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O'Rourke, Jim

Shutting Down Here [VINYL]

O'Rourke, Jim: Shutting Down Here [VINYL] (Portraits GRM)

A brilliant work of electronic composition from Jim O'Rourke developed and recorded at INA GRM in France, and at his Steamroom studio in Japan, using sources from pianist Eiko Ishibashi, violinist Astuko Hatano and trumpeter Eivind Lonning alongside electronic and acousmatic sources, seamlessly melding acoustic and electronic forms into an enthralling work.

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product information:

UPC: 5050580739789

Label: Portraits GRM
Catalog ID: SPGRM 001LP
Squidco Product Code: 29336

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: France
Packaging: LP
Recorded at INA GRM, in France, and Steamroom, in Japan.


Jim O'Rourke-composer

Eiko Ishibashi-piano

Astuko Hatano-violin, viola

Eivind Lonning-trumpet

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Artist Biographies:

"O'Rourke was born on January 18, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumnus of DePaul University. He has released albums of jazz, noise, glitchy electronica and rock music. O'Rourke has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Brigitte Fontaine, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Phew, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and in 2006 mixed Joanna Newsom's album Ys. In 2009, he also mixed several tracks on Newsom's follow up Have One On Me.

He has produced albums by artists such as Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Superchunk, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple. He mixed Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy Award for "Best Alternative Album". During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O'Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA. He also mixed the unfinished recordings that made up a planned third album by the late American singer-songwriter Judee Sill, recorded in 1974 and mixed by O'Rourke for a 2005 release.

O'Rourke was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol (with David Grubbs) and Sonic Youth. Beginning in 1999 he played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group. He withdrew as a full member in late 2005, but continued to play with them in some of their side projects. In the early 1993, O'Rourke formed an avant-rock group with Darin Gray and Dylan Posa called Brise-Glace. The band released one studio album, When in Vanitas..., in 1994. They also released a 7" in the same year titled In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan.

O'Rourke has also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles. His most well-known works may be his series of releases on Drag City, which focus on more traditional songcraft: Bad Timing (1997), Eureka (1999), Insignificance (2001), The Visitor (2009) and Simple Songs (2015). The titles of the first four albums all refer to films by the British director Nicolas Roeg; the first three by direct reference to film titles, the fourth being titled after a fictional album within Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth. With music director Takehisa Kosugi, he played for the Merce Cunningham dance company for four years. O'Rourke received a 2001 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award."

-Wikipedia ('Rourke_(musician))

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"Eiko Ishibashi is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist whose work has ranged from acclaimed singer-songwriter albums to film scores for film and television to improvised music settings.

She is also a valued collaborator, working and recording often with artists as wide ranging as Keiji Haino, Charlemagne Palestine, Merzbow, Akira Sakata, John Duncan, Oren Ambarchi, and Jim O'Rourke."

-Eiko Ishibashi Website (

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"Astuko Hatano is a strings musician, arranger, composer, producer, and improvisational session player based in Tokyo, Japan. She has played the violin for 37 years and is well versed in the viola, cello, keyboards, oscillator, and analog synthesizer. Atsuko often plays with JIM O'ROURKE, KUMIO KURACHI, EIKO ISHIBASHI, OORUTAICHI, and YUMBO.

She also plays in her strings project Triola. Recently, Atsuko plays the five-string viola with electronica in her new solo project. Atsuko has released two solo albums 'Water for 13' and 'Maria.' She also has released an album as the founding member of TRIOLA, as well as, an animation DVD with artist Nakaban.

The cinematic quality of her sound has lead her to make music for Film and Television.In 2009, Atsuko founded ORDER MADE MUSIC, a custom made music service."

-Astuko Hatano Website (

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"Eivind Lønning, born 1983, living in Oslo, is one of the most prominent and active young musicians on the Norwegian creative music scene, playing in bands like Streifenjunko, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, Motif, Koboku Senju, and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Eivind grew up playing classical trumpet, his education contains a jazz bachelor from the Trondheim Conservatory and a master degree in improvised music from the Academy of Music in Oslo. He is experienced in both jazz and classical music, and has developed a very personal sound with unusual melodic qualities.

In the duo Streifenjunko with sax player Espen Reinertsen, Eivind Lønning has worked with modern improvisation and extended playing techniques for the trumpet. They have worked closely together for many years to present a truly unique repertoire, a mix between composed structures and improvisations, and have collaborated with Keith Rowe, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Jim Denley, Christian Wallumrød, Sidsel Endresen and video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen. During the last few years, Streifenjunko have played more than 100 concerts all over the world, including Japan, USA, South-Africa, Australia and most of Europe. Festival performances includes Fri Resonans and Kongsberg Jazzfestival in Norway, On the Edge of Wrong Festival in South Africa, Moers Festival in Germany, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, Cable Festival in Nantes, and the NOWnow Festival in Sydney.

