Monday, February 11, 2019

Michael Pisaro - Nature Denatured and Found Again (5CD box set) is now available

Michael Pisaro's 'Nature Denatured and Found Again' (gw016-020) (5CD box set) is officially released on February 7. Now available on Bandcamp. We accept direct orders at erstrecs (at) ($60 plus shipping fee)

The five discs come in an oversized box with cover art by Marcus Kaiser and Yuko Zama. The box set also includes a 24-page full-color booklet containing additional photos by Joachim Eckl, Marcus Kaiser, Emmanuelle Waeckerle, and Michael Pisaro, and liner notes by Michael Pisaro and Joachim Eckl. Limited edition of 500. 

Disc 1: Fissures in Green (2011) 

1.1 Rain at the Station 
1.2 Still Life with Cicadas, Waterfall and Radu 
1.3 Silent Prayer 
1.4 Langhalsen 

Disc 2: Pathsplitter (Yellow-Red) (2012) 

2.1 Canon a2 
2.2 Canon a3 
2.3 Canon a4 
2.4 Canon a5 

Disc 3: Landscape in Black and Grey (2013) 

3.1 The Chords of the Grosse Mühl 
3.2 Six-Part Panorama 
3.3 Building a World
3.4 The Disappearance of a World

Disc 4: White Light Under the Door (2014) 

4.1 Electricity
4.2 Heat
4.3 Light
4.4 Gas

Disc 5: Hellgrün (Small New World) (2015) 

5.1 Malachite
5.2 Bird Warnings
5.3 The River is a Green-Brown God
5.4 Emerald Twilight

Each disc has four 12-minute tracks, each of which is followed by 12 seconds of silence.

The total duration of each disc is 48’48”.


Antoine Beuger (flute) 
Jürg Frey (clarinet) 
Marcus Kaiser (cello) 
Radu Malfatti (trombone) 
André Möller (electric guitar) 
Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro (oboe/english horn) 

composition, field recording, sine tones, noise, mixing, mastering by Michael Pisaro 

based on the ‘flussaufwärtstreiben’ project 
created by Joachim Eckl, Marcus Kaiser and Michael Pisaro 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

We are happy to reveal the final cover design of Michael Pisaro - Nature Denatured and Found Again (GW 016-020), to be released in Feb or March 2019.

CD 1: Fissures in Green (2011)
CD 2: Pathsplitter (Yellow-Red) (2012) 
CD 3: Landscape in Black and Grey (2013) 
CD 4: White Light Under the Door (2014) 
CD 5: Hellgrün (Small New World) (2015) 

Antoine Beuger (flute)
Jürg Frey (clarinet)
Marcus Kaiser (cello)
Radu Malfatti (trombone)
André Möller (electric guitar)
Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro (oboe/english horn)

based on the ‘flussaufwärtstreiben’ project created by Joachim Eckl, Marcus Kaiser and Michael Pisaro

box cover photos by Marcus Kaiser (pipeline) and Joachim Eckl (landscape)
box cover design by Marcus Kaiser and Yuko Zama

Each disc will be 48 minutes long.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Nature Denatured and Found Again (GW 016-020)

In early 2019, Gravity Wave will release a 5CD box set titled 'Nature Denatured and Found Again' (GW 016-020).

The piece is derived from field recordings made along the Grosse Mühl River, Neufelden, Austria, from 2011 to 2015 (during the flussaufwärts project created by Joachim Eckl, Marcus Kaiser and Michael Pisaro). Alongside the recordings of the river as it flows down from Neufelden to the Danube, are performances by Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Marcus Kaiser, Radu Malfatti, André Möller, and Kathryn Pisaro. Pisaro has been working on the piece since 2011 and we are very happy to have it finally see the light of day.

Disc 1: Fissures in Green (2011)
Disc 2: Pathsplitter (Yellow-Red) (2012)
Disc 3: Landscape in Black and Grey (2013)
Disc 4: White Light Under the Door  (2014)
Disc 5: Hellgrün (Small New World) (2015)

Each disc will be 48 minutes long.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

European Tour, June-July, 2018

There are several events coming up in Europe, from the last part of June until the end of July that I thought I would post here, in case friends in those places would like the information.

