Nye skiver og bøker

flere skiver og bøker...

Våre podkaster

flere podkaster ...

Skiver du bør ha

flere anbefalte skiver...

Våre beste klipp

flere filmer...

Ledere og debattinnlegg

flere debattinnlegg...

På skive


«Words and Silences»

American, Ohio-based multidisciplinary experimental composer-sound artist-pianist Brian Harnetty is also a sonic archivist, sonic ethnographer, photographer, writer, installation artist, community organizer, environmental activist, and myth-maker, who employs archives, field recordings, turntables, tape machines, radios, orchestras, toy and junk instruments, and his own ensemble for his work. He brings together in-depth ethnographic research and community outreach, over long stretches of time, with the ghosts of sampled archives and his own mix of experimental, ambient, electronic, and folk music. In his works, past and present bleed into one another to spark new music, and imagine new futures. He worked before with the Sun Ra and El Saturn archives in Chicago, and sound archives from rural Kentucky.

Words and Silences: From the Hermitage Tapes of Thomas Merton is a sonic portrait of the Cistercian monk, theologian, mystic, poet, writer and scholar of comparative religion Thomas Merton (1915-68), recorded in Knoxville, Utah, Ohio, Boston, New York City, Vermont, and Berlin. Harnetty edited and collaged unpublished, archival recordings Merton made alone in his rural Kentucky hermitage in 1967, and paired them with his own compositions. Merton’s intimate recordings used the tape recorder both as a contemplative tool and a medium for self-discovery and range from thoughts on Samuel Beckett, to Sufi mystics, Michel Foucault, and notably, the 1967 race protests that took place in Louisville.

Words and Silences feel like a one-person play, featuring the vulnerable and uncertain voice of Merton, with his idiosyncratic phrasing, blending organically into Harnetty’s subtle and reserved compositions for his chamber jazz ensemble, resonating, reflecting, and sometimes commenting on Merton’s thoughts in an engaging balance. The album invites the listener to contemplate and meditate on Merton’s musings, curiosity, questioning, and bewildered perplexity (and Meron himself was preoccupied with breath and breathing). These thoughts are still relevant, both in terms of the forced solitude and reflection experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, and of the need to fight racial discrimination, xenophobia and injustice in the United States or all over the globe. «A Feast of Liberation», with Merton speaking of racial unrest and protests taking place that very night in Louisville, in 1967, sounds, unfortunately, most relevant after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and Harnetty adds to Merton’s voice a repeating, solitary, sparse line to Merton’s voice, built on three notes evoking John Coltrane’s Ascension.

Words and Silences embraces all contradictions in Merton’s thoughts – between voice and silence, past and present, inward and outward, living and dead, time and space, everything and nothing. Harnetty advises us that we may adopt Merton’s sense of openness and playfulness, move between contradicting thoughts, hold them together, and listen as they melt into each other. It is an insightful and heartfelt homage to an inspiring mystic.

The album is released on Harnetty’s Winesap Records as a double CD (the first one with the recordings of Merton, the second instrumental) and as a letterpress chapbook: a limited edition 48-page chapbook, with a full transcription of Merton’s words from the album, and an in-depth essay by Harnetty, exploring his work with the Merton archives and his listening and compositional process.

Eyal Hareuveni

Katie Porter Maxwell (cl, bcl), Jeremy Woodruff (fl, as, bs), Phil Rodriguez (tp), William Lang (tb), Brian Harnetty (p)

Live from Thomas Merton's Hermitage: "Sound of an Unperplexed Wren" from Brian Harnetty on Vimeo.

Words and Silences: Sound of An Unperplexed Wren from Brian Harnetty on Vimeo.

Skriv et svar