Now Is The Moment To Learne Hope

Loren Chasse : bell
Brandon Conway : classical guitar
Sage Fisher : harp
Matt Hannafin : bowed crotale
Branic Howard : bowed guitar
Evan Spacht : alto trombone

Now Is the Moment to Learn Hope was recorded and mastered by Branic Howard at the Portland Garment Factory, a woman-owned, certified zero-waste manufacturing studio in Portland, Oregon, USA. Production assistance by Robert Waldorf.

The Extradition Ensemble is a fluid group of musicians associated with Portland’s Extradition Series, which presents programs of 20th- and 21st-century experimental music exploring purity, space, sound, and silence. http://www.extradition-series.com

Sleeve notes : Guy Peters.  Layout : Rutger Zuydervelt

“There have been quite a few releases of Beuger’s music over the past several years and it’s an odd, and very pleasurable thing to consider them en masse. On the one hand, his music is so diaphanous, so air-suffused that you’d think it might be difficult (not to mention unnecessary) to differentiate them mentally. On the other, they’re always very different. There’s that old AMM aphorism: “as alike or unalike as trees” that conveys something of my feelings about Beuger’s work.

In his liner notes, Guy Peters writes that “traces of eternity…”, inspired by David Patterson’s ‘Hebrew Language and Jewish Thought’, takes the form of a 288-page score with minimal notation on each page, the performer able to dip in and out as desired, to interpret as seen fit. Pianist Dante Boon, one of the very finest proponents of Beuger’s music (as well as that of many other composers associated with the Wandelweiser collective) chose to begin where he’d previously left off on his own journey through the score. Single notes are struck, pure and lambent, strings gently caressed, suspended in silence, or near-silence as the rooms is heard, faintly, as are adjustments by Boon, including pedaling. As is often the case with Beuger’s music, there’s a combination of spareness and, if not always apparent, sensual beauty, a resilient softness and warmth. The connective tissue is gossamer but surprisingly strong. Now and then, the piano sounds more forcefully, deeply; once in a while a fragment of a melody emerges, but just as a glimmer, something seen out of the corner of one’s eye (or ear), then vanishing as the music flows past, around the corner. The same and different. Boon’s degree of sensitivity is profound, pacing the work perfectly, varying his approach subtly, maintaining the piece’s vibrating sense of life throughout, reading his text. One only hopes that, someday, the work might be heard in its entirety.

‘Now is the moment to learn hope’ is performed by the Extradition Ensemble (Loren Chasse, bell; Brandon Conway, classical guitar; Sage Fisher, harp; Matt Hannafin, bowed crotales; Branic Howard, bowed guitar; Evan Spracht, alto trombone). The listener is immediately immersed into the general environment fulling of falling water and clouds of ambient sound. The music is more forthright, kind of oozing through the space, a thicker liquid bleeding through a thinner one. Brief but forceful guitar and harp chords are offset by longer, more languid tones from the trombone, bowed guitar and crotales. The music, already rich at the start, seems to slowly intensify, though more likely it’s the listener’s aural acuity growing more and more perceptive as the piece unfurls. Car horns sound, engines; the bowed portions attain greater depth, denser sonority, though as on the earlier work, the music maintains a steady character, flowing and changing/remaining the same, traffic closing out the set. A moving, enveloping experience.  Two wonderful recordings.” Just Outside – USA

“Vorige week schreef ik al over Antoine Beuger & Dante Boon hun release “Traces Of Eternity: of what is yet to be”, en nu volgt de tweede CD met werk van Antoine Beuger, ditmaal uitgevoerd door The Extradition Ensemble, op A New Wave Of Jazz.

Het werk op “Now is the moment to learn hope” is een heel ander werk dan de voorganger. Nog steeds is de muziek minimaal, maar er is veel minder stilte en door het rijkere instrumentarium (wat voor Beuger toch minder voor de hand liggend is, waar hij meestal voor solo en duo instrumentatie schrijft) krijg je echt een heel ander soort compositie te horen.

Het eerste wat mij opviel bij deze CD is dat het geluid heel erg past bij de titel (die me doet denken aan Godspeed You! Black Emperor), ik krijg namelijk door de gespeelde noten een heel positief gevoel en warm gevoel. Vooral de klassieke gitaar en harp dragen hieraan bij. Het lukt Beuger en het uit het uitvoerende ensemble ook echt om dat gevoel naar voren te brengen, zonder het minimalistische en verstilde uit het oog te verliezen.

Het tweede wat mij opviel was hoe bekend het geluid eigenlijk overkomt. Iedereen die in het eerste decennium van deze eeuw artiesten zoals Tape, Minimo, Taylor Deupree en bij behorende labels zoals Häpna, 12K, Room40 en Apestaartje, en meer recent Hibernate en Home Normal volgde, zal het geluid zeer duidelijk herkennen.
Echter hier krijg je er geen electronica en effecten bij, maar is alles wat je hoort volledig uit akoestische instrumenten (en een elektrische gitaar) gehaald. Daarnaast hoor je de omgevingsgeluiden rondom de plek waar het is opgenomen duidelijk terug. Dit draagt alleen maar bij aan het ambient gevoel, en nog meer dan voorgenoemde artiesten in een natuurlijke, organische vorm.
Het geheel, ook door de langzame ontwikkeling in de compositie, is wat mij betreft net iets spannender en past daarmee toch weer goed binnen de traditie van Wandelweiser (waar Beuger een van de grondleggers van is).

Van alle werken die ik van Beuger in de kast heb staan hoort dit toch wel tot zijn meer toegankelijke werk. En is daarom een goede instap voor mensen die al interesse hadden in de semi-akoestische ambient geluiden zoals de bovengenoemde artiesten maar die wel behoefte hebben aan een nieuwe ontdekking. Deze CD komt dan ook echt als aanrader.
Het is meer dan 45 minuten lang genieten van de mooie geluiden, die je als een warme deken kunt omslaan en je fijn bij kunt wegdromen. Dromen over een hoopvolle toekomst.” De Subjectivisten – The Netherlands

“The other piece by Beuger is something different. First of all, it is a piece for an ensemble, unlike many of his solo and duo works. It is also not in the same league of quietness; far from it, as this is quite an audible piece of music. It is performed by the Extradition Ensemble, “a fluid group of musicians associated with Portland’s Extradition Series, which presents programs of 20th and 21st-century experimental music exploring purity, space, sound and silence”. The only name I recognized was Loren Chasse, who plays a bell here. Other instruments for this piece includes classical guitar, harp, bowed crotale, bowed guitar and alto trombone. It was recorded at the Portland Garment Factory, of which the cover says, “a women-owned, certified zero-waste
manufacturing studio”. When listing all the instruments I was surprised there was no piano, as it surely sounded there was one present here. The occasional returning bang sounded like a piano, but surely is Chasse’s bell then. Also, there is the sound of water, like it is recorded in a cave; no doubt that is a field recording. The work, forty-seven minutes, is slow with long strokes of the bowed
instruments and the alto trombone, whereas the bell, harp and acoustic guitar may play that bang, which might not be in ‘sync’; the intervals don’t seem regular, but I was never good at counting. It is a peaceful composition that reminded me of recent David Jackman music (now, there’s a thought for Wandelweiser label!), but then not as strictly organised. The music of Beuger here is a rather fluid (pun intended) and less intense. An excellent piece!” Vital Weekly – The Netherlands