June 22, Dundalk, Ireland. (
As part of the two-day festival "The Book of Hours," presented by the Louth Contemporary Music Society, Gothic Voices will premiere my new piece for four voices "wind & silence" along with performing "Lucretius Counterpoint" (2007) (accompanied by Séverine Ballon, Helen Bledsoe and Carol Robinson). The whole festival looks great! There are also works by CalArts colleagues Karen Tanaka and Wolfgang von Schweinitz. I will play as part of the group doing Gavin Bryars' classic "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet."

June 27-28, Cafe OTO, London. (
Two days at Cafe OTO with solo pieces and a duo performance with Graham Lambkin on the 27th. On the 28th, a quartet with Angharad Davies, Sarah Hughes, Tisha Mukarji and myself have assembled a program of recent works, including "Something about the rain (two dialogues for four people)", "half-sleep beings" and "for Stela."

June 30, Aux Temps du Corps, 10 Rue de l'Échiquier, Paris, 75010, 8:30 pm (
A concert of pieces from the "harmony series" with Félicie Bazelaire (contrabass), Deborah Walker (cello) and Cyprien Busolini (viola).

July 3, La Malterie, Lille, France (
Le Grande Orchestre de Muzzix will give the premiere of a new orchestra piece, "Haeckel's Radiolarians" commissioned for this group.

July 5, Klang im Dach, Munich, Germany (
Rasha Ragab, Christoph Nicolaus and I will premiere a new piece I've written for the occasion, "Athena, Aristotle, Helen" for three performers. 

July 9-16, Composers-meet-Composers, Heim-Art, Neufelden, Austria (
Mentoring and concerts with Antoine Beuger, Joachim Eckl, Radu Malfatti and Emmanuelle Waeckerle – and guests Aaron Breilyn, Frederik Donche, Jameson Feakes, Josten Myburgh and Florencia Sgandurra. 

July 17-19, Recontres Internationales de la Création Musicale, Abbaye de Sylvanès, Ayeron, France 
Organized by GMEA, I will join the other guests, Peter Ablinger, Pascale Berthelot, Pascale Criton, Éliane Radigue (TBC) and Thomas Tilly for public discussions and conferences.

July 24-July 29, Klangraum 2018 "Day-to-Day", Düsseldorf, Germany (
A rotating series of eight daily events, including amongst many other things, an ongoing reading of John Ashbery's Litany by Antoine Beuger and myself, and a version of Krapp's Last Tape, produced Joep Dorren.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Étant donnés (GW 014) / Shades of Eternal Night (GW 015)

Gravity Wave 2018

(Photo of the eastern shore of Syros by Michael Pisaro)

After a hiatus of about three years, Gravity Wave will swing back into action in 2018 with three releases (containing seven discs total).

(Photo of Étant donnés, Marcel Duchamp, exterior, by Yuko Zama)

 Étant donnés (GW 014) is a six-track disc based almost entirely on samples.

1. give me your sines (2’44)
2. rounds most pinched, most arched (10’00)
3. bass never smiles (4’04)
4. sympathy for 11 (11’00)
5. escape from new chords (6’24)
6. shosty riot (5’34)

(Photo of Fifty Days at Iliam, Cy Twombly, by Yuko Zama)

Shades of Eternal Night (GW 015) is largely derived from piano recordings by Reinier van Houdt. It contains several field recordings made on Syros (Greece) as well. The piece is in three sections as follows:

I. Ghosts of the Site (7'00)
II. Event Storm (20'00)
III. The Poem of Names (17'00)

Both of these will be released early in 2018.

(Photo of the ancient fortress of Kastri, on Syros, by Michael Pisaro)


(Along the Grosse Mühl, Austria. Photo by Michael Pisaro)

Before the end of the year, the label will release a 5-disc box set titled Nature Denatured and Found Again (GW 016-020)

The piece is derived from field recordings made along the Grosse Mühl River, Neufelden, Austria, from 2011 to 2015 (during the flussaufwärts project created by Joachim Eckl, Marcus Kaiser and myself). Alongside the recordings of the river as it flows down from Neufelden to the Danube, are performances by Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Marcus Kaiser, Radu Malfatti, André Möller, and Kathryn Pisaro. I’ve been working on the piece since 2011 and will be very happy to have it finally see the light of day.

