ponedjeljak, 30. prosinca 2013.

Helen Money - Arriving Angels (2013)

Što se dogodi kad Alison Chesley, klasično obrazovana violončelistica, napravi art-punk album? Vrijeme počne nešto ispuštati kroz crve u ljudima.


Beautiful Friends at Vacation Vinyl
Political Song
MF live in Cleveland
This is one of those refreshing days writing stuff here at Meat Mead Metal. Refreshing because I get to dig into something different, out of the ordinary, challenging, and weird. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing about copious amounts of new metal records because it’s what I do and what excites me. But it can get mundane. Today is not one of those days.
When Profound Lore announced the release of “Arriving Angels,” the new album from Helen Money, the stage name of cellist and composer Alison Chesley, one of the more unique musicians of this day and age, it both was surprising and totally logical. She was a member of Verbow in the 1990s along with Jason Narducy, was a member of Poi Dog Pondering for a while, worked with Bob Mould, and added her work as a contributor to bands such as Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, MONO, Russian Circles, Plaguebringer, and many others. She was one hell of a hired gun when it came to cello work, but her most fascinating creations came along with her Helen Money project, which highlighted her aggressive, amplified, fucked up string work that was scarier and more riveting than what a lot of people dream up with multiple guitars.
“Arriving Angels” is the third album from Chesley’s Helen Money, and she’s joined by drummer Jason Roeder (Neurosis, Sleep) on what’s already one of the most unique records in January, but one that’s likely still going to hold that distinction when we’re putting up Christmas trees in December (or October, if you’re an asshole). If you’re new to Chesley’s work, then chances are you never heard anyone use the cello in quite this way before. You’re going to think you’re listening to a damn suffocating and dark doom metal record created by a roomful of people working to dump as much fog and chaos as possible from walls of amps. But you’ll be wrong. All of the fire and brimstone on here is Chesley and her cello, sometimes played classically, sometimes offering comfort, but often distorted and mangled like a never-ending nightmare.
There are many moods and atmospheres created on this eight-cut record (recorded and mixed by Steve Albini), and the music here can be absorbed in a number of different settings, from meditation, to studying, to confronting and battling your demons, to simply watching nature outside your window. This mix of classical, ambient, drone, and doom may not, on the surface, seem like something we’d traditionally call metal, but again, I invite the more closed minded out there to expand your thinking. This record very well could be your gateway to stretching out your boundaries and discovering new and exciting things.
Opener “Rift” doesn’t grab you and yank you to the floor. It seeps into the room like a ghost, makes some initial sounds so you know something might be there, before it rises up and takes you. The doomy melodies, dark, chunky playing, and ominous tones make for a provoking, chilling open. “Upsetter” has sweltering, strong work and piercing sounds, and a strange melody loops behind everything else, making this feel like the score to a real-life horror story. Not a slasher film or the likes, but something where a human being melts down from the inside and faces himself or herself as a villain. “Beautiful Friends” is mournful and baroque, with distortion and drone pouring in and filling the room to your knees, and percussion kicking in, adding more drama to the story. “Radio Recorders” opens with a panic of echoes, sort of like an old Voivod song, and despite the muck and grime of the track, there’s a gorgeous light that breaks through the clouds and chaos, offering a glimmer of hope.
“Midwestern Night’s Dream” allows you something of a downhome breather, as Chesley delicately plucks her cello, and the song maintains a simple, quiet aura. The title track then lets the noise rip you apart again, with a breath-taking build, windswept passages, fucked up riffs, and a boiling pot that, just when you think it’s going to burn you, it settles back down. Then it rises back up again just as violently. “Shrapnel” has some more traditional cello playing, deliberate, calculated drumming, and a cool pace that gets you ready for the finisher “Runout,” where melodies bend like rubber, eerie echoes allow your mind to wander through the song, drums kick in to keep your lungs blowing, and eventually cool piano drops tap like an easy rainfall.
This record isn’t going to strike everyone the same, and I’m sure some listeners will be too confused or bewildered to accept it. But “Arriving Angels,” as far as I’m concerned, is an intoxicating, fascinating listen that proves not only is Chesley a disarming force in the metal and extreme music world, but is one of the most inventive and creative in all of music. This is a landmark release for Helen Money and should get her the recognition she deserves not only for what she’s contributed in the past but mostly for what she’s still offering us today. She’s a killer. - Brian Krasman

