Private Page for
Being released on Relative Pitch Records (2015)
Recorded Feb. 3rd in NY, NY by
Eli Crews at Rivington 66
Mixed in Oakland, CA by
Nicholas Taplin at Post-Consumer Studios
Mastered in Oakland, CA by
Myles Boisen at Guerilla Recordings
The philosophy of radical empathy has a variety of definitions depending on the context. For me, I see and experience the concept both in socio-political terms as well as an integral approach to music-making. I feel that we musicians practice this regularly, often without our knowledge, but more and more as a practice and process of working/playing/being together especially in the contexts of free and structured improvisation. From a socio-political perspective, radical empathy comes into play when victims from opposite sides of conflict organize together across borders enforced by their oppressive governments. I believe it's also a necessary perspective to bring people together who share common struggles within the same nation, for instance, minorities from different backgrounds and people who share ecological crises. All too often, people struggle in their own causes, separate from others who share the same struggle. I believe radical empathy, the concept and practice of, is a necessary philosophy to resolving long term conflicts and a way to help pull peoples up out of the historical oppression.
Effected Piano, AO ORGANIc
Midi Organ, Analog Keys/Effects
Private Bandcamp link for free album download
Liner Notes by Fred Frith:
I love this record. I thought I probably would, but the reality surpassed my expectations. Maybe because so many more questions are posed and
elegant solutions put forward than I had imagined before I heard it. About
tuning and timbre. Density and openness. Repetition and memory. About
style and genre and the nature of technique. Flashes of Larry Young and
Tony Williams Lifetime when they were re-defining jazz forever. Tristano. Sharrock.
Subtle alterations, treatments, processes. Relentless kinetic energy.
Above all, an appreciation for how to find and hang on to your place in
a narrative unfolding at speed. For the fact that structure is not what is
imposed, but what is revealed. For how the recording process affects
sound and performance.
If empathy is the capacity for putting yourself in someone else’s shoes,
then these are truly empathetic players, which we hear at every twist and
turn. But I’m also struck by something about physics, about the nature of
mass and the strength of mutual gravitational attraction. This music seems
to exist as much on that basic level as on any other, and as such it is compelling and fun.
Like watching asteroids. Or blades of grass. Or shoals of fish. Or birds.
Special Pre-order prices
(orders will be shipped once copies are ready)
Dedicated to Greg Grimsich and Claudia Millucci for
dedicating their lives helping others around the world.
Nels, Michael, Eli and I spent a few hours together on a snowy February 3rd,
2014 at Rivington 66 in lower Manhattan, playing short collaborations
steered very minimally by me.
Nels and I are both playing with, and through, equipment that was created
by Analog Outfitters, a small company in Champaign, IL. They upcycle otherwise discarded Hammond organs (no B3s were harmed in this process)
to create equipment for musicians. I am playing their ORGANic MINI 44 midi-controller which utilizes vintage Hammond organ parts including the keybed, draw bars and wood casing. Nels is playing through an amp they made to his specs out of tubes from discarded organs with an old metal road sign casing. The midi controller was stranded in route to NYC because of the intense storms that were happening. As a result, I ended up playing the upright piano for the session. When the midi controller and I met up a week later, I overdubbed organ parts. On Howled Ground, I am playing a Yamaha PF-10 and analog pedals from Bearfoot FX, a boutique pedal company out of St. Louis, MO. I'm also running a mic from inside the piano through these pedals (effected piano).
This is the 2nd album Thollem and Nels have collaborated on after 'The Gowanus Session' in trio with William Parker (Porter Records)