Disc 1: Fissures in Green (2011)
Disc 2: Pathsplitter (Yellow-Red) (2012)
Disc 3: Landscape in Black and Grey (2013)
Disc 4: White Light Under the Door  (2014)
Disc 5: Hellgrün (Small New World) (2015)

Each disc will be 72 minutes long.

(Jürg Frey playing during Flussaufwärts in 2011. Photo by Emmanuelle Waeckerle)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Michael Pisaro European Tour (May 2016)

Detail from score for fields have ears (10).


Tectonics Glasgow 2016 Festival, Hosted by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
City Halls and Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, UK

Sunday, May 8, 16:45, Grand Hall
Premiere of Lucretius Melody for soprano, viola, two guitars and electronics (35’).  Based on the fourth book of Lucretius’ de rerum natura (and the fourth of six pieces in a series based on that work).

Jessika Kenney, soprano, Eyvind Kang, viola, Neil Davidson and Michael Pisaro, guitars

Sunday, May 8, 18:15, Grand Hall
Premiere of fields have ears (10) (constellation, monarch, canyon) for piano and orchestra (25’), also features works by Alvin Curran and Alwynne Pritchard.

John Tilbury, piano, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov, conductor

On May 7, I will be playing Annea Lockwood’s Jitterbug, along with Eyvind Kang, Jessika Kinney and John Tilbury, (16:30, Grand Hall)

Recording at Césaré near Reims, France 

With Stéphane Garin (percussion) and Didier Aschour (guitar).

We will be recording two pieces for guitar, percussion and electronics for the Paris-based label Potlatch: Hearing Metal (4) (Birds in Space) (2010/2011) and Grounded Cloud (2015).


Concert at Instants Chavirés, May 13, 21:00 (9pm)
Les Instants Chavirés 7, rue Richard-Lenoir 93100 Montreuil

Hearing Metal 4 (Birds in Space) and Grounded Cloud
Didier Aschour, guitar
Stéphane Garin, percussion
Michael Pisaro, electronics

San Sebastián/Donostia, Spain

Workshops and Concertsat Tabakalera, May 14 and 15
Centro Internacional de Cultura Contemporánea
Plaza de las cigarreras, 1, 20012. Donostia / San Sebastián

With Stéphane Garin and Dider Aschour

The concerts will include Hearing Metal (4), Grounded Cloud and melody, silence (1) for guitar

Haan (near Düsseldorf), Germany

May 19, 20:00, Concert with Antoine Beuger at the Atelier im Hof, Wilhelmstraße 21, 42781 Haan

Music and texts by John Ashbery, Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Alex Mah, Michael Pisaro and Christian Wolff.


May 22, Maze Festival, Splendor, Amsterdam
Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 116, 1011 LX, Amsterdam

19:30: Here 2/3, Dante Boon and Reinier van Houdt, pianos
20:00: Preconcert talk with Michael Pisaro and Samuel Vriezen
20:30: MAZE plays Michael Pisaro (festhalten, loslassen) and Yannis Kyriakides (Oneirocriticon)


Angelica Festival, May 25, 21:30, Centro di Ricerca Musicale, Teatro San Leonardo, Bologna

Music of Michael Pisaro
entre-moments: constellations & the earth and the sky (2005)
White Metal (Grey Series No. 2) (2012/13)

Performed by Reinier van Houdt (piano, electronics) and Michael Pisaro (electronics)


May 27, recording for erstwhile records with Keith Rowe at APO-33.

May 28, 20:30, Plateforme Intermédia, La Fabrique, 2 boulevard Léon Bureau, Nantes
ONsemble with Keith Rowe and Michael Pisaro

Monday, July 27, 2015

Forthcoming, 2015/16 (Pisaro projects including releases from other labels)

Detail from Cy Twombly's "The fire that consumes all before it" (FIFTY DAYS AT ILLIUM)

It has been quite a while since this blog has been updated, so we thought it might be nice to provide an overview of the releases I’m working on, until the end of 2016.

