Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Visible Cloaks, Dolphin Midwives, Ilyas Ahmed (DJ Set), Danielle Ross & Chloe Alexandra

Wed Aug 9

8:30 pm

$8.00

This event is 21 and over

Join us in celebrating Golden Retriever's new album Rotations on Thrill Jockey! One of our favorite experimental duos will perform a special set this evening, with sax quartet and percussion.

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever
As the duo Golden Retriever, Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff have explored an ocean’s worth of sound. Primarily working with the intersection of modular synthesis and amplified/effected bass clarinet, the duo has done eight releases for labels like Thrill Jockey, Root Strata, and NNA Tapes. Their music combines an intense emotional immediacy and meditative focus with strong melodicism and an organic, naturalistic approach to experimental electronic sound. Rotations features the duo expanding their sonic palette to incorporate a full chamber ensemble. The results of this stunning collaboration are meditative, lush, and emotionally arresting.

Rotations began when Golden Retriever received a grant from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to organize and perform new works. The public performances took place in October of 2015 at Portland’s historic The Old Church. For the performances, Golden Retriever created a series of pieces for an expanded ensemble that included piano, strings, wind instruments, percussion, synthesizer, and pipe organ, which became the foundation on which Rotations was built. While their duo recordings and performances are typically developed from studio improvisations that evolve into specific musical structures, in this case Golden Retriever began with simple acoustic compositions, improvisations and fragmented ideas between bass clarinet and piano and used them to develop melodic and harmonic themes. After transcribing the various parts into notation and adding layers of additional instruments, the result of their collage process creates the effect that Golden Retriever are playing the ensemble as their instrument, and through careful arrangements, have integrated improvisation and composition.

Through the course of the creative process of choosing, editing and arranging the pieces, the duo saw a clear theme: a meditation on the cyclical nature of life and on going through something difficult but emerging on the other side of it with hope. Pieces such as “Pelagic Tremor” tell the story of a tumultuous seascape, stormy and churning. “Tessellation” weaves a tapestry of overlapping patterns that are impenetrable and sifting. In contrast, the sounds of “A Kind of Leaving” (whose title is a reference to a Bei Dao poem) evokes quiet and contemplative imagery, and “Thread of Light” is perhaps Golden Retriever’s most minimal piece to date, finding beauty in simplicity. Within each piece, the instruments cycle together rhythmically, harmonically, and texturally. And the album itself forms a cycle made up by the ebb and flow of each piece that is both dynamic and engaging.

Rotations was recorded throughout September and October 2015 by Matt Carlson with help from Branic Howard of Open Field Recording. The album was recorded at Golden Retriever’s studio at Yale Union in Portland, with the exception of the pipe organ, which was recorded at The Old Church. Musicians who contributed to the album include Mousai Remix String Quartet: Erin Cole (violin), Shin-Young Kwon (violin), Jennifer Arnold (viola), Marilyn De Oliveira (cello); Jen Harrison (french horn), Colin Frey (pipe organ), Catherine Lee (oboe), Matt Hannafin (percussion), David Coniglio (vibraphone), and John Savage (alto flute).
Visible Cloaks
Visible Cloaks
Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage is a collection of delicately rendered passages of silence and sound that invokes – and invites – consciousness. The foundation of the duo’s second album is gently poured upon the ground their musical predecessors explored, using the materials of chance operations, MIDI “translation,” and other generative principles that favor inclusive musical environments over the narrowly constrained.
In 2010, Spencer Doran, one part of Visible Cloaks alongside Ryan Carlile, prepared the first volume of Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo, a mixtape indicated by Doran as “an investigation into fourth-world undercurrents in Japanese ambient and pop music, years 1980 – 1986.” These mixes contextualized the outré orbit of Yellow Magic Orchestra-related solo projects and their abstract, radiant forays as forever futuristic modes of music.
Reassemblage evokes similar musical futures celebrated on the Fairlights mixes, but does so observantly rather than reverently. The title Reassemblage, for example, is taken from a film essay by Trin T Minha-ha, which explores the impossibility of ascribing meaning to ethnographic images. The author aims to “speak nearby” rather than “speak about.” In other words, to embrace lapses of understanding, and realize that the impulse to map direct meaning across a cultural gap often results in further disconnect.
In an effort to “speak nearby” rather than “speak about,” Visible Cloaks filters and forms source material to become young again. Often the duo strip tonal elements of their specificity or randomize melodies so they become stirring and lucid. Essential patterns emerge, conscious experience heightens. In these moments, the musical language of Reassemblage finds unlimited resonance and presents a path to uninhabited realities.
The origin of this language could be described as translingual or polyglottal, working within the eastern / western feedback loop of influence, Fourth World ambiguity, and the universality of human emotion. Incorporating an international array of virtual instruments to advance the idea of pan-globalism through digital simulation, tones and colors cohere into a living, breathing pool of sensorial experience in Visible Cloaks’ environs.
Beyond embracing the fluidity of worldly musical influences, Visible Cloaks works fluently between mediums. The contribution of stalwart digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy’s dream dimensions to Reassemblage’s cover artwork and surrounding videos extends the album’s exploration of global headspace into a visual, visceral reality.
In the tradition of Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo and Interiors, Doran compiles an hour of literal and figurative musical interpretations for the Translations mixtape. Divided into Day and Night sides, the former weaves Japanese music through deconstructed human voices and contributions from peers and contributors to Reassemblage. The Night side bends introspective with choral music from the Eastern Bloc, Italian spiritual minimalism, and early software-based generative music experiments.
Visible Cloaks Reassemblage will be released on February 17, 2017 on LP, CD, and digital formats. The Translations mix will be released on cassette, and only available in this limited format.
Dolphin Midwives
echo jungle chaos magic moon milk ocean murmurating orchid sleeper holy hands/helping hands interface nodes/architecture/lace gravity doesn't exist change the laws of physics levitation shapeshift/shadow energy density clarity prismic sound microtonal vision quest whirling rainbow vortex portal opening reverberating witch sister who plays harp/zither/voice/noise/electronics and everyday objects
Ilyas Ahmed (DJ Set)
Ilyas Ahmed (DJ Set)
Born in Pakistan, Ahmed was raised in New Jersey. After travelling throughout the US, he settled in southern Minnesota. His first, self-released albums were recorded on an isolated farm.
Danielle Ross & Chloe Alexandra
Venue Information:
Holocene
1001 SE Morrison St.
Portland, OR, 97214
http://www.holocene.org/