Madison Greenstone is a New York-based experimental clarinetist, and member of the TAK Ensemble, whose solo performance practice, exstatic resonances, pushes the limits of innate instrumental expressivities by treating the meeting of instrument and embodied technique as creative of a site of indeterminacy and generative instability. Greenstone’s approach to the clarinet embraces and instigates chaotic timbral actions, difficult-to-reign sonorities, and harmonically rich and noisy resonances that have a vivid inner life and movement. Greenstone’s practice embraces responsive listening as a mediator between embodied technique and latent instrumental agency.
Resonance Studies in Ecstatic Consciousness is Greenstone’s solo Bb clarinet album, recorded at Greyfade Studio in Mount Vernon in August 2022. Each of the eleven short «studies» takes as its basis a mode of resonance latent in the Bb clarinet, and the album collects iterative and essayistic reflections on the self-generative qualities of these resonances. Each resonance has some form of inner agency, some form of emergent phenomena that Greenstone searches to breathe into being. These «studies» demanded Greenstone a continually renewed attunement to the liveliness of the sound: to its wildness, recalcitrance, and roughnesses. Greenstone described this process: «I sense that which seeks passage on the current of the breath. What wanders between? I fasten the conditions so that some other thing can emerge– without seeking to control, but merely to influence, to follow where it leads. Who follows during this passage?»
Greenstone employs the clarinet as an instrument that transforms breaths and air into resonant sounds that she has only limited control over their shape and texture or architecture and wisely, opts to surrender and follow their resonant qualities. This album offers a radical demonstration of the sonic palette of the Bb clarinet, ranging from unsettling drones to abstract noises, often sounding as corresponding with otherworldly, minimalist electronic music. The suggestive artwork is by Iranian composer-improviser-interdisciplinary artist Golnaz Shariatzadeh, who, like Greenstone, thinks of sound as a tactile force that has the potential to convey stories that viscerally engage the audience.
Madison Greenstone (Bb clarinet)