Helen Money is Alison Chesley and Alison Chesley plays the cello.
Let me amend that.
Helen Money is Alison Chesley and Alison Chesley plays the fuck out of the cello, employing pedals, loops and an idiosyncratically assaultive approach to the instrument in order to liberate it from the shadows of genteel classicism and thrust it (screaming, at times, it seems) into a new and almost wholly unfamiliar light of rock and roll.
Or doom.
Maybe it isn’t doom. Maybe it’s just fucking metal. Post rock? Drone comes to mind, but that’s not right. Maybe it’s just (listenable) experimental. I can’t safely say for certain what genre we need to talk about when we talk about Helen Money since there’s really no manner of context for a cello as bombastic solo instrument I know of in American popular culture (Yo Yo Ma comes to mind but he is light years removed from anything Ms. Chesley’s revealed under this moniker) so let me just say that Arriving Angels is heavy.
Like, really, fucking heavy.
It’s being released on Profound Lore Records (home to Cobalt, Bloody Panda, Krallice, etc.) for fuck’s sake. It was recorded, mixed and engineered by Steve Albini (whose Shellac has tapped Helen Money to open for them more than a few times). It features Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder on four tracks (a first and surprisingly welcome adoption particularly on the ridiculously gorgeous and furious “Radio Recorders”). It slams and roars and squalls and shrieks with the terrifying force of a mammoth in his death throes.
But it breathes.
And that just might be the most affecting aspect of this record. For all the aggression Arriving Angels elucidates, it never forgets its space. It allows tones to sustain, to rest, to open up into silence and, on occasion, to transform into something gentle, pretty even as in the lovely plucking of “Midwestern Nights Dream.”
Too often heavy music rests its presence on relentless and though that tendency can be a thrill (who doesn’t love a little evil?), more times than not, it’s just exhausting. All this screaming’s losing it’s meaning which is why the work of Helen Money is so refreshing. It’s dynamic. Yes, it’s loud and occasionally abrasive but there is a tenderness in Ms. Chesley’s playing that underlies Arriving Angels‘ most caustic of extremes which, when it reveals itself to the listener (and it will), is actually quite breathtaking. - Bandmine.com 

There’s something just below the proverbial surface with Helen Money’s Arriving Angels. From the ominous opening notes of the album’s first track, Rifts, to the tightly knit percussion of Jason Roeder (Sleep/Neurosis) serving as a sort of sonic punctuation throughout, Helen Money’s Alison Chesley wields her cello in a way that quietly crushes the boundaries of genre. The age of experimentation is nothing new, and it certainly bodes well for any artist wishing to expound on the possibilities of sound to find their niche in the ever trending metal world. Arriving Angels, however, is not an effort in following any trend as much as it is in unwinding those notions listeners may have regarding exactly what makes music “heavy.” The album cultivates a sound that is inherently challenging and gorgeous. Nothing is given here – only suggested in those pulses and textures which Helen Money creates. Tracks like Radio Recorders and Shrapnel forgo the needless triviality often seen in instrumental rock – instead honing in on those layers of sound at its most minimal and unforgiving.
Stravinksy said “I have not understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it,” and I cannot help but think that for all the concern with intricacy of composition in music something gets lost along the way in terms of the actual experience. This album serves as a reminder for the potential of sonic experience and those landscapes, whether bare or lush, that can be created with a single note. Helen Money’s Arriving Angels conjures up an image of the beautiful and bleak – never boiling over into the derivative to which so many otherwise great experimenters fall prey. It’s important to bear in mind that minimalism here does not suggest simplicity. Helen Money’s bare aesthetic is one which serves the composition incredibly well. That thing just below the surface on this record remains unnamed for me. Safe to say that the open-ended questions which Chesley’s cello poses in those equal parts sinister and stunning notes go unanswered in the best of ways. - Steel for Brains 