A mist is a collection of points (New World Records), October 2015

A three movement, hour long trio for piano, percussion and sine tones, composed in 2014/2015 and premiered by Phillip Bush, Greg Stuart and myself at the Columbia Museum of Art (South Carolina) in February, 2015.  It was recorded in Columbia at the University of South Carolina School of Music, shortly thereafter (with Jeff Francis, engineer and Joe Panzner, mastering engineer).

Here’s a text I wrote about the piece:

A mist is a collection of points – but every mist has a context. There are the individual droplets, but then there are the forces that hold them in suspension and with enough proximity that we recognize coherence. Inside the mist there might be places where it seems to disappear altogether, where it becomes atomized and separate, even though, from a distance away one is still in the midst (of the mist). There might also be places where the mist becomes so dense that is more like a wall. We live in a kind of mist as well, in a world where there is neither absolute clarity nor absolute opacity. There are only degrees or intensities of these.

This is the situation that I hoped, with the help of Greg Stuart and Phillip Bush, to create, in various ways in this piece. Each of the three parts presents a distinct kind of mist and each part has one moment of change or temporary clarity, where the mist either disappears (Part I), reappears (Part II) or changes character (Part III). (Sometimes it occurs to the mist that it has no foundation.) The constitution of each mist state is a different music, but there is (musically speaking) also a kind of continuity from one state to the next, as if one had come back to the same location, but one hour (or one day) later.

Phillip Bush, Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart at the "Mist" sessions.

Duo with Christian Wolff (erstwhile), March 2016

In November of last year, while I was teaching at Harvard University for the Fall Semester, I invited Christian Wolff (who studied and taught Classics and Comparative Literature at Harvard from the early 50’s to the early 70’s) for a short residency. We took advantage of his visit to record in historic Paine Hall, with Christian on prepared piano and me on electric guitar. Christian’s playing is really impressive, radical in structure (like many of his recently composed pieces), but evoking some ghosts from his musical past, that must surely still haunt Cambridge. The disc will consist of two pieces of 28’10” each.

A glimpse of Christian's piano preparations for the Harvard session.

Piano (performed by Reinier van Houdt) (ErstClass) September, 2016

In May/June the amazing Rotterdam-based pianist Reinier van Houdt came to Los Angeles and we spent two weeks recording material for a 3-disc retrospective of my music for solo piano.

The oldest piece recorded was Akasa, for a mixture of piano harmonics and normal playing, written in 1994. The most recent work is Green Hour, Grey Future, a 73-minute piece for piano and electronics written for Reinier in 2014/15. (This will be the entire third CD of the set.) Also included in the set will be fade (2000), the earth, the sky (2005/6), fields have ears (2) (2008/9), Les Jours, Mon Aubépine (2012) and several shorter pieces. We explored a huge range of recording techniques in the making of the set, in line with the works recorded and with experiments Reinier has carried out in his own practice over the past 30 years.

Reinier van Houdt with a local field recordist (Valencia, CA)

Gravity Wave 014 and 015, early 2017

Detail from Étant donnés (Marcel Duchamp)

Gravity Wave is taking a break this year, after the release of the 3-disc Continuum Unbound in November of 2014. But we will be back with two new releases in early 2017. Both pieces are dedicated to masterworks I encountered for the first time on a single trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in January of 2013.

Étant donnés (GW 014) is formulated as a response t0 Marcel Duchamp’s work of the same name (his final, long secret and still controversial installation). The CD will consist almost entirely of musical found objects.

Shades of Eternal Night (GW 015) takes its title from one of the paintings of Cy Twombly’s symbolic re-telling of The Iliad in his FIFTY DAYS AT ILIAM.  The backbone of this piece is a series of chords which Reinier van Houdt recorded (from a sketch I gave him) during the ErstClass sessions.

"Shades of Eternal Night" from FIFTY DAYS AT ILIAM