Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Early October



The release of the next Gravity Wave project, Continuum Unbound, is imminent: we expect it will be ready to ship by the beginning of October. 

It is a box with three discs – 3 hours and 36 minutes of music total – and our biggest project to date. 

In addition to the box, each disc has its own cover, and there is a booklet with score excerpts, photographs and extensive liner notes. (Scroll down to the previous entry, if you are interested in the musical contents. I'll just add that the contributions from Greg Stuart, Patrick Farmer, Joe Panzner and Toshiya Tsunoda, were incredible.) 

We're very excited to get this out, but it is expensive to produce, so pre-orders would be very welcome. (This can be done using the button for the box on the right side panel.) Thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered and for the support of the label in general.

I've reproduced the box cover above, and the three CD covers below. 

Box cover collage and the photos for 011 and 012 are by Greg Stuart. The photo for 013 is by myself (Michael Pisaro). Yuko Zama designed the whole set. 






Monday, May 26, 2014

Continuum Unbound, Fall 2014


In the Fall of 2014, Gravity Wave will release three CDs comprising the new work Continuum Unbound, the largest project we have undertaken with the label.

It is a piece in three separate parts, each 72 minutes long, each one disc.


Kingsnake Grey is a field recording of sundown in the Congaree National Park in South Carolina. The beautiful and erratic sonic transformation that occurred over the 72 minutes was the model for the other two pieces. (GW 011)

Congaree Nomads takes as its basis 24 three-minute recordings Greg Stuart and I made in the park, along Cedar Creek and the Kingsnake, the Weston Lake and the River trails. It is a “nomadic” series that moves very gradually from the Creek to the Congaree River. Instrumental “fogs” (harmonies made by Pisaro and Stuart) overlay the field recordings. (GW 012)

Anabasis is a composition in 72 parts for five musicians, loosely based on four kinds of materials: Sand, Wind, Tone and Wave. The musicians featured on this recording (in addition to Pisaro and Stuart) will be Patrick Farmer, Joe Panzner and Toshiya Tsunoda. (GW 013)

Continuum Unbound, as the title implies, attempts to hear how the apparent continuum of the sounding world is actually a series of states that are as fragile and discontinuous as they are solid and connected. (Discrete continuity is one of the ways we have of understanding contingency.)

The three discs will be available  in a box (along with a printed essay).


(Photos are by Greg Stuart and Michael Pisaro)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds (GW 010)

Design (and photo) by Yuko Zama


We are very happy to announce the release of GW 010, a 72-minute CD version of Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds, for crotales and sine tones (composed by Michael Pisaro, performed by Greg Stuart, mastered by Michael Pisaro and Joe Panzner). Those interested in more info and sound examples can look below. The disc also comes with extensive notes and a reproduction of a page of the score. 

From the notes:

"This record consists of four crotales, each bowed for 16 minutes. Against each crotale I have placed sine tones, one after another, for four minutes each (four for each crotale note). The score gives 10 possibilities for each crotale (over the two octave range of the instrument there are 250 possibilities). Greg selected four instruments, and then sent me the recordings. I took some time to select and scale the volume of the sine tones, work with the stereo balance and mix each crotale/tone combination in a slightly different way.

What emerges from the vast possible selection is four connected pieces, working their way up in range, each having a distinct profile, structured perhaps with a distant echo of a four movement symphony."

Ordering, as always, can be accomplished with the widget on the right column of this blog.


Detail from the score.


Monday, October 28, 2013

GW 010: excerpt and pre-order



Below I've posted a SoundCloud link to an excerpt from Part 1 of the disc, about four minutes of the eighteen minute section. The image above (which is that of the excerpt) might give you some idea of what you are in for.





Greg Stuart, crotales
Michael Pisaro, sine tones (and composition)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GW010 Is Getting Closer



Happy to post Yuko Zama's cover for Gravity Wave 010 (Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds). 

The 72-minute CD should be out by mid-November. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Announcing GW 010



The next Gravity Wave disc (GW 010) will be a recording of Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds for crotales and sine tones.

The piece was written at the request of Greg Stuart in 2011/12. (Greg plays the crotales with the subtlety of a bowed string instrument.)

The premise is simple: a crotale is played for sixteen minutes, and one by one, four sine tones in the same register are placed against the sound of the crotales (with some variance of dynamics).

What results is not simple. This is music that sounds differently every time the listener moves their head or moves around their room. Also, the resultant “extra” (i.e., combination) tones evolve and change with each pairing.

The possible relationships here are so numerous and unpredictable, that the score created ten versions (i.e., ten different sets of sine tones) for each of the 25 crotales of the two octave range. That is, there are 250 possible 16-minute pieces. For the disc we selected four pieces, with as wide a range of effect and affect as we could find.

The physics of the crotale are very interesting, since like all metal instruments, its actual motion is relatively chaotic. It is not the absolutely stable and regular sound that it appears to be, but has fluctuating character, perhaps a bit like the reflected glare of any shiny object. This might be the best analogy for what the sine tones accomplish: each provides a singular mirror (with a distinct tint) to the ongoing sonic relationship between performer and object.

Release should be mid-November.


(Photos of the crotales are by Sarah Williams.)