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A PICTURE A DAY (2008) A SOUND A DAY (2009) December 30, 2008

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on january 1st, 2008 i began a project where i would take one polaroid picture every day of 2008. it’s been a fun, challenging, and sometimes frustrating endeavor.. but i now have 363 polaroids.. with 2 days to go.

the most rewarding aspect of this project has been the fact that every day i have been forced to LOOK. most often the best photograph has been missed at the hope a better one would be around the corner… although, the project was not about the “best” photography.. but rather more of a diary of seeing.

as this year draws to a close i have been thinking to 2009. a picture a day was very challenging.. do i give myself a break.. freedom from carrying the polaroid with me every day.. freedom from having to constantly be on the lookout… or, was the forcing of this creative project on me every day a priceless exercise?

well, never one to rest, i have decided that in 2009, starting on january 1st, of course, i will carry a small digital audio recorder with me every day of the year and record one sound per day throughout 2009. i rarely work with “field recordings.” as a musician i do not incorporate them much into my music. however, as a musician i am always listening. this exercise will not only force me to listen more carefully every day, but open my own sound palette, expanding into field recording.

i will not set a time limit on each day’s recordings, but rather make each recording as long as it needs to be to capture whatever it is i’ll be capturing. along with the recorder i will carry a small notebook and make a note of date and time as well as location and “subject.”

if 2008 was a year of seeing every day, 2009 will be a year of listening. the death of Polaroid has made the polaroid-a-day difficult to continue. my project was timely. needless to say, as a photographer, i will never stop looking.. nor will i rarely be caught without a camera, but to form a year’s worth of living and travelling with an audio diary will be a new way for me to experience the year.

happy new year!

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TAYLOR DEUPREE PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE UPDATES December 23, 2008

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a few new images have been added to my photography website… as well as some new sections and re-organization.

taylordeupree.com

CALEB DEUPREE “CATHEDRAL” December 18, 2008

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despite the reviewer’s information, Caleb is in fact related to me (he’s my uncle)… and has been into experimental musics long before i was.

CALEB DEUPREE – CATHEDRAL (MP3 by Treetrunk)
There is no relation, family that is, between Caleb Deupree and Taylor Deupree, other than a musical one. Deupree recorded this work over the period of one year, using piano, field recordings and processing. Hard to believe that is a piano at work here, but well, of course, its processed. That explains thing a bit. Its slowed down, torn apart, ripped to pieces, and then glued back together, using the computer as its concrete, and the various sound blocks as its building stones. One majestic piece of drone music, made from all of these piano sounds and nocturnal crickets, moulded into a piece of dark atmospheric ambience. Music that is not unlike its peers, say Monos, Mirror or Andrew Chalk, more than say all things microsound. Its there, its present, its thick, its layered, its audible – all those things that a lot of microsound isn’t. Having said that this is a nice work, clocking at the cool twenty minutes, which I think is the right length, its also a work that hardly holds surprises for the lovers of the genre. Perhaps they don’t want any, in which case they can start downloading right away. They won’t be disappointed. (FdW)

http://mystifiedmusic.com/treetrunk-records/

MARK FELL DVD REVIEWS December 15, 2008

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FROM VITAL WEEKLY
Mark Fell we of course know from his work with SND, and his various solo releases, which, me thinks, were more interesting, since they broke away from the click and cuts movement. Though seemingly not as active as before, the recent years have been used to develop his own sound and video work, which this DVD is a representation of. He works with geometrical forms which react, or perhaps vice versa, to the music, which seems to be processed Tibetan singing bowls. They sound like sine waves here. There are three pieces on this DVD, which runs, at least on my DVD player as one track, and its hard to tell one piece from the other – there are three in total. Images and sounds remain the same throughout, of course within the parameters Fell choose. A very consistent work, which worked best for me in a totally dark room, with the sound turned up pretty loud. Swift stops and changes, bright colors only on a part of the screen, slowly changing sound and image, make this a beautiful work – provocative in all its simplicity. A strong work, moving away from the micro glitch movement and into a new sound world of its own. More serious avant-garde than microsound. Great work!
(vital weekly, the netherlands)

FROM BOOMKAT
One of digital music’s leading innovators, Mark Fell is perhaps best known for being one half of the iconic clicks+cuts duo .snd, but his work as a solo artist – whether as Secular Musics Of South Yorkshire or under his own name – tends to be of a more experimental and sonically challenging ilk. That’s certainly the case with this audio-visual project, which draws together highly minimal, morphing electronic sound designs (mixed in both stereo and Dolby 5.1 formats) with correspondingly morphing blocks of colour and shape. Divided into three chapters (ranging from two minutes to almost thirty-nine in duration), this disc offers an insight into synaesthetic correlations between sight and sound. While you might previously have bumped into this sort of experiment within the confines of the Raster Noton roster (particularly via someone like Ryoji Ikeda) Fell takes a more colourful, academic and less rhythmically conditioned approach, utilising high-end audio processing techniques to mould and remould sound, all accompanied by abstract yet highly organised visual displays which change in accordance with what you’re hearing. While the images aren’t exactly static, owners of plasma screens might start getting a tad nervous about screenburn during certain stretches – but hey, that’s minimalism folks. Possibly the most intriguing section of the DVD comes during the second chapter, when a grid of incrementally different hues switches and transforms itself according to highly resonant blip tones, pulsing and filtering themselves as the piece progresses. It’s all very bizarre when you stop and think about what you’re actually fixating on; it seems like such a minuscule transmission of information, but Attack On Silence is most certainly something to be savoured by audiophiles and sound nerds the world over. Highly recommended.
(boomkat, uk)

