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O'Rourke, Jim / Apartment House: Best That You Do This For Me (Another Timbre)

The UK ensemble Apartment House commissioned this work from composer & experimenter Jim O'Rourke based on their performance of other O'Rourke works, here interpreting a new graphic score designed like a sonic mobile, creating a minimal yet episodic piece of flexible interpretation as the performers whistle, hum and quietly sing in combination with bowed harmonics.
 

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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at172
Squidco Product Code: 30026

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Goldsmiths Music Studio, In London, UK, on November 15th, 2020, by Simon Reynell.


Personnel:

Jim O'Rourke-composer

Mira Benjamin-violin

Bridget Carey-viola

Anton Lukoszevieze-cello

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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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_O'Rourke_(musician))
4/21/2021

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"Mira Benjamin is a Canadian violinist, researcher and new-music instigator.

She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality & tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by Anna Höstman, Scott McLaughlin, Amber Priestley, Taylor Brook and James Weeks.

Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD - a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Through this initiative, Mira hopes to offer a foundation from which Canadian artists can reach out to artistic communities overseas, and provide a conduit through which UK & Norwegian artists can access Canada's rich art culture.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London (UK), where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House, Decibel, and the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists, and is currently the Duncan Druce Scholar in Music Performance at the University of Huddersfield.

Mira is the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian musician in recognition of their contribution to the artistic life in Canada and internationally."

-St. Martin in the Field Website (http://mirabenjamin.com/about/)
4/21/2021

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"Bridget Carey studied jointly at the Royal Academy of Music and London University and has pursued a varied freelance career based in London, and has developed a particular reputation in the field of new music.

For 15 years she premiered new chamber opera for the Almeida, whilst working in dance scores with Siobhan Davies and Rambert companies, classical contemporary with Opus 20 and Music Projects/London and new complexity with Ensemble Expose. From 1995-2005 she was viola player with the Kreutzer string quartet. More recently, her chamber music interests include Okeanos and the RPS award-winning experimental music group Apartment House, with whom she continues to add to her chamber music discography. She has been a member of Britten Sinfonia for the last 20 years, and is a regular guest with London Sinfonietta and BCMG, among others."

-Okeanos Website (http://okeanos.co.uk/wp/?page_id=1017)
4/21/2021

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"Cellist Anton Lukoszevieze (born 1965 in the UK) is one of the most diverse performers of his generation and is notable for his performances of avant-garde, experimental and improvised music. Anton has given many performances at numerous international festivals throughout Europe and the USA (Maerzmusik, Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, GAS, Transart, Ultima, etc.etc.). He has also made frequent programmes and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Danish Radio, SR2, Sweden, Deutschland Rundfunk, WDR, Germany and ORT, Austria. Deutschlandfunk, Berlin produced a radio portrait of him in September, 2003. Anton has also performed concerti with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the 2001 Aldeburgh festival and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with many composers and performers including David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Amnon Wolman, Pierre Strauch, Rytis Mazulis, Karlheinz Essl, Helmut Oehring, Christopher Fox, Philip Corner, Alvin Curran, Phill Niblock and Laurence Crane, He is unique in the UK through his use of the curved bow (BACH-Bogen), which he is using to develop new repertoire for the cello. From 2005-7 he was New Music Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge and Kettles Yard Gallery. Anton is the subject of four films (FoxFire Eins) by the renowned artist-filmmaker Jayne Parker. A new film Trilogy with compositions by Sylvano Bussotti, George Aperghis and Laurence Crane premieres at The London Film Festival, October 2008. In November will premiere a new hour long work by Christopher Fox for cello and the vocal ensemble Exaudi commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and will also present new solo works for cello and live electronics. Anton is also active as an artist, his work has been shown in Holland (Lux Nijmegen), CAC, Vilnius, Duisburg (EarPort), Austria, (Sammlung Essl), Wien Modern, The Slade School of Art, Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge Film Festival and Rational Rec. London. His work has been published in Musiktexte, Cologne, design Magazine and the book SoundVisions (Pfau-Verlag, Saarbrucken, 2005). Anton Lukoszevieze is founder and director of the ensemble Apartment House, a member of the radical noise group Zeitkratzer and recently made his contemporary dance debut with the Vincent Dance Company in Broken Chords, Dusseldorf."

