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Kidambi, Amirtha / Lea Bertucci

End of Softness [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD]

Kidambi, Amirtha / Lea Bertucci: End of Softness [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Working in isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and tape manipulator and electronic artist Lea Bertucci re-contextualize their Phase Eclipse album, merging segments of that album with a recording of a live performance, to create a new set of works, rife with the agony, isolation, and anomalous experiences of the time: The End of Softness.
 

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product information:


Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS140
Squidco Product Code: 29504

Format: CASSETTE
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Tracks 1, 5 and 8 recorded at Pioneer Works, in Brooklyn, New York.

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 recorded live at Roulette, in Brooklyn, New York.


Personnel:

Amirtha Kidambi-voice

Lea Bertucci-tape, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

"Amirtha Kidambi "takes a holistic approach to singing, which can mean treating every element as unfixed: Words can be opened up, rendered nonspecific. Melody can be repeated and frozen and stuck in place. Markings of rhythm can become utterly abstract, freed from cadence." (New York Times). Kidambi is the bandleader of Elder Ones and a soloist and collaborator in groups including Mary Halvorson's newest quintet Code Girl, Charlie Looker's early music inspired dark folk band Seaven Teares, Darius Jones' vocal quartet Elizabeth-Caroline Unit and Samesoul Maker and Pat Spadine's analog percussion and light ensemble Ashcan Orchestra. As Ben Ratliff wrote in the New York Times, "the aggressive and sublime first album by the band Elder Ones, Holy Science, is a kind of gauge for how strong and flexible the scene of young musicians in New York's improvised and experimental music world can be. At the center of it are drones and phonemes. The group's leader, the composer and singer Amirtha Kidambi, holds forth behind a harmonium, the small keyboard instrument with hand-pumped bellows; it's commonly used in bhajan, the Indian devotional-singing tradition that was central to her musical experience while growing up in a South Indian family." Kidambi formally trained in classical music, singing works by experimental composers including Robert Ashley and Luigi Nono, but the pull of free jazz and Alice Coltrane drew her toward a different path. The influence of both Alice and John Coltrane is especially apparent on the , as is her work with composer and saxophonist Darius Jones, and her study of Carnatic music. Kidambi formally trained in classical music, singing works by avant-gardists including Nono and Stockhausen, but the pull of free jazz and Alice Coltrane drew her toward a different path. The influence of both Alice and John Coltrane is especially apparent on the new album, as is her work with composer and saxophonist Darius Jones, and her study of Carnatic music. Elder Ones performed extensively nationally and internationally, on tours and at festivals such as NYC Winter Jazzfest, Berliner Festspiele in Germany and Festiwal Jazz Jantar in Poland, among other.

Kidambi is invested in the performance creative music, from free improvisation and jazz, to experimental bands, and new music. As an improviser, she has played with Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, Ava Mendoza, Sam Newsome, Peter Evans, Trevor Dunn, and many innovators in the New York scene. A life changing decision to create her own artistic work came from a collaboration with the late AACM founder, composer-pianist Muhal Richard Abrams', performing his Dialogue Social. Kidambi has also premiered Darius Jones' The Oversoul Manual at Carnegie Hall, Samesoul Maker at Roulette, LawNOrder at Winter Jazzfest, a premiere of electronic composer Ben Vida's work Slipping Control for voice and electronics with Tyondai Braxton at the Borderline Festival in Athens, Greece, the premiere of the late Robert Ashley's final opera CRASH at the Whitney Biennial, a Jazz Gallery commission for Mary Halvorson's Code Girl, the premiere of William Parker's Soul of Light and forthcoming recording project Voices Fall From the Sky and a commission from the Jerome Foundation for her quartet Elder Ones at Roulette and artist residency at EMPAC to record the group's debut album.

Amirtha earned a B.F.A. in Voice from Loyola Marymount University and an M.M. in Voice and Musicology from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she served as adjunct faculty. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University."

-Amirtha Kidambi Website (http://www.amirthakidambi.com/bio/)
9/16/2020

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"Lea Bertucci is a composer, performer and sound designer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice with woodwind instruments, she incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. In recent years, her projects have expanded toward site-responsive and site-specific sonic investigations of architecture. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation.Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels and in 2018, she released the critically acclaimed Metal Aether on NNA tapes. Lea is co-editor of the multi-volume artists book The Tonebook, a survey of graphic scores by contemporary composers, published on Inpatient Press.As a sound designer, Lea has collaborated with dance and theater companies including Big Dance Theater, Pig Iron Theater, Piehole!, and Mallory Catlett (Restless NYC). Her musical collaborations extend to other chamber-noise projects, notably a recently formed duo with vocalist Amirtha Kidambi.As a solo artist, she has performed extensively across the US and Europe with presenters such as The Museum of Modern Art New York, Blank Forms, Museo Reina Sofia Madrid, Pioneer Works, The Kitchen, Roulette, The Walker Museum, Caramoor, The Renaissance Society Chicago, Muziekgebeow Amsterdam, and Unsound Festival, Krakow. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence. In 2018, she received a commission from the American Composers' Forum for a new percussion trio as well as a brass octet commissioned by the Levy Gorvy Gallery in New York."-Lea Bertucci Website (http://lea-bertucci.com/contact.html)
9/16/2020

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


SIDE A



1. Siren Call 3:04

2. False Profits 2:06

3. Altar of Time 2:44

4. Must I Burn? 2:29

SIDE B



1. End of Softness 2:37

2. Hysteric Arch 5:25

3. Destroying Angel 2:17
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The arrival of Amirtha Kidambi and Lea Bertucci's End of Softness EP finds us in a vastly different world, a mere six months after the release of their debut Phase Eclipse (2019).

Working remotely in isolation, Bertucci and Kidambi engaged in a process of creative editing, lifting fragments from the Phase Eclipse sessions and a live performance, to re-contextualize the music amidst a pandemic. The crisis lends a new expression of agony to the torrential caterwauls of Kidambi's voice, passed through Bertucci's unforgiving God-play at the tape machine. With the blunt concision and brevity of punk songs, the tracks imply a sonic riot, instilling a subconscious urge to break the windows of your nearest financial institution.

Opening with soft cooing, "Siren Call" evokes the eerie soundscape of a vacant city, escalating into the incendiary "False Profits", where Bertucci wrenches Kidambi's tortured vocals into a mass of sound, replicating our constant media onslaught. The End of Softness could be the end of a false sense of comfort, security and stability, but its looping structures remind us of forces of creation and destruction in natural cycles.

While we mourn our losses, it is also a suspended moment in time to reflect, reimagine and renew. Concluding with the circular rise-and-fall of Kidambi's melodic breath, "Destroying Angel" signals the End of Softness, but perhaps the beginning of something more durable, sustainable and humane."-Astral Spirits

Related Categories of Interest:


Cassettes
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
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NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
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