The Squid's Ear Magazine


Sanson, Gil / Lance Austin Olsen: Works on Paper [2 CDs] (elsewhere)

Two meticulous works in two parts each using layered collage of acoustic instruments, objects, electronics, field recordings, voices, fragments of past compositions and early classical music samples, with A.F. Jones providing voice narration, from Venezuelan composer/artist Gil Sanson and Canadian-based composer/painter Lance Austin Olsen: "Pra Min" and "Meditations".
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Gil Sanson-acoustic guitar, melodica, violoncello, electronics, objects, field recordings

Lance Austin Olsen-guitar, shruti box, amplified objects

A.F. Jones-voice


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Label: elsewhere
Catalog ID: elsewhere 006-2
Squidco Product Code: 27165

Format: 2CDS
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
CD 1 realized and recorded in Caracas, Venezuela, 2017-2018.

CD 2 realized and recorded in Victoria BC, Canada, 2017 - 2018.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Venezuelan-based composer/artist Gil Sanson and Canadian-based composer/painter Lance Austin Olsen began to work closely together via long distance in 2014. Their collaboration initially began when Olsen painted the CD cover of Sanson's release 'Immanence, A Life' (Makam 003) in 2015. Sharing a similar aesthetic in art and music with deep respect and understanding of each other's work, the two soon started to make music in collaboration through realizations of each other's graphic scores or paintings.

Their first collaborative piece A Meditation on the History of Painting (2017) was published as one of the four tracks of Olsen's notable 2018 release Dark Heart on Another Timbre label. Their collaborative relationship has been rapidly flourishing and deepened with intensity since then. Subsequently, Sanson and Olsen recorded four new collaboration pieces in 2017-2018: two variations of the interpretation of Olsen's painting/graphic score "Pra Mim" (2016) by Sanson; and two variations of the interpretation of Sanson's graphic score "Meditations" (2017) by Olsen.

This double CD Works on Paper (elsewhere 006-2) contains these four pieces on two discs in nonchronological order. Sanson said, "At some level, I find no distinction between painting and sound making. The processes are similar in essence and they seem to come from the same place. In the case of Lance's paintings, I find a great example of this. He is able to switch mediums and combine them as if there were no actual distinction. I believe the idea that you can make music that is both radically modern without sacrificing the idea of beauty, which to me remains essential and grounds me in the centuries-old tradition of Western classical music, so dear to me since I was a child."

Their realizations are exquisitely layered collages of sparse sounds of musical instruments, objects, electronics, field recordings, voices, and fragments of their past compositions and early classical music as samples, creating an open, profound expansion of the horizon of the music. The intense, vibrant raw energy and graceful beauty immanent in both artists' pieces are organically integrated into one whole album, forming an epic arch that connects the inner worlds of the two artists poignantly yet meditatively."-elsewhere



"Coinciding with the first anniversary of the formation of the Elsewhere label, its sixth release maintains the high standards set by the previous five. If anything, the two-CD set Works on Paper may be slightly more experimental, even risk-taking, than its predecessors-none of which could ever be described as safe.

First, some history. Back in the late 90's, guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Han Bennink agreed to each record something and then post it to the other one, who would then play with the recording and record the results. The end results were the albums Post Improvisation 1: When You're Smilin-credited to Han Bennink + Derek Bailey-and Post Improvisation 2: Air Mail Special-vice versa-(both Incus, 1999). In late 2017, the two old friends Christian Wolff and Antoine Beuger produced something similar for the album Where Are We Going, Today (Erstwhile, 2018) with Beuger making a recording which was then sent (electronically, not by mail) to Wolff who added his contribution to it, the end results being mixed by Taku Unami; as that album's sleeve note says, "A silent dialogue with an absent partner."

Works on Paper is subtly different to, but firmly in the footsteps of the above albums, as it also fits that quote's description. It features two men who are both visual and sound artists, Venezuela's Gil Sansón and London-born, Canadian-resident Lance Austin Olsen. The pair first collaborated when Olsen painted the cover of Sansón's CD release Immanence, A Life (Makam, 2015). Respecting and understanding each other's work, the two soon started to collaborate, making musical realizations of one another's graphic scores or paintings. Olsen's 2018 album Dark Heart, which was part of Another Timbre's impressive Canadian Composers series, featured a realisation of the Venezuelans' 2017 graphic score "A Meditation on the History of Painting."

