Drawing on contemplative elements of Buddhist culture, Japanese stone gardens, and inquisitive literature, David Toop developed these engaging sound works through three periods of solitute, casting them with the help of Lawrence English, John Butcher, Sylvia Hallett, &c.
Catalog ID: RM 475LP
Squidco Product Code: 22135
Produced by David Toop.
David Toop-composer, performer
Emi Watanabe-transverse fue
Rie Nakajima-machine objects on paper
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1. Dry Keys Echo in the Dark and Humid Early Hours 2:40
2. For a Language to Come 6:24
3. Pieces of Wood and Iron, Phials of Odours 1:48
4. Sea Slug 1:40
5. Unspeakable Within It 2:20
1. Compelled to Approach 2:32
2. Ancestral Beings, Sightless by Their Own Dust 7:48
3. Setting Stones 4:12
4. Human Skin and the Stone Steps 2:34
5. Things Just Went Sour Gradually All at Once 1:11
6. Invertebrate Drawings 3:33
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sample the album:
"The music existed already, spores maybe or dormant clusters of digital files. Out of three periods of solitude the germination began. The first was in Queensland, on Tamborine Mountain (an aboriginal name), so silent at night that I listened to recorded music - Japanese gagaku, Buddhist ritual from Bhutan, Korean Confucian music - as if drifting into cavernous black space. Stepping into sleep I saw a hypnagogic image - a transparent swimming pool suspended over the mouth of a volcano. I read Stephen Mansfield's book on Japanese stone gardens - "Successful stone arrangements seem almost alive, the elements conversing among themselves with an occult vitality, the call and response that has been noted between well-placed rocks resembling the chanting of Buddhist sutras" ; Daylight listening in chill air, hearing whip birds, butcher birds, noisy mynahs, kookaburra chatter, rainbow lorikeets; catapult elastic, I wrote, radio waves in a kettle, electric buzzers. On Queensland's Gold Coast I gazed at a distant humpback whale breaching out to sea, watched Yasujiro Ozu's 1934 silent version of A Story of Floating Weeds, listened to cicadas burst into life as a helicopter flew overhead.
Back into society and driving with Lawrence English I asked him, why would anybody release music in the 21st century? He laid out his philosophy; I was convinced. Then in St Ives, Cornwall, solitary again, drawing, reading Timothy Morton's Hyperobjects and Clarice Lispector's Agua Viva (her beautiful sentence: "dry keys echo in the dark and humid early hours"), gazing at ocean flux, music trembling into life from secreted audio files, music becoming living entities. Phantoms rose up out of sea mist, images of black light and blistered skin from photographers (Takuma Nakahira and Tomatsu Shomei), the fermenting of sounds. From a distance I heard voices - the extraordinary painter Mariko Sugano reciting ancient Japanese garden texts on the taboos associated with stone setting; Emi Watanabe's flute as if a ghost from the Noh; the sounds of underwater creatures in my pond; Sylvia Hallett's sarangi crying (in cavernous black space); the fervent drumming of Rie Nakajima's small mechanical beings (like cooking with paper, wire and batteries); John Butcher's reeds, music as a scientific exploration of the body, the instrument. Rie talked about the properties of objects, soft or hard. In the Noh play Aoi no Ue, the spirit is compelled with drum and plucked string (the catalpa bow).
In solitude I contemplated death, decay, the gush of life. Back in the car, Lawrence told me, when you die you'll leave many projects unfinished. I laughed. Unspeakable truths, notes for a language to come, maybe not this world."-David Toop
• Show Bio for Lawrence English
"Lawrence English is composer, media artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English's work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He investigates the politics of perception, through live performance and installation, to create works that ponder subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception."-Lawrence English Website (http://www.lawrenceenglish.com/biography/)
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• Show Bio for John Butcher's
"John Butcher's work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.Originally a physicist, he left academia in '82, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians - Derek Bailey, John Tilbury, John Stevens, The EX, Akio Suzuki, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, Okkyung Lee, John Edwards, Toshi Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, Mark Sanders, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Phil Minton, and Andy Moor - to name a few.
He is well known as a solo performer who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of place. Resonant Spaces is a collection of site-specific performances collected during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.His first solo album, Thirteen Friendly Numbers, includes compositions for multitracked saxophones, whilst later solo CDs focus on live performance, composition, amplification and saxophone-controlled feedback.
HCMF has twice commissioned him to compose for his own large ensembles. Other commissions include for Elision (Australia), the Rova (USA) & Quasar (Canada) Saxophone Quartets, reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori (USA), "Tarab Cuts" (based on pre-WWII Arabic recordings, and shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer's Award) and "Good Liquor .." for the London Sinfonietta. In 2011 he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.
Recent groupings include The Apophonics with Robair and Edwards, Anemone with Peter Evans, Plume with Tony Buck & Magda Mayas and a trio with Okkyung Lee & Mark Sanders.Butcher values playing in occasional encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with David Toop, Kevin Drumm, Claudia Binder, Paal Nilssen-Love, Thomas Lehn, Fred Frith, Keiji Haino, Ute Kangeisser, Matthew Shipp and Yuji Takahashi."-John Butcher Website (http://www.johnbutcher.org.uk/Biog.html)
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