Thursday, August 30, 2012

Announcing GW 008 and GW 009

A drawing by Oswald Egger from Die ganze Zeit

We would like to announce the next two releases, hopefully out by the middle of January.

GW 008 will be a new piece called The Middle of Life (Die ganze Zeit). It is a chain of sound situations that links the poetry of Oswald Egger (in field recordings of Egger speaking, made at his residence in Hombroich, Germany), the voice of Julia Holter (singing my Lucretius Monody), and me playing piano (including sections from a solo piano piece written by Julia) — plus a few surprises.

The title contains a reference to two works by Egger.

Mitten im Leben fand ich mich wieder wie in einem Wald (ohne Weg).
In the middle of life I found myself again in a forest (with no path).

            From Diskrete Stetigkeit: Poesie und Mathematik (Edition Unseld, Suhrkamp, 2008)

Die ganze Zeit is the title of Egger’s monumental (742 page) poem of 2010 (also from Suhrkamp). It’s about nothing and everything, but as I read it, it has to do with the irreconcilability of the whole and parts of time (leading to, in my view, the impossibility of time).

GW 009 will be another new work, The Punishment of the Tribe by its Elders.

The material for this piece was initially recorded for The Middle of Life, but as it developed I began to feel that its darker, more foreboding character did not fit. The pieces are still somehow paired in my mind (like light and dark branches of the same tree).

In Hombroich, when recording Oswald, we somehow landed on the idea that his work is of a different (maybe opposite) poetic strain than that of (another favorite of mine) Stéphane Mallarmé. Returning home and combing back through Mallarmé, I landed again on this famous line from “Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe” (The Tomb of Edgar Poe):

Eux, comme un vil sursaut d’hydre oyant jadis l’ange  
Donner un sens plus pur aux mots de la tribu

(in my rough translation, with some help from T.S. Eliot)

They, like the vile start of the hydra hearing the angel long ago
Purify the language of the tribe (or more literally: giving a purer meaning to the words of the tribe)

and on this one:

Calme bloc ici-bas chu d’un désastre obscure
Calm block fallen from an obscure disaster  (also from the Tombeau)

(Poe: the messenger of an obscure disaster whose consequences are with us still.)

This piece consists of electronics, low frequency hums, percussion, bass and electric guitar, disguised samples (from Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones, among others) and field recordings, aligned with two very low sine tones.

A view from one of the buildings at Hombroich (near Neuss, Germany)

Thanks to everyone for the support of the label–this has allowed us to continue to release music.

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