For Works on Paper, Sansón and Olsen each made realisations of one of the other's graphic scores. Disc One features two Sansón versions of Olsen's 2016 piece "Pra Mim," recorded in Caracas, Venezuela, from 2017-18; with a pleasing symmetry, Disc Two has two Olsen versions of Sansón's 2017 piece "Meditations," recorded in Victoria, British Columbia, from 2017-18. Commendably, the album sleeve includes images of each of the graphic scores, so that listeners get to see the images that stimulated the sounds they are hearing. Each is a beautiful artwork but, as with many graphic scores, the images do not prescribe what should be played in response to them, but leave it to the musician's discretion and creativity. Noticeably, Sansón and Olsen both produce two versions that differ considerably from each other, one featuring them playing alone and another with considerable use of samples to fill out the soundscape. (Listen to the YouTube clip below, for an example of the latter.)

Given their past collaborations, it is unsurprising that Sansón performing Olsen ends up sounding remarkably similar to Olsen performing Sansón. The two are subtly distinct but sound very alike. Their soundscapes are uncluttered, ensuring that all the component sounds can be appreciated clearly and distinctly. Neither of them attempts to construct a narrative, instead leaving the juxtaposition of sounds to be appreciated for its inherent beauty. In effect, each of these fine visual artists is literally painting with sound. The end result is an album that runs for over an-hour-and-three-quarters, one which is able to grab listeners' attention and hold them spellbound, no matter how many times they listen to it."-John Eyles, All About Jazz



Detailed Personnel: Gil Sansón: acoustic guitar (1), violoncello (1), samples (1) [including excerpts from Sansón's Untitled (for Antoine Beuger) and Untitled (for Annmarie Mattioli) performed by Dante Boon (piano), excerpts from Antoine Beuger's Monodies pour Mallarmé performed by Anna Rosa Rodriguez (soprano voice) and Gil Sansón (melodica)], melodica (1-2), electronics (1-2), objects (1-2), field recordings (1-2), voice (2), unplugged and plugged electric guitar (2); A. F. Jones: spoken voice (1); Lance Austin Olsen: guitar (3-4), amplified objects (3-4), shruti box (3), samples (3) [including found wax cylinder recording and excerpts from Lance Austin Olsen's work Craig's Stroke performed by John Luna (voice) and Debora Alanna (organ)].



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies

"Gil Sanson (born in 1970, Valencia, Venezuela) is a multimedia artist and composer. Currently based in Caracas, his audio work emphasizes the nature of sound and its capability to transcend stylistic boundaries. He has worked with improvisers such as Ben Owen, Dave Gross and the EA Collective. His work as a composer includes verbal scores, as well as, random processes and fixed forms using compositional techniques applied to concrete sound. His preoccupation with paradox and a non-linear relationship with the technological continuum are his main interests regarding the medium of sound. His verbal score balancing act with controlled dynamics, written for EA, has received two different releases, on the winds measure recordings and con-v labels."

-Countour Editions (http://www.contoureditions.com/artists/gilsanson/gilsanson.html)
2/26/2024

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

"Lance Austin Olsen is a composer, improviser, and painter, and owner of Infrequency Editions. He studied Printmaking and Art History at University of the Arts London, and currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia."

-Squidco 2/26/2024

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

"A.F. Jones is the founder of the tape label Laminal Audio, and has released recordings with Derek Rogers, Bruno Duplant, Cristian Alvear, etc on labels such as Glistening Examples, Rhizome-s and more."

-Blogger (https://www.blogger.com/profile/12467841849714671483)
2/26/2024

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


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Pra Mim #2 36:26

2. Pra Mim #1 26:15

CD2



1. Meditations #3 28:30

2. Meditations #2 26:10

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Electro-Acoustic
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Electroacoustic Composition
Field Recordings
Spoken Word
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