Streifenjunko released their debut cd "No Longer Burning" in 2009 on the record label Sofa. In 2010 the duo recieved the prestigious Young Lindeman Award. In 2012 they released their second album, "Sval Torv", on Sofa. In 2011 Eivind also started playing solo performances, he has done tours in Scandinavia and performed at the opening concert of the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2011. In 2008 Eivind replaced Arve Henriksen in the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, and in 2009 he featured on the ECM release "Fabula Suite Lugano" which received remarkable critical acclaims, and was nominated for "The Nordic Council Music Prize 2010". As part of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra he has performed with Joshua Redman, Dave Holland and Chick Corea, and performed comissions by Eirik Hegdal, Per Zanussi, Kim Myhr, Ståle Storløkken, Motorpsycho and Erlend Skomsvoll."

-Eivind Lonning Website (

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track listing:


1. Shutting Down Here 16:24


1. Shutting Down Here 18:49
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Shutting Down Here is a special work. Symbolically, it covers a period of thirty years, between two visits by Jim O'Rourke to the GRM, the first, as a young man fascinated by the institution and his repertoire, the second, as an accomplished musician, influential and imbued with an aura of mystery.

Shutting Down Here is a piece shaped like an universe, a heterogeneous world in which collides the multiple musical facets of Jim O'Rourke: instrumental writing, field recordings, electronic textures and cybernetic becomings, dynamic spaces, harmonic spaces, silent spans.

This variety of approach, strangely, does not in any way weaken the coherence of the whole and this is the talent of Jim O'Rourke, a talent, properly speaking, of composition, where all the sound elements compete and participate to stakes that exceed them and of a common destiny, that is to say of an apparition."-GRM Portraits

"In 1990, Jim O'Rourke visited the studio of the Groupe de recherches musicales (INA GRM) in Paris. The experience was monumental for the guitarist, budding composer, and 21-year-old college student. Back at DePaul University in Chicago, O'Rourke's teachers, he once told an interviewer, "were just trying to mold you into becoming professors." In Paris, he was meeting his heroes, radical luminaries of the mid-century avant-garde, particularly the concentric genres of musique concrète and acousmatic music.

O'Rourke's latest, Shutting Down Here, is billed as his return to INA GRM 30 years after he made his first pilgrimage. This narrative might seem like a bit of sentimental marketing boilerplate, but his 34-minute piece slots brilliantly into the history of the French studio, which pioneered the musical uses of field recordings and noise, along with the notion that compositions could exist only as recordings, as opposed to pieces meant to be performed in concert on traditional instruments. For O'Rourke, who rarely plays live, and whose pedigree as a composer is rivaled by his crackerjack sound design and engineering-he mixed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Ys, to name a couple of touchstones-the GRM philosophy fits well. Importantly, though, he pushes back against the studio's orthodoxy by employing instrumental collaborators and ensuring the sources of his found sounds are recognizable. Shutting Down Here melds noise and melodic ideas so seamlessly that the piece works as both tape music and as contemporary orchestration, reminiscent of John Adams' similarly audiophiliac The Dharma at Big Sur.

This isn't O'Rourke's first venture into the symphonic-or acousmatic-sphere. A spiritual sister to Shutting Down Here, his 1995 album Terminal Pharmacy balanced bracing car sounds with delicate instances of cello and woodwind. Shutting Down Here has a similarly mammoth dynamic range: It tempts you to crank up the volume to hear the swelling harmonics that begin the record, then turn it down again when a door slams. There are spectral piano chords, courtesy of Eiko Ishibashi, and a bit of trumpet in the last 10 minutes, played by Elvind Lonning. Yet in consummate musique concrète fashion, O'Rourke treats these orchestral elements like a computer musician layering blocks of sound, not a composer writing for the various pieces of an ensemble.

During the decades since his first visit to INA GRM, O'Rourke has worked on hundreds of albums that span rock, folk, classical, and, most thrillingly, the gaping maws between these varied styles. He's turned ambient music into a journal-like daily practice with his prolific Steamroom series. He played rock star in the early '00s, helping Sonic Youth scale peaks of both accessibility and audacity during his five years as a member of the band. Shutting Down Here, with its moments of moving consonance, gives the impression of a polymath coming full circle, approaching a very early passion with honed skill. The result feels personal and even direct, both strange words to hang on O'Rourke. Whenever we've expected the musician to embody these qualities-for example, on his excellent Drag City-released songwriter albums-he subverted our expectations with his famously evasive sense of humor and bleak worldview. His detractors have sometimes taken umbrage with O'Rourke's slipperiness, as though the trait were invariably a pose, rather than a reflection of the musician's character.

Shutting Down Here is further proof that wordless abstraction is O'Rourke's way of being candid. His album is almost memoiristic, even though it eschews the literal for the heady crafts of recording and arrangement. Revisiting a studio that captured his imagination as a very young man, he chips away at his wit and irony to reveal a feelingful core. Yet Shutting Down Here never sacrifices the knotty complications that make his work far weightier than a mere genre study. This is a personal record, after all, and knotty might just be a big, welcome part of who Jim O'Rourke is."-Daniel Felsenthal, Pitchfork Media

Get additional information at Pitchfork Media
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Electroacoustic Composition
Field Recordings
Acoustmatic Electronic Composition
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