Tuesday, September 5, 2017
lowercase / Greil Pone
the magnification of the miniscule by this LA-based sound artist - aka the lowercase genre - is sometimes rather poignant in its crinkly threshold-of-audible way - but often just a little bit low-key for me
i always meant to get this anthology of spectral sound and ghostly image curated-created by Steve Roden - ... i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces - but i never got around to it
released on Dust to Digital, the project is described here by LA Times man Randall Roberts:
Roden set out on what became an eight-year journey to find similar musical remnants from the Victorian and Edwardian past, when technology first allowed the average citizen to document through recordings and photographs his or her place in the world, and place in time. The result is "... i listen to the wind," a singular audio/visual experience that feels like a scratchy, silver-toned portal into a distant world. Combined with two compact discs of found recordings, and brief passages about sound from James Agee, Vladimir Nabokov, William Wordsworth among others, the object is a ghostly meditation on sound — and the absence of it. The artist carefully sequenced the pages of black and white photographs — tinted, stained and yellowing — most more than a century old, to create a kind of slide show of anonymous, disappeared souls. A mustached, one-armed, one-man band poses for the camera, a guitar propped on a knee, left foot on a kick drum pedal, the other on a tray of hotel call bells, a bugle and a harmonica wrapped around his neck. Another captures an albino man, a nest of tangled white hair overwhelming his head, playing a violin; a woman stands before a microphone, arms outstretched, lost in song. With each turn of the page, a new apparition arrives from the mystical realm that writer Nick Tosches dubbed as the place "where dead voices gather."
Roden's concept of "music in vernacular photographs" sounds quite Toopy - specifically Sinister Resonance's "listening to paintings"
the constituents shards, heard outside the project, have a Harry Smith / Anthology vibe about them
someone could launch a whole CD-R reissue series to salvaging these sepia-toned, shellac-crackly lost auteurs of Old Weird Americana, reproducing the original labels and paper sleeves painstakingly
they could call it Greil Pone
more lowercase to get you squinting your ears
he do have a way with a title it's got to be said