Archive for September 2015 | Monthly archive page
WRITTEN IN BLOOD, Lithuanian book with Sam interview
Written in Blood by Lithuanian writer, journalist, music and mythology researcher Mindaugas Peleckis is now out; it is published by Numen Books, Australia. It is in English and includes an interview with Sam Rosenthal as well as Peter Andersson (Raison d’être), Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound, Current 93) and many others. You can read more about the book at radikaliai.lt.
Here is Sam’s interview, conducted in February 2015:
1. You worked with a plethora of artists over the years. What collaborations were/are the most interesting and important to You and why?
Sam: The most important collaboration is whichever is the recent one I am working on, because it’s the most immediate and the most exciting. I moved to Portland, OR, a bit over a year ago; and I’ve started working on new Black Tape For A Blue Girl music.
2. Can You tell me, in short the main ideas are behind Your music? Could You name Your favorite of Your compositions / albums / collaborations? What about the new album?
Sam: With my music, it’s always been about creating the sounds I want to hear, that nobody else has created. So for me, it’s about making interesting music that I enjoy. I imagine the new album will be more ethereal and darkAmbient; it will be different from the Dark Cabaret / Rock sound of the last couple of albums. I feel 10 Neurotics was really successful in that sound, and I’m never interested in making the same album twice. I want to explore emotional and more textural sides of what I do.
3. The sound is magic. You‘ve proved it. But, what ends, when there‘s no sound?
Sam: Well, it sounds like this question is about the meaning of life? What is there when there is no sound? I think there are the memories of sound, and the anticipation of the future sounds. But if we are no longer of this life, then will there be sounds when we return to being part of the energy of the universe? That is a good question, but I don’t know if I have a very good answer to that.
4. What is and what is not a Sound Art?
Sam: For me personally, I am interested in melody. I am not so excited by noise or music that has nothing that my brain can latch on to. That said, something like Fripp & Eno is very melodic and catchy, so you can tell my opinion is not within the mainstream. Then again, I don’t assume that my opinion is very important, or should have any influence on the what is / what is not art discussion.
5. What do You think about relations between the old art and computer art? Are they compatible?
Sam: Yes, they are compatible. Computers are a tool. And like any tool, it is a question of the quality of the person who uses the tool. I love recording with a computer, because it opens up so many more possibilities; I can do thing I could never do on my analog 1/2″ 8-track. So for me, the computer is a great tool to help me better realize my art.
6. What do You think about thousands of neofolk/industrial/ambient/tribal/electroacoustic/avangarde etc. bands/projects? Is it a kind of trend, or just a tendency forwards better music?
Sam: Well, that must be a European-based question. I don’t know about thousands of bands like that here in America. Is it a problem for you?
7. What do You know about Lithuania? How and when did You come to it? What Lithuanian and foreign musicians do You value most?
Sam: I am not very familiar with musicians from Lithuania. Of course I know Lithuania is one of the Baltic countries, and returned to independence after long-time Russian rule. I guess I would say that I worry for all the countries in your region. I worry if Russia has ideas about those free countries. I don’t have a lot to go by, to make any educated comment on this topic.
8. Could You tell, please, some words about my initiative to print the first book about experimental music / Sound Art (i call it postmusic) of Lithuania (and, at least, Eastern Europe)?
Sam: This is an exciting idea. It is good that there are still people who want to communicate and educate through physical objects, such as books. There is more than the internet!
9. What inspires You most?
Sam: In the early days, my art was inspired by angst, and longing, and passion. I think I have less angst these days; my son gives me a lot of excitement and happiness. But there’s definitely still longing and passion. I think people are generally very isolated, and rather sad. And that is something that I wish I could overcome. For people in general, and for myself in specific.
Thanks for the interview.
Black Tape For A Blue Girl + Michael Plaster of SoulWhirlingSomewhere
Watch the video and read more about the EP at Kickstarter Download the mixes of the tracks at Bandcamp
Hi — This is Sam from Blacktape. You haven’t heard from me much lately, I was back east for ten days, and I’ve been busy finishing up the four tracks on the “Bike Shop” vinyl EP. These are four brand new songs, only one of which will be on the next Black tape for a blue girl album.
I’m asking for your support to fund this release.
I have to say that this is something about the new record business that I really enjoy: I can write & record songs in September. And make them available for you to hear in September! In the old days, there was such a long delay between the creative spark and when the CD finally came out. Now I can put the songs up on Bandcamp for you to hear immediately, while they still feel amazingly fresh to me… and then in early 2016 you can get the vinyl. That’s very cool, if you ask me!
I’m also excited about recording with a first generation Projekt artist, Michael Plaster. We’ve been friends for 20 years, we’ve worked together on all his Projekt releases. It’s been forever since he’s had new music for all of you. Please Sennd Help came out in 2001, it was PRO121. This EP comes out 200 releases later, PRO321!
Alright, so let me tell you a little bit about the EP.
I’ve been working on the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album (these fleeting moments) and I’m about two-thirds through writing it. Last Christmas I recorded guitar parts for a new song; about a month ago I wrote the lyrics and that became “bike shop/absolute zero.” I was reflecting back on my last few relationships: thinking about the good parts but also kind of wondering how they fell apart, and how it took so long to recognize they were over.
