Moon's Bright Path

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Love All Day is extremely honored to announce a new release from acclaimed American experimental artist, Reese Williams. Though perhaps not as widely known as he should be following a retreat from the art world in the mid 1980s, his work as a composer, publisher, writer & artist have nevertheless left an indelible impact on late 20th Century art. While pursuing an MFA in art at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, he was exposed to the fertile Bay Area experimental music scene, discovering the likes of Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, and Morton Subotnick, while simultaneously being deeply influenced by the concerts of international music at the Center For World Music, which was located near where he lived at the time. Steve Reich’s seminal tape works “Come Out” and “It’s Gonna Rain” were one of the catalysts for Williams to ultimately purchase three tapes recorders, microphones, and a splicing block in an attempt to experiment in that realm. In 1977 he self-released an LP entitled Sonance Project In Two Parts, which is an extremely intricately spliced tape work comprised of the sounds of laughter and other speech detritus. An absolute tour-de-force, a copy of the record is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and is, in our opinion, one of the greatest pieces of American musique concrète ever made. In 1979 he self-released his second album, Whirlpool, another immaculately conceived tape work that is a conceptual reply to the famed Golden Record that accompanies the spaceship Voyager — via sampling, fragmenting, and collaging a diverse selection of the Earth’s music, from Mississippi John Hurt, to the polyphonic sounds of Central African Pygmy music, Williams redefined active listening. Williams has long had broad & peripatetic interests, and in 1980, following a move from the West Coast to downtown New York City, he founded Tanam Press. In addition to publishing his own artworks & writings, Tanam Press also released vinyl records by R. Buckminster Fuller and Susan Sontag, as well as an important and diverse list of attractive & affordable books featuring the work and writings of Werner Herzog, Constance De Jong & Philip Glass, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jenny Holzer, Richard Prince, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cecilia Vicuña, and Richard Nonas, amongst many others. Despite being one of the great artists’ book imprints of the early 1980s, by about 1985 Williams felt the project had run its course, and he began his retreat from the world of art, subsequently immersing himself in the realm of Polarity Therapy, Chinese Medicine, and Craniosacral Therapy for the next several decades. However, following a three year long illness that ended in 2011, Williams once again felt compelled to return to working with sound, this time solely with the aid of a laptop & software. "Moon’s Bright Path", composed in 2013, is one of the towering achievements of this new phase of Williams’ art making. At thirty minutes in length, it is a deeply immersive piece that proves that Williams’ ability to train his attention and focus in nearly microscopic detail on the particulars of sound has not wavered in the forty years since he began releasing music. His many years as a practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy (“a hands-on healing modality that focuses on the wave-like rhythmic pulse that goes through the entire body”) have lent his new music an almost therapeutic quality, while still being as mentally and conceptually focused as ever. Although much of his new work is largely improvised, in "Moon's Bright Path" we find a composed synthesizer piece where the modulation processes occur in the 100 second cycle, where drones slowly expand and contract to mirror that of the human energy field, and where Williams creates a space in which he can explore the phase relationship between cycles. Reconciling the mind/body divide, this is deeply affecting music that seems to operate at both the synaptic and cellular level, and which brilliantly heralds the return of a major American artist. -Michael Klausman


This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 16 December, 2018.

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