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The first duo in 14 years between guitarist Loren Connors and vocalist Suzanne Langille inspired by and using slides of MP Landis' WD series of paintings, which he created live during music performances.
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Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: NSCD031
Squidco Product Code: 17064
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover with booklet
Recorded by Jason LaFarge at Seizures Palace.
Suzanne Langille-voice, words
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• Show Bio for Loren Connors
"Loren MazzaCane Connors (born October 22, 1949, New Haven, Connecticut) is an American experimental musician who has recorded and performed under several different names: Guitar Roberts, Loren Mazzacane, Loren Mattei, and currently Loren Connors. He is a prolific collaborator who has worked with artists including Alan Licht, Jim O'Rourke, bassist Darin Gray, Thurston Moore, John Fahey, Keiji Haino, Jandek, Suzanne Langille, avant garde poet Steve Dalachinsky, Chan Marshall, Margarida Garcia, Kath Bloom and blues musician Robert Crotty.
An early champion of Connors's music was Dr. William Ferris, noted blues historian who served as head of the National Endowment for the Arts under the Clinton Administration. Connors made contact with him in the late 1970s, while Dr. Ferris was teaching at Yale University. Although Ferris did not know it at the time, Connors was the janitor who cleaned his office. Many years later, Ferris wrote the liner notes for a sweeping compilation CD set of Connors's seven-inch recordings, called "Night Through."
Best known as a composer and improviser on acoustic and electric guitar, Connors has released over 50 albums, on commercial record labels such as Table of the Elements and Father Yod as well as on his own Black Label, St. Joan and Daggett self publishing imprints. They include spare solo and duo blues, ensemble experimental jazz, noise, drones, and folk music. From 1981-1984, Connors released six limited edition albums with singer-guitarist Kath Bloom. In the mid-1980s, Connors took a partial break from music and honed his compositional skills by focusing on the art of haiku. He received the 1987 Lafcadio Hearn Award, and he and life partner Suzanne Langille also co-wrote an article on blues and haiku, "The Dancing Ear," published in the Haiku Society of America's journal. (A book of Connors's work from this period, "Autumn Sun," was re-released by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley a couple decades later.) He wrote under the name Loren Mattei, and a music recording from this period, "Ribbon o' Blues," was also released under that name.
Soon after returning to music, Connors began working with layered tracks. The first of this period was the "In Pittsburgh" album, released in 1989 (reissued by the Dexter's Cigar label in 1996). This approach to recording continued through the 1990s. Langille's vocals were featured on several recordings, and she also helped edit the music. Many of these releases were on the RoadCone label, managed by Mike Hinds. Such recordings were interspersed with live performances of guitar duets. The first of those recordings was with Japanese guitarist Keiji Haino, introduced to Connors by WFMU DJ David Newgarten, who then produced the recording, released in 1995. This was followed by the first of several recordings with guitarist Alan Licht in 1996.
In the mid-to-late 1990s he led the blues-rock group Haunted House with Langille, Andrew Burnes (of the band San Agustin), and percussionist Neel Murgai. Connors and Langille also joined with San Agustin's David Daniell and Burnes for a recording on the Secretly Canadian label. In the late 1990s, Connors and John Fahey met at a Chicago event, introduced by guitarist Jim O'Rourke. Fahey, who died in 2001, included on his last CD, released posthumously in 2003, a piece called, "Red Cross, Disciple of Christ Today (for Guitar Roberts)," referring to Connors's nickname. In the mid-2000s, Connors met and performed with Jandek, a long-time improviser whose unique independence and originality had often been compared to Connors's. Since the 1990s, Connors's main label has been Family Vineyard, managed by Eric Weddle.
Connors was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1992. He continues to perform and record. Some of Connors's works are archived at the Blues Archive of the University of Mississippi. The University of South Carolina also has a collection of his music.
In 2003 he wrote and recorded a score for the film Why Can't I Stop This Uncontrollable Dancing?."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loren_Mazzacane_Connors)
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^ Hide Bio for Loren Connors
1. My skin is a membrane [wd4825] 2:26
2. La belle dame sans merci [wd4632] 10:17
3. Come with me [wd4878] 1:31
4. [wd4942] 1:05
5. Come on, come on [wd4864] 2:06
6. Shenandoah [wd4652] 2:54
7. Just find your shoes [wd4572] 2:08
8. I wish I didn't dream [wd4523] 2:45
9. I didn't know [wd4642] 1:26
10. Gotta work [wd4499] 6:28
11. Still bound [wd4735] 1:56
12. It will only continue [wd4856] 3:20
13. Cease to do evil [wd4769] 3:52
14. Keep breathing [wd4949] 2:36
sample the album:
"I Wish I Didn't Dream, the new album of duets by guitarist Loren Connors and vocalist Suzanne Langille, was cut in just a few hours of studio time. But the pieces started falling into place 15 years earlier on the 10th floor of a nondescript building in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.
It was there, at the old location of the Brecht Forum, that Connors got to know writer and WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk, who was curating a concert series there. On occasion Tom Abbs (now President of Northern Spy Records) would co-program weekend festivals there, sometimes bringing in MP Landis to do live painting during the performances.
Flash forward to the present. Gottschalk was selecting paintings and writing text for a book of Landis' paintings and the two begin imagining a soundtrack for the book. The obvious choice would be Connors, a painter himself, and Langille, an admirer of Landis' work. The more they talked about it, the more plausible it seemed. Gottschalk had already produced a Northern Spy release with Connors and Langille (Haunted House, Blue Ghost Blues, NS012, with Andrew Burnes and Neel Murgai) which featured one of Landis' paintings on the cover.
Within a few months a session had been booked in the same studio where Blue Ghost Blues was recorded. The process was simple. Slides from Landis' WD series of paintings were shown on a screen and Connors and Langille responded. There was no advance preparation other than a folder of verses (her own as well as Keats, Denis McCarthy and some nearly lost to history) Langille brought to the session.
The resulting album, their first duo record in 14 years, is as vulnerable as it is beautiful. Langille sings as if she's speaking cautiously, Connors' guitar barely whispers, but at any turn either might erupt in screams. Do they not want to yearn for more, or do they fear their nightmares? Their dreams are a haunting mystery."-Northern Spy
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