-Kalvos Damian (http://www.kalvos.org/lukosze.html)
4/21/2021

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


1. Best that you do this for me (2020) 58:58
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

Interviews with Anton Lukoszevieze and Jim O'Rourke

Brief interview with Anton Lukoszevieze

Why did you choose to commission a piece from Jim O'Rourke for Apartment House, and how did you know his work?

I have known of Jim for a long time, mainly through his work with Merce Cunningham's dance company, who I also performed with at the very end of their time. But I had never actually explored Jim's own work. I came across the work String Quartet and Oscillators and was rather taken with it, and I wrote to him asking if we could perform it, as we subsequently did. I then asked him if he had any other scores I could see and he sent me a solo cello piece and a new work for strings with audio playback, 12 Dollars is not a lot. Later on, he composed the new string trio on this album. Subsequently, I listened to more of his music and have really enjoyed it. He has a very particular sensibility and an acuity for creating sounds and musical episodes. I think of him very much as an experimental composer.

Can you describe the trio score Jim sent you, and how the piece works?

The score is a series of 48 single pages, each with 4 circles on, for violin, viola and cello, which are con sordini (muted). Each circle is a sound event, consisting of a natural harmonic (though sometimes an artificial harmonic can be played) which can be held for any duration. Within each circle are indications such as whistling, humming and singing combined with the bowed harmonics. Each player works around the page clockwise or anti-clockwise. Occasionally there are fermata (pause indications). The vocalisations are either in unison with the harmonic or intervals of a 4th or a 5th. Some pages are also repeated when indicated. Each circle represents the 4 different strings of the instruments. So, the score is like a permanent mobile of sonic events, creating unpredictable sustained harmonies. As a musician one is constantly listening, not reacting and reacting to the sound world one is within. Originally we performed a 15 minute version for the BBC radio, but I thought a longer version would be an interesting thing to try, and we did. I had no inkling whatsoever that Jim would send a score such as this! He is full of surprises.

Anton Lukoszevieze talks to Jim O'Rourke

Why did you write for a vocalising string trio?

A year or so ago, I was re-listening to a few choral works by Martin Smolka, who uses whistling a lot, and was struck by how such a simple and always "on hand" thing is rarely used, and it had stuck in my mind. When I started mapping out what I wanted to do for Apartment House, I was thinking a lot about the realities of rehearsal, rehearsal time, and how these all affect how to approach a score. With that in mind, I also wanted an element that offset the skill and care being taken in playing their instruments by asking AH to sing/whistle, something that is possibly unnerving.

You studied composition. Do you disregard everything you were taught, or was it helpful?

It was helpful both in the ways it is meant to be and/or in forcing me to define why I felt resistance to it.

How do you manage a multiplicity of activities?

I guess I just don't think of them as a multiplicity, they all sum up in the same place.

What are your favourite TV series?

As a kid, Columbo and The Prisoner. Only in recent years have I caught up on some of the more recent series and I really liked The Wire.

Does studio-based production influence your compositions, or maybe not?

Absolutely, they all feed into each other.

How do you feel about duration in music?

30 years ago, when I first met Henry Kaiser, I was hanging out with him when someone came up to him and asked what time signature a particular Captain Beefheart song was in, and Henry answered "They're all in 1". That pretty much sums it up to me even now.

At this stage in your life do you think intuition is possibly the mechanism for creativity?

I have to admit that I don't think about "creativity" or "expression" because I think these happen naturally whether you want them to or not. If anything, I think trying to be creative is a trap. I am probably more motivated by problems than by any desire to create.

Derek Bailey or John Fahey?

Well, Derek was and is a towering figure in my life, and my life would have pretty much not have happened if he hadn't shown kindness to a stupid kid."

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