At the tail end of November 2017, Gohan Tapes released ‘Spring’ — a new full length album from Joshua Saddler, who records as ioflow. On ‘Spring’, Josh combines field recordings, modular synthesis, and piano improvisations to capture memories like aural photographs. The sparse arrangements interplay with sounds of wildlife from the California landscape. This is an essential album, especially if you live somewhere that’s cold right now.
Much of his compositional technique is rooted in blind recording, a process he discovered through his participation in Marc Weidenbaum’s Disquiet Junto. If you’re unfamiliar, the Junto is an incredible project — a weekly assignment which challenges artists to explore new techniques and workflows. disquiet.com
‘Spring’ is additionally unique because it was made during the most physically painful phase of Josh’s struggles with congenital hearing loss and neural degradation.
Faith is important to him and it’s obvious that he shares his work as a celebration of life and in gratitude for his own.
This episode is structured a little differently. I’ve removed the interview elements and chosen to focus solely on Josh’s reflections. He’s underscored by selections from ‘Spring’, available on Bandcamp.
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prev episode: Marcus Fischer (pt.2)
My guest for this episode is Karl Fousek, an improviser who has spent the last five years crafting an incredible archive of live modular performances and studio albums. As a deeply devoted fan of experimental and electronic music and by dedicating himself to the mastery of his tools as a single instrument, Karl has developed a compositional agility which helps him explore new directions of form. His latest release, ‘Two Pieces For a Contemporary Connection’, is an inspiring hybrid of live improvisations and rehearsal recordings.
Beyond his work as a solo synthesist, Fousek also plays with Devon Hansen and Roger Tellier-Craig — a partnership which bore the very well-received ‘No Sound Without A Misunderstanding’ and most recently, ‘No Image In Particular’.
I’m so excited to share this episode. Through our conversation, Karl covers everything from his approaches to longform performances, building patches that are mutable yet structured, learning a modular system as an instrument, collaborating with others, and how he navigates uncanny sounds.
next episode: Marcus Fischer (pt.2)
prev episode: Emily Sprague
The first time I heard Emily Sprague’s music was on lines. Somebody posted a video of hers, ‘Three Sisters + Harmonic Oscillator’, that had captured their attention as a high watermark…and it’s easy to understand how. The straightforward and earnest exploration of a beautiful module, through a looped melody you could listen to for hours, seemed the work of a seasoned pro. Somebody else commented, revealing that the synthesist was Emily Sprague from the band Florist. While they brought up that Emily had just started working with modular synths in the last year, digging deeper revealed that the video was actually made in her second week.
Beyond the quality of her music, which has only swelled over the last year, what’s fascinating about Emily’s work is how public her process has been. While most whittle away for months, releasing new work only after long incubation, Emily seems to revel in sharing each step of her growth in realtime — a direct response to the trajectory of her own self-education.
If you’re new to modular synthesis, this is the episode for you. If you’re deeply settled, this is the episode for you. Emily has retained a beginner’s mind while leveraging her rich decade-long background as a musician, producer and engineer to create music that is playful and emotional, while remaining technically impressive.
As you’ll notice, there are more music breaks in this episode than previous ones — due to my own fandom and Emily’s generosity, you’re the first to hear the demos that will make up her much-anticipated modular album (out now: Water Memory).
Beyond her talents, Emily is an insightful and passionate addition to the lines community and personally, I hope that her reflections help anyone who feels that their voice is un or under-represented in this field to join the conversation at llllllll.co
next episode: Karl Fousek
prev episode: Lines Community Remix Project
My guest for this episode is Piotr Szyhalski, a Polish-born artist who creates multimedia works under the name Labor Camp. His early pieces, large-scale Internet installations which defy the constraints of late 90’s technology, captured the attention of the New York Times, MTV, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Soon after, he began composing music with Max/MSP and modular synths, eventually merging his talents for both visual and aural art to create immersive performance environments. Piotr is also a Visual Arts professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he collaborates with students past and present — most notably, Pramila Vasudevan’s multidisciplinary group Anicca Arts.
archive | www.laborcamp.org
instagram | instagram.com/laborcamp
facebook | www.facebook.com/labor.camp
next episode: Lines Community Remix Project
prev episode: Marcus Fischer (pt.1)
This episode celebrates monome’s 10 year anniversary by exploring the work of Sean Hellfritsch (seanhellfritsch.com). Sean is an accomplished musician and filmmaker (encyclopediapictura.com), having recently released ‘Some Sort of Wave Portal’ on Leaving Records as Cool Maritime. He is as warm as the California sun.
Much of the featured music is from Sean’s 2012 self-released ‘Tea Time Travel’.
Lovingly crafted tapes of both works can be purchased here:
next episode: Nick Sanborn (Made of Oak // Sylvan Esso)
prev episode: glia
This episode explores glia’s ‘muqarnas’. Over the hour, Dan and Jonathan (glia’s offline name) discuss the impact the Persian language had on the album, improvising with electronics, creativity in prefab culture, and the depths to which instrumental artists encode themselves in their music.
Selections from ‘muqarnas’ provide framework, excepting the outro track, which is the previously unreleased ‘318(fesdup)’.
‘muqarnas’ can be purchased here: phinery.bandcamp.com/album/muqarnas
next episode: Sean Hellfritsch (Cool Maritime)