You don't get asked to play on over 150 records without reason, and Alison Chesley has dragged her cello along to play with the likes of Mono, Bob Mould, Anthrax and Russian Circles. In many ways that's really beside the point though, because her project Helen Money is the real triumph.
Arriving Angels will be third album for Helen Money and it's one of the most intriguing and utterly rewarding things I've ever heard.
Mind you, Chesley makes you work for your reward with part of that reward being for withstanding the occasional vicious attack on your musical pendulum with some of the most violent and jarring bow work you will hear. The aptly titled 'Upsetter' is a great example, where she demonstrates the slow torture of discordant and repetitious passages with little relief. While some might knock you about the room with harsh vocals, Helen Money calmly removes your fingernails before painting the puffy raw ends with petrol. This is metal, but not the fun-loving carnival that Apocalyptica create with their cellos.
Consisting almost entirely of cello, with drums on four tracks and a sprinkling of piano in one, there is some similarity with guitar-and-bass metal, after all the source is vibrating strings, but the timbre and the nature of the attack and delay when plucked and struck with horsehair opens a new universe of awesome. Cello is surely the most emotional instrument in its natural form and in the right hands manipulation enhances it even further. This is why metal is its natural home.
Chesley serves us a variety of heartbeats, at times slow, at others full of pace driven by fear. The compositions are astounding. This is due in large part to the use of all of a note's available qualities – something usually lacking in rock and metal. In compositions like 'Midwestern Nights Dream' sequences of plucked notes are allowed to decay fully, while in others the attack is exploited to create a ticking clock.
Many of the most effective techniques are subtle and used very sparingly – perhaps once or twice - and provide great contrast with the electronic looping to create and retain a natural sound and feel, as well as mystery and tension. An example is the slow drumming in 'Shrapnel' which sounds like rimshots but for two beats toward the end that are more like flam. Similarly the slow plodding piano in closer 'Runout' sounds like single notes save for the last couple which are clearly chords with the keys not struck in perfect unison. Whether these are written or a consequence of the performance is irrelevant - Chesley has an amazing understanding of the difference between the warm humanity of the imperfect real-time elements and the cold precision of the loops.
When you listen to this though, you need to get out of any headspace that treats this as a novelty. It's not a must-have because it's a metal album played on cello. It's a must-have because it's a brilliant metal album. - echoesanddust.com/

Everything you need to know about Alison Chesley’s relationship with her cello you can glean from YouTube. In one live performance video after another, almost always in rock clubs, the classically trained musician abuses her instrument.
She bows her cello, taps its strings, plucks them like a guitar god in the middle of a hellacious riff. Using a series of pedals she controls with her feet, Chesley can loop and layer melodies, conjuring textures both refined and raw. She looks like a symphony player and sounds like a heavy-metal titan.
That intensity, which often packs the potency of a full band, is on vibrant display on Chesley’s new album under her stage name, Helen Money. Produced by Steve Albini, “Arriving Angels” is her third solo album in six years, and handily her most accomplished.
“I felt like the third record for me would be a big one as a musician and a writer,” Chesley says from Chicago, where she lives, in advance of her show at T.T. the Bear’s on Tuesday. “I felt like if I could write a third record and feel good about it, I’ll feel like this is really what I’m doing for a living. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I’m glad I did.”