I’ve worked with Michael Plaster on his Projekt releases for over 20 years; I’ve always loved his voice and emotional delivery. As I was writing “bike shop,” I kept thinking, “Damn, this would be a great song for Michael to sing.” It has a similar quality to his lyrics: looking back on a past relationship with some joy and a bunch of sadness. I waited until I recorded my guide vocals, and then presented it to him ready to go. “Here, this is happening! Would you like to be the singer?” Michael said, “Yes,” which was very exciting to me!
I had the idea of doing it as a vinyl single and we talked about what might go on the B-side. Maybe a new version of an old Blacktape track? But knowing Michael was the vocalist inspired me to write three more songs really fast — like in a week! These songs sprung from little bittersweet memories.
For the most part, things didn’t happen exactly the way it goes in these songs. Yes, there’s a real bike shop and a real cabin. And I did get dumped on the phone (ouch!). But there’s nobody named “Vega,” and there’s no real canoe, and I wasn’t getting relationship advice from Dennis Hopper! : ) Yet the songs capture intimate and personal stories about relationships and love.
The three additional tracks give you the back story on “bike shop.” Think of it as diving deeper and hearing more about a character you will meet in a song on the upcoming album.
I was back in Brooklyn three weeks ago and I recorded drums on two of the tracks with Brian Viglione (of Violent Femmes and The Dresden Dolls). I love how quickly the “Bike Shop” vinyl EP has gone from idea to something you can listen to!
Scott M wrote on the Patreon page: After hearing just a few lines of “bike shop,” I could totally see why you wanted Michael Plaster to sing it. He achieves in each song just the right combination of sadness, joy, frustration, weariness, and acceptance. The video is well-done also. I hope the Kickstarter funds!I want you to hear this new music! Go to Bandcamp and download the entire EP for free!
These are rough mixes; they’re almost done though not mastered. That’s part of what we’re raising money for: mastering, manufacturing, and paying Michael for his participation.
You can make this 12” a reality.
If you like the tracks, hopefully you’ll go to the Kickstarter page and chip in three dollars. Or even more, ’cause there are some cool premiums that you can pledge for.
Whatever you give, you’re supporting art — and that’s super-cool of you!
About the release: 150 gram custom color vinyl (yellow with black flakes) in a limited edition of 500. Color album jacket and b&w lyric sheet. Kickstarter pledge copies will be signed by Sam and Michael.
The track “bike shop/absolute zero” will be included on the spring 2016 Black Tape For A Blue Girl album, these fleeting moments; the other three tracks are exclusive to this release (though I’m thinking of working with my female vocalist on an album version of “she’s gone”.)
These fleeting moments is a return to the ethereal darkwave/darkAmbient sound of the early 90s Blacktape CDs. The tracks on the EP are a bit of an anomaly from the others I am recording; these are sparse and sensitive acoustic guitar pieces with Michael’s vocals.
Erik Wollo live in Tucson and Philadelphia
Come out to the Galactic Center for a rare live appearance from this renowned Norwegian ambient/electronic artist. With over 25 releases since his 1983 debut (and nine additional collaborations with Steve Roach, Ian Boddy and others) Wollo continues to develop and refine his masterfully crafted soundworld into an intensely detailed fusion of elegant compositions and deep atmospherics. Built around catchy and accessible melodies and rhythms, his live set features sophisticated and engaging waves of Wøllo’s trademark processed electric guitar, synthesizers and percussion. Striking varied and deeply emotional the tracks make for an intensely powerful listening experience.
With a sense of warmth to his atmospheric work, Wøllo’s music also resounds with the stark beauty of Norway’s wintry landscapes. By mixing deep churning textures with synthesized and acoustic elements he succeeds in realizing folk music for the electronic village. Echotides is his new Projekt Records release showcasing his highly personal sound.
Last performing in Tucson in 2010 at SoundQuestFest, Wøllo has just two concerts in the USA this year. Join us for an evening of innovative shimmering and sonorous musical pathways from this electronic music master.Saturday October 10 : The Gathering, Philadelphia, PA.
With opener Bernhard Wostheinrich. Eric & Bernard will have separate sets, and then play a short set together (with material from their collaboration album Weltenuhr). The Gathering websiteSunday October 11th: Night concert on Star’s End, WXPN, Philadelphia Monday October 12th: recording on Echoes Radioshow for Christmas 2015 program
Erik’s Echotides (ep) — we still have copies left on this limited edition release. Excerpt from a review at Sonic Immersion: “The release’s refined and carefully molded sonic minimalism has ended up in the creation of seven instrumental tracks built upon interacting fragments of sound and processed textures, all blended together and forming a constant morphing endless flow. As such, it gives an appealing voice to the cyclic, natural and harmonic evolving manner of the music, inspired by the natural phenomena echo and tides.”
Links For Projekt Artists
Twitter: @thewoundsAll My Faith Lost…
Twitter: @allmyfaithlost_Mercury’s Antennae
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mercurysantennae Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/mercurys-antennae Twitter (unused): @ErickScheid @MercuryAntennae Website: http://www.mercurysantennae.com/ youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MercurysAntennaeByron Metcalf
Twitter: @byron_metcalfSteve Roach
Bandcamp: https://steveroach.bandcamp.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteveRoachMusic/ Website: http://www.steveroach.com youTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/steveroachdotcomMark Seelig
Bandcamp: https://thanatos-projekt.bandcamp.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Patrick.Ogle Twitter: @paogleUnto Ashes