FROM WHITELINE
It seems astonishing to me that LINE has reached its 37th release in such a short span of time. In relation to many other labels of their kind, LINE has achieved world wide recognition and respect amongst the minimalism/microsound community, and now, this their 2nd DVD release marks a new level of ambition. A notoriously difficult medium to project and sell in the current marketplace, DVD would seem an obvious route for the remit of the label – that of focussing on installation based audio or audio visual work In a minimalist framework.

Mark Fell’s Attack on Silence (a performance? An installation?) harnesses the power of the visual medium in its purest form, by integrating delicate sonic structures with highly simplistic and stylised visualisations. Given the ever increasing level of sophistication in today’s stock PC visualisation skins with which to compete, Fell’s work warrants extra respect, as he slices the screen in half with narrow bands of undulating primary colours, and bombards us with swells and pits of pin-prick sonic tonalities. The last time I was this blown away with such a subtle, yet truly revelatory audio-visual feast was on Ryoji Ikeda’s Formula series. Fell deploys the same pillarbox format that Ikeda does, confining the raw elements to a limited frame, set on a piercing black backdrop, which on a home cinema sized screen, gives the effect of being suspended in space. This to me, is some kind of Post modern, post millennial psychedelia, a head trip which takes in all of the sensory apparatus, albeit with a level of subtlety and grace that far transcends the swirly, organic forms epitomised by the medium in the psychedelic generation’s heyday. The sleeve notes in this gorgeously packaged DVD more than hint at sacred geometries, mandala’s and consciousness altering patterning, a much cited reference point perhaps, but with a unique, rigorously geometric spin that Fell is more than capable of manifesting in sound and light

One short, and two other long form pieces see us moving from shimmering bands of colour, going through a panoply of transitions and gradations, in synch with a deliciously tonal soundtrack..here and there the occasional tract of near suspended animation, where the screen appears frozen, and then suddenly becomes active and immersive. Fell questions his own modus operandi, begging us the question of whether or not these apparitions are truly spiritual, transcendental, or merely physiological responses to a stimulus – he questions whether or not we are enlightened, examined, entertained, or enmeshed? For me, this work encompasses all of the above, a highly detailed and powerful transitional digital painting, that forces us to encounter the indescribable, the ineffable, and indeed the mundane..nirvana achieved in under an hour. This release will excite and challenge in one easy lesson..a minor masterpiece, and one that I will revisit again and again. – remarkable.
(whiteline, uk)

AMPLIFIER MACHINE December 9, 2008

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http://www.tokafi.com

Wonderful vagueness: Woozy and gorgeous cycles.

Music is never just the mathematical sum of its ingredients, so put away the CD cover of “Her Mouth is an Outlaw” for a second and close your eyes. Good. Never thought you could actually sit this still. Now listen. With your eyes closed and even though you’re stumbling in complete darkness, tell me what you’re hearing. It doesn’t matter whether or not you think it makes all that much sense. Just tell me your impressions as they inevitably start manifesting themselves in your mind’s eye.

There’s a warm, four chord riff played in a painfully slow offbeat rhythm. Soft drone tremolos blowing airy melodic kisses at me. Scratching and squeaking noises that don’t sound aggressive at all, rather like being played with great care and sensitivity. As though someone were caressingly plucking and tearing barbwire with his bare hands.

Ouch! But you’re doing good, very good in fact. What else do you hear?

Everything seems to float and drift, the entire music is located in the upper registers without any kind of bass anchoring. Even though this piece…

…it is called “Her Mouth is an Outlaw”, by the way, just like the album…

…thank you… well, it appears to be looped, nothing really ever stays the same. The riff decomposes, stretches, wears out and turns metallic – yeah, it is as though it were turning from a sonic element into a stretched-out aluminum wire, glistening in the summer sun.

Interesting, your psychiatrist would definitely be pleased. Let’s skip this track, shall we, and get to the next piece…

Wow. There’s a lot of Bass in this one. Very dreamy. Very deep and dreamy. I like the breath of this, its wamth and sense of epic wideness. It could go on like this forever. But are those brushed drums I hear? Yes, it’s like a percussionist absentmindedly dusting off his set on a Sunday morning while listening to a mellow Guitar Drone record…

With the way you usually party away your Saturday nights, I’m surprised to find you know what a Sunday morning is like at all. But please do go on.

