s and Albinger’s compositions, “Cast and Work” is mostly a subtle piece until a barrage of pitched noise from Vanessa Rossetto, Brent Fariss, and Henna Chou comes in near the end. When taken together, these compositions alter the listener’s perception of what a snare drum can do sonically and succeed in taking the instrument out of its often typecast role in music." - Tiny Mix Tapes
A solo snare drum performer in duets with three non-performative musical elements:
Cage - silence Ablinger - noise Hennies - tones
"Cast and Work" includes contributions from Henna Chou, Brent, Fariss and Vanessa Rossetto. Performed and recorded by Sarah Hennies, 2012-2013.
Sarah Hennies – Duets for Solo Snare Drum
Audio version of the DVD release of ‘Clots’, which sits somewhere between performance documentary, artist’s film, audio-visual installation, and music video.
“The music follows Hennies’ penchant for subtle affective states arising from extended repetition, while retaining the strong sense of performing agency heard in recent releases by him for Weighter, Consumer Waste, and Quakebasket. However, O’Neill’s contributions on electronics also come through strongly, particularly in later sections. This brings a sense of multiple discrete layers to the composition, with each section comprised of a number of interlocking parts — an orchestration that fits well with the audio-visual immersion conjured by the project as a whole.” - Fluid Radio
Sarah Hennies / percussion, concept Clay Odom / design Sean O‘Neill / electronics, design Visual documentation / Raphael Umscheid
Filmed during the Clots live performances in Austin, TX, March 23 & 30 2013.
Hennies / Odum / O'Neill – Clots
"The remarkable Boston violinist and composer Morgan Evans-Weiler doesn’t have a score for this record, but its focus is ultra-precise. The piece, dedicated to the stalwart experimentalist Jed Speare, a close friend of the musician and who died in 2016, is a rigorous exploration of pitch, specifically in the microtonal complexity of the simplest bowed gestures. Evans-Weiler relies on a handful of simple pitch variations from memory, but ultimately the results don’t rely on any sort of melodic movement. Rather, the violinist pulls his bow across the strings in richly striated tones both gentle and piercing, marbled by a bounty of sounds—high-pitched squeals, abraded drags, intensely ringing double stops—that eventually bypass the lack of compositional shape to create an enveloping experience all its own.
Evans-Weiler explained that “the performance of the piece is specifically dictated by my experience of the repetitions and the fatigue that accompanies,” and that certainly can apply to the listener, whose level of engagement depends on a certain freshness of the ears, the volume of playback, and attention level. The performance draws heavily on psychoacoustics, where an immersion in the sounds creates an almost psychedelic experience—where the bowed violin seems to produce ever-fattening tones, both viscous and biting. Extended passages are interrupted by brief moments of silent repose, with the violinist changing his fingering before embracing a slightly different pitch—it also allows the listener to recalibrate and retrench for another study that builds in volume and attack. It’s probably not for everyone, but the degree of focus and the richness of Evans-Weiler’s sound-worlds are nothing short of astonishing." – Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily
Morgan Evans-Weiler / violin---
released November 1, 2017
Morgan Evans-Weiler – Unfinished Variations (for Jed Speare)
Prune Becheau's 'Tone strains, guts and hair' is full of colorful, expressive and vivid melodies and fresh timbres, mixed with a sense of fun. Becheau's other work in Pancrace and Urs Graf Consort attest to her free sense of experimentation - it's super nice to hear where she takes it solo.
Prune Bécheau / violon baroque
1. introduction - 01:54 2. tlelel letl - 05:49 3. gegze tulilu - 08:04 4. hgjh hgjh - 02:31 5. fsiu fsiu fsiu - 01:03 6. lui tsk ui - 03:38 7. thschjre - 02:29 8. zzffk zzffk - 10:43
Enregistré au Tuquet en janvier 2018.
Mastered by Thomas Pujols.
Prune Bécheau – Stries ton, tripe et poils
Matt Sargent teaches music at Bard College, which lies close by the Hudson River, and percussionist Bill Solomon, the sole performer on Ghost Music, is a member of Ensemble Signal. Since the music of Steve Reich figures prominently in the Ensemble’s repertoire, and this piece is composed of spare, often repetitive bell tones, it would be easy to file it under New York minimalism – easy, but incomplete. Solomon is also a member of Queer Percussion Research Group, and Weighter Music is operated by Sarah Hennies, whose own music has articulated the isolation and confusion she experienced before coming out as a trans woman. When Sargent first composed the piece a decade ago, he conceived it as “a movable sanctuary.” This music isn’t about following in anyone’s footsteps; it uses bare resources to establish a bounded and essential space. – Bill Meyer, The Wire Magazine August 2018
Matt Sargent – Ghost Music
CAGE began as a loose collective of musicians surrounding Cornell University in 2009, including faculty, students, and community members interested in improvisation and experimentation with sound. Feeney and other founding members Kevin Ernste, Chris Miller, and Annie Lewandowski have collaborated with improvisers and experimental musicians from around the world, including Peni Candrarini, Ellen Fullman, Jessika Kenney, Eyvind Kang, and Theresa Wong.
All tracks improvised by CAGE (Kevin Ernste, Tim Feeney, Annie Lewandowski, and Christopher J. Miller) on sculptures by Harry Bertoia in the collection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Recorded in the Museum in August 2015 by Kevin Ernste. Mixed and mastered by Kevin Ernste and Tim Feeney.
CAGE – Bertoia
Astute solo percussion!
"Enrico Malatesta’s recent release Benandare is one of those works that I truly don’t understand on a sonic level and I absolutely love it for this reason. I’d guess that these works were made digitally if the album didn’t credit Malatesta with only “skin instruments and metal objects”. - Tiny Mix Tapes
"That all three tracks are titled “Immersion-Artifice” is perhaps more descriptive than one would have thought: each offers an immersion in an elemental sound world, which is gradually and subtly revealed to be the product of human theatre, which itself is the result of objects interacting physically with each other, and so on. Solo percussion as dialectics, as the hyphen in the track title suggests." - Fluid Radio.
Performed and recorded by Enrico Malatesta, August 2013. Skin instruments and metal objects. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.
Enrico Malatesta – Benandare