Thursday, May 17, 2007
The Dead Submariner
from Beta-lactam Ring Records:
Click here for Mp3 Audio Samples
Artist: Liles, Andrew
Title: THE DYING SUBMARINER (A Concerto for Piano and Reverberation in Four Movements) Deluxe
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records
"2CD edition. First 300 copies include a bonus CD (not a CDR) album entitled "THE DEAD SUBMARINER (A Concerto for Bowed Guitar and Reverberation in Three Movements)" with a numbered and signed insert. Leviathan low end growls belch a hazy pitch into the sea, rendering daylight useless to penetrate the unknown depths. Andrew's concerto for piano and reverb conjures many spirits, including that of wrathful Poseidon. The piece (in 4 movements) also conjures the spirit of nothingness. A sense of complete loneliness prevails in the echoey death throes. The faint scent of forebears fascinated with watery graves and abandon lingers from the wake of such pieces as Gavin Bryars’ The Sinking Of The Titanic and many of Harold Budd's early works, though Liles’ fitful concerto paints his submariner's demise more as a dissonant, prolonged struggle than as a melodic, majestic descent. Spatially, the work tends to build into shifting layers similar to Charlemagne Palestine, Henry Cowell's clusters or La Monte Young's Well Tuned Piano (though Andrew's work is not based on a microtonal system). The ringing resonances sometimes fan out as distinct harmonic phrases, and sometimes the notes simply propagate and clash with the reverb creating ripples of pure metallic sound, even to the point where the piano's strings melt into the sculptural, welling up more like tidal pools alongside Bertoia and Dumitrescu. A beautifully disturbing wet suit suite of sonic sound."
Each piece is structured differently, with Dead Suub worked in a complimentary fashion to Dying. The mood/tone is similar. 320.
This was my introduction to Liles, purchased on a whim and after hearing some samples at his MySpace
and at his site proper.
Also at the Liles site: video, reviews, and the shop
Excerpt from Brainwashed Interview (Lucas Schreicher) with Andrew Liles:
..."[LS] You've told me before that you like to stay away from computers, but sometimes it's difficult for me to imagine how your music comes together live before you edit, arrange, or change it in any way. Why do you dislike working with computers and how do you feel it affects your writing and recording process? [AL] I write down all my ideas down then collate them. I always have a fixed idea about what I am going to do and an axis on which the whole project will turn. I write all the music in my head and on paper, then record the sounds and mix it on a computer. I am not opposed to using computers at all, I multi-track and record on the computer. I detest computer 'instruments' and never use them. Most of the music is 85% done outside the computer; I only use the computer as an editing and mastering tool, really. I think to make music purely on the computer is just number crunching, it has its place but it's not for me. [LS] Much of your music seems very organic to me, each piece on a record informing the next and naturally implying the next movement. The Dying Submariner perhaps more so than any other record. To what extent is this organic sound intentional? Is this a result of how you see the music in your head, before it is recorded, or is it somehow a result of how you compose music?[AL] It is both, that and a keen ear and sense of direction. I can't say it is purely intentional of course! There are a lot of flukes and random elements flowing that seem to find the right niche at the right time. I have made a lot of records now and know (well, at least I think I know) how to mould a piece and help it find its natural progression. ...
...[LS] The Dying Submariner came in a limited edition that featured a second disc, The Dead Submariner (A Concerto for Bowed Guitar and Reverberation in Three Movements). Any chance we will see the music on that disc elsewhere? Why did you choose to accompany the piano record with a disc of bowed guitar? [AL] The Dead Submariner is unlikely to appear again. I chose to make a record using a bowed guitar to emulate and compliment the piano piece, as it was a 'live' stringed instrument: it made sense to me. I thought it would be more fitting and I didn't want to include a throw away item as many limited editions can be a bit slap-dash. I didn't want to cut corners with a remix of the piano versions or some extra, unrelated piece of music. [LS] Where did The Dying Submariner come from? Many of your records are conceptually focused and I do not think this one is any different. While the artwork is very dark and perhaps meant to relate a sense of fear or even claustrophobia, for me some of the music was quite playful. Was this juxtaposition intentional? [AL] I don't really want to advertise where the idea came from on The Dying Submariner, but again I think it is pretty obvious what it's about. The music is in part meant to be quite playful but never humorous or frivolous."
I cannot stress to you the importance of purchasing this and other artist's offerings. It keeps them in business, feeds many ears, and helps labels continue releasing quality sounds and packaging.