I can now distinctly discern an electric hum. Sounds pretty much like the old fridge me and my girlfriend bought on ebay and which keeps breaking down on us all the time. One moment it’s getting louder, roaring like an animal, the next it’s all quiet and subdued again. The combination of this buzzing noise with the soundscape is astoundingly relaxing, if you ask me. That percussionist has found his groove, too, and there are some delightfully weightless harmonies simmering in the distance. Show me more, please!

I was hoping you’d ask. This one’s called “Poor People in Church”…

Much darker… Almost like the aftermath of a Rock track. These bent tones have a vey organic touch to them, like wild beasts screaming and wailing. Next!

My pleasure!

An oriental melody on some kind of mediaeval instrument. Is this a Zither? Or a completely detuned Piano? Suspenseful to the point of threatening. The foreground is in constant motion and the background appears static in a mysteriously fluent way. Wait, now everything’s suddenly gaining in dynamics. A sudden surge, a rush of adrenaline. A wordless anthem, no less.

Glad you like it. The title of the next piece seems to have been selected just for you (“Someplace Nowhere All the Time”), but it’s just a short recap of the opening, so we can leave that one out. And “Up With the Curtain, Down With Yr Pants” is a woozy, gorgeous acoustic Guitar cycle of three and a half minutes, which you ought to be listening to with that lovely girlfriend of yours sitting next to you instead of me. But I really want you to check out the last piece of the album, “Memories of the Feeble-Minded”. Don’t you just love how it manages to suggest development and motion, always appearing to lift off every second without ever actually doing so and remaining on a level of wonderful vagueness, as though someone had forgotten to turn up the volume?

It’s very nice indeed.

The point of this little experiment is this: I could have told you before that the band behind this project is called Amplifier Machine and comprises of a trio of Australian musicians playing Drums, Violins, Piano, Guitar and a Synthesizer. I could have mentioned that their music has been labeled an odd duck in the catalogue of their label, 12k. That some have called them a Post Rock band and compared them to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I could have briefly touched upon the loose conceptual approach of the band, which discreetly dictates that “when the other two members have settled, it’s your turn to change”. Oh, and I could, of course, have praised the minimal artwork, which captures a very concrete scene and manages to transform it into a mood-setting point of departure for the music as such. But this is music which detaches itself from its creational process and builds something strangely alluring from completely familar ingredients. Knowing all these things and juggling all these terms would not have made the slightest difference in appreciating the brittle beauty of “Her Mouth is an Outlaw”, nor would they have brought you any additional insight, wouldn’t you agree?

Yes I would. Can you please re-press play now and finally stop talking?

By Tobias Fischer

“MAY” ON VITAL WEEKLY December 9, 2008

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Side by side at the piano – that reminds me of that dreadful song McCartney once recorded with herr Wonder, but thank god in the future I will also be reminded of Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner. On May 9 of this year they sat side by side at the grand piano – each played the piano, each transforming the sound: Deupree the inside of the piano and Kirschner the keys. On top they played the piano. The interesting thing of course here is the fact that this is a live recording. This means more notes per minute. Whereas in the studio of them (solo), sparseness is one of the greater virtues and sometimes nothing much seems to be happening – and this I mean in a positive way – things here are much more ‘lively’ with more ‘action’. Having said that, this is of course not an album of ‘fast’ music, or ‘noise’. It still has that fine trademark of both Deupree and Kirschner: lots of sound moving into free space, with minimalist changes – but the changes occur quicker than before. Great weightless space music – sparse tones, humming drones, this is an excellent work of microsound meets improv meets minimalism.

you can get it here

Fans bid farewell to Polaroid film December 8, 2008

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i guess i wasn’t the only person doing “1 polaroid a day” in 2008….

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/12/08/polaroid.farewell/index.html

SAWAKO INTERVIEW: J-POP WORLD December 8, 2008

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everyone’s favorite Sawako was recently interviewed by J-POP WORLD.

At the border between the sounds of life and the traditions of music is the place you’ll find a new style of artist. “Not functional… but miracle!” is the apt motto of Sawako. Her sound creations can be described by many terms, but “traditional” is certainly not one of them. Born in Nagano, Japan and now living in New York, Sawako has traveled quite a distance in her never ending quest to expand the borders of music. So do whatever you do to expand your own mind and take a trip into the world of soundscapes.

FULL INTERVIEW HERE

TAYLOR DEUPREE “LIVE1:MAPPING” December 7, 2008

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coming in January.
digital only release

Taylor Deupree “Live1: Mapping”
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a collection of live recordings from Bern, Hiroshima, York, Yamaguchi, and ??? (an unknown location).

this release collects the favorite moments of various live performance recordings by Taylor Deupree. Taylor specifically chose a certain theme or sound to these selections: very linear, drawn out and mellow.

The live recordings were done direct from the stage mixer to a portable recorder.

more details coming soon.

TWITTER December 5, 2008

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http://twitter.com/taylordeupree