As with her two previous recordings, “Arriving Angels” is an instrumental album that skirts the fringes of various genres. Chesley’s music gets all manner of labels: experimental, rock, doom-metal, classical. Her songs have elements of each style, united only by Chesley’s minimalist compositional skills and a portentous sense of gloom.
“I wasn’t sure what would happen with the songs, but they just ended up getting darker and darker,” she says. “I’ve always liked music that’s interesting and complex and dark, and inwardly I’m a pretty serious person. And I like going to that kind of place. So I guess it makes sense that that’s what would come out.”
This was not how Chesley, who’s 53, had imagined her career as a cellist would evolve. During her graduate work at Northwestern University in the early 1990s, Chesley met a fellow musician named Jason Narducy at a coffeehouse where they both worked. They had similar tastes in music — both were into Bob Mould — and Narducy was putting together a band and wanted a cello player. Chesley was hesitant but then realized just how aggressive the music was.
“Usually what people have in mind when they say they want a string player is not the kind of music I want to play,” she says. “It’s often like frosting on the cake. I’m not really interested in that.”
Narducy wanted someone to beef up the sound, and Chesley relished the prospect. They eventually formed an alt-rock band named Verbow, signed to Epic Records, and toured with Mould (who also produced their debut, 1997’s “Chronicles”), Frank Black, and Liz Phair.
Once Verbow dissolved in the early 2000s (and has since sporadically reunited in various formations), Chesley struck out on her own as a studio musician and leader of Helen Money. (She might be the only cellist who has played on records by both thrash-metal gods Anthrax and indie-pop duo the Aluminum Group.)
Helen Money’s latest album features drummer Jason Roeder, from the long-running post-metal band Neurosis, who compares the interplay between his drum parts and Chesley’s cello playing as “pretty much like the relationship between a hammer and a paint brush.”
“The drums lock step in a very rudimentary and simple way on the recording, and the cello work provides most everything else,” Roeder writes in an e-mail. “There is lead cello and rhythm cello, plus a myriad of other [melodies]. Alison ties it together very well.”
Usually, though, Chesley uses just her cello to create heavy soundscapes that are far removed from her classical training. It’s just as well, since she never felt entirely at ease in that realm.
“Classical music is very competitive, and I always got really nervous when I performed. I always had a good sound, but I was never as dedicated to it as other players,” she says. “It was a very imposing thing, practicing six hours a day and trying to get into an orchestra. I think I gravitated away from that.”
“I really feel at home in a rock club with the audience there,” she adds. “That scene is a lot more comfortable and accepting to me. I feel more able to be myself.”
Chesley teaches students to make ends meet, and some of them are aware of just how out there their instructor is.
“I have an 11-year-old [student] who gave me a little card that said, ‘To the most awesome cello teacher ever,’ ” Chesley says. “She watches me on YouTube.”
Given her classical pedigree but also her rock ambitions, Chesley is in a prime position to encourage her students to pursue either path.
“The reason I’m able to play my cello like I want to is because at some point I had to practice, and a teacher made me work on my technique,” she says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be secure financially, but I’m really glad I’ve experienced all of this. It’s very rewarding to write my own music. I don’t know that I ever would have experienced that if I had gone the other way.” - James Reed

What happens when a classically trained cellist composes an art punk album? Helen Money. Although to place Alison Chesley's newest album, Arriving Angels into the punk genre would hardly say enough for how inspired and unique her work truly is. Records like these don’t come around often. Not only does Arriving Angels peak the interest of the classically trained musician, it could also be an easy favorite for a progressive rock fan. Helen Money has the kind of appreciation for all genres that pushes the envelope of expression in a way that makes it difficult not to feel inspired - no matter who you are. It’s good to hear an artist making records that are both experimental and accessible. Arriving Angels contains just enough motifs to draw us in, allowing a little more room for creative freedom without being too “out there.” Almost everything about this project breaks the mold, including tempo and time signature changes that are reminiscent of progressive metal groups such as Tool and Dream Theater. Despite it’s complexity, Arriving Angels is never stressful to listen to. Each tracks moves ominously yet pleasantly into the next without sounding too similar, never losing our attention. In fact, we would go as far as to say that listening to one track without the other seven would significantly take away from the listening experience. Because of this, Arriving Angels could be considered a concept album: telling a story without any words at all. When it comes to songs like these, who needs lyrics? We love that instrumental music has made a comeback, especially with an album like this one. This record is surprisingly minimalistic considering how expressive it is. Alison Chesley plays the cello as a main instrument (with an assortment of peddles and affects) and the only other thing added is a little percussion here and there (courtesy of Jason Roeder of Chicago band, Neurosis). Although she’s obviously good all on her own, this addition is indispensable. Making their first appearance in “Beautiful Friends,” the percussion is just understated enough. The drums are placed in strategic places that provide that roaring tention without being a distraction. This, among other things, shows that Alison Chesley understands the importance of dynamic. Just before we get antsy listening to the more driving tracks, her arrangement of Pat Metheny’s “Midwestern Nights Dream” gives our ears the break they need before ramping up again. Perhaps the best thing about Arriving Angels is how inclusive it is. You don’t have to listen to a lot of instrumentals or know much about music to be moved by it, and that is part of what makes this record so genius. Arriving Angles is simply captivating - quite literally. Helen Money has achieved a lot with very little production and has proven that less is more. Here is a record that contains the accessibility of punk music with about half the instruments and an added hint of that classical sophistication. Arriving Angels defies convention and what comes out is a beautiful concoction. -
In Your Speakers

