This comes from the last of three shows I did with Michael Zerang during his visit in December. Right before we performed, Michael pulled out a small drum and asked if it would be okay if he only played that for our duo piece. I said “Yes.” Then, he played it in a certain way. I also played in a certain way. It sounded like this:
Okay, this is the official announcement: The BSC book/album, Manual, is available for order. Books ship by the end of the month, downloads hit your hard drives as soon as you order. There are 100 hardcovers available at the same price as the paperback ($20 for the book and music). Pre-orders have already eaten a good chunk of those, and it’s first come, first served. A lot of other information is available on the Bandcamp page. I’ll make one more announcement when the books are shipping, and then I’ll leave you all to enjoy the listening / reading or not. I hope it’s the former.
UPDATE: Manual is shipping!
At the last possible moment, I received a grant from Year of the Writer to cover printing costs for the BSC book, Manual.
What this means is that a) all printing and paper will be of the highest quality! b) there will now be a limited amount of hardcover editions!!! c) despite these changes, the cost of the book/album will remain $20!!!!!
The only downside, really, is that the release will be delayed by a couple weeks. I had originally hoped to be shipping books on October 31st, but we’re looking more towards mid-November, now.
While I’m on the subject of this book, might as well give some of the basic details:
Music by the BSC (with Pauline Oliveros)
Book edited by Bhob Rainey with contributions from Damon Krukowski, Aaron P. Tate, Ben Hall, and Mike Bullock
3 tracks, 65’30”
Hardcover and Paperback with Lossless Download: 5.8125″ x 8.25″, 112 pages
Published by NO Books
Manual is a combination full-length album and book focusing on the music and improvisational practice of the BSC, an eight-member electroacoustic ensemble formed by saxophonist and composer Bhob Rainey in 2000. More than just music with copious liner notes, Manual examines the process of improvisation from both within and outside the BSC, encountering topics ranging from genealogy to architecture, the boundaries of sense to the benefits of failure, flows of energy to bouts of guilt. The intersection and unfolding of ideas is often complex, but the writing in Manual is earthy and comprehensible, keeping jargon to a minimum without sacrificing the depth of the subject matter. Manual is not a monument to the BSC but rather an appreciation of improvisation from the perspective of an especially prolific community.
The music portion of Manual consists of three extended improvisations covering a six-year period in the BSC’s history. The most recent piece, a vividly captured concert highlighting some of the more elegant aspects of the BSC’s unique musical lexicon, was recorded in 2009 and includes renowned composer Pauline Oliveros on accordion. The earliest piece was recorded in November 2003 at the end of The BSC’s only extended tour and contains some of the noisiest, most unhinged work the ensemble has ever released. 2007’s “23% Bicycle and/or Ribbons of the Natural Order”, recorded in Somerville, MA, provides a balance between the other two tracks, illustrating the BSC’s strong formal control amidst chaotic conflagrations of feedback, tape degeneration, and general instrumental instability. Stage plots and recording notes are included for each track.
The book portion of Manual contains contributions from five writers. Bhob Rainey (director and founder of the BSC) provides an introduction in which he engages with the book’s other contributors while reflecting on failure, adaptable dispositions, and the upside to being oblique. Damon Krukowski (musician, poet, half of Damon & Naomi, one-third of Galaxie 500, and one-fourth of Magic Hour) contributes a series of prose poems aimed at evoking certain effects the BSC’s music has on him. Aaron P. Tate (classicist at Cornell University whose areas include ancient and contemporary improvisation), through extensive research and interviews, pieces together and examines the BSC’s early history and rehearsal practices. Tate uses this information, along with recorded documentation, to approach the music with great insight from a dynamic, open-ended perspective. Ben Hall (percussionist, gospel archivist, and restaurateur) unravels ideas about genealogy, community, politics, and authority as they present themselves in the tradition from which the BSC emerges. And Mike Bullock (audio/visual artist and bassist for the BSC) develops two metaphors for evaluating music like that of the BSC, applying these metaphors to an analysis of the 2009 performance with Pauline Oliveros featured in this release.
The BSC is
Bhob Rainey: soprano saxophone, director
Mike Bullock: contrabass, amplification
James Coleman: theremin
Chris Cooper: guitar and electronics
Greg Kelley: trumpet
Vic Rawlings: amplified / prepared cello, open circuit electronics
Howard Stelzer: tapes
Liz Tonne: voice
Chris Cogburn, Bonnie Jones, Bhob Rainey: Arena Ladridos – CD
Chris Cogburn – percussion
Bonnie Jones – electronics
Bhob Rainey – soprano saxophone
I am extremely pleased to announce that Arena Ladridos is now available. I love the music on this disc and would be happy knowing that you are spending time with it. So, if you order a copy from bhobrainey.com before December 21st, I will send an extra gift on Christmas Day – a kind of stocking stuffer to say thanks for all the listening.
Recorded in Austin and Marfa, TX, and inspired by the gorgeous desolation of the high plains desert, this is music of exquisite, simmering beauty.
In 2010, after years of friendship and musical intersections frequently revolving around Austin’s No Idea Festival, Chris Cogburn brought this trio together for concerts in Texas and Mexico, supported by the Meet the Composer Foundation and USArtists International. Arena Ladridos (roughly, “Barking Sand”) captures the intensity, intimacy, and adventurousness of these strong-minded musicians as they methodically bleed this music into existence.
“In 2000, Greg Kelley and Bhob Rainey made their first trip to Europe as Nmperign. One stop was Kule in Berlin, where they played a show and stayed for five days in the apartment building that, at that time, held Axel Dörner and Andrea Neumann. The plans for the Thanks, Cash tour with Axel and Andrea were hatched at this time, but there was also an informal quartet session with Axel and Burkhard Beins that produced a series of song-like pieces that were unlike anything these musicians had done previously. Twisted Village released the music on LP, which sold out rather quickly. Still, the album is continually regarded as a seminal EAI recording, and so it is presented here, beautifully remastered in its original, full-resolution format.”