Helen Money not so much plays the cello as she makes it her bitch, forcing out noises from her poor instrument in ways that would make classical aficionados cringe. Interestingly (and fortunately), she chooses to make ambient doom music with her skill set and with the enlistment of Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder, Arriving Angels dark atmosphere is palpable, painted literally by the brush of the artist. Money’s bleak soundscapes aren’t revolutionary as far as the genre is concerned but make no mistake; the woman has been making waves for a long time.
Right of the bat, its should be noted Arriving Angels’ is heavy. Not Drop C, high-gain heavy, but bottom of the sea, weight of the ocean crushing you surrounded by darkness heavy. The thick, meaty strokes Money uses are both silky smooth and pitch perfect. Arriving Angels’ uses a combination pedals and looping to create this dense wall of sound to great effect, particularly in the title track “Arriving Angels” which has Money using some well meshed layers of sound and fitting them into her vision appropriately. This is minimalistic doom to the highest degree as naught but a cello and drums are employed throughout the record. This approach serves the tone well as its hard to imagine how any sort of electronic synth or effect could have supported this ultra-dark atmosphere. The inclusion of Roeder on drums serves as another testament to Money’s sharp focus on her vision and proves to be the perfect match. The drums hit extremely hard and provide good juxtaposition for the sound of the cello. While only showing up on four tracks, the punching drums enhance the mood immensely while never overpowering or drowning out the focus of the record, the cello.
Inherent in this record is the monotony that comes with such atmospheric albums. Roeder’s portions do break up this monotony, especially in the fast-paced “Radio Recorders” or the gradual build-up conclusion to “Shrapnel”. The sheer novelty of Arriving Angels’ is enough to give this a whirl and while this slow-burning ride won’t turn you to the dark side, those already swayed will find another good reason to stay. - Commander Sam Vimes  

Helen Money takes the cello to new territory  Boston Globe
Show Preview  Chicago Tribune
Arriving Angels – Album Review  Boxx Magazine
Arriving Angels – Album Review  Last Rites
Arriving Angels – Album Review  New Noise Magazine
5. Midwestern Nights Dream
6. Arriving Angels
7. Shrapnel
8. Runout

Product Options
- See more at: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/plr-items/helen-money-arriving-angels/#sthash.3sowBjA1.dpuf
Alison Chesley (aka HELEN MONEY)_________________

nedjelja, 29. prosinca 2013.

Timo Andres - Home Stretch (2013)

Mozart + Brian Eno. Neuništivi hipsterski spoj.




NPR describes Timo Andres's piece Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno, off his new album, Home Stretch, as "a gentle gondola ride through five lovely Eno songs ... a clever, lovingly orchestrated homage in the time-honored spirit of Franz Liszt."

Today marks the release of Timo Andres's new album, Home Stretch, on Nonesuch Records. On the new album, Andres pairs the newly composed title work with two reinventions of works by musical heroes Mozart and Brian Eno: Mozart "Coronation" Concerto Re-Composition and Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno. The New York City-based chamber orchestra Metropolis Ensemble, led by conductor Andrew Cyr, performs on the album, with the composer on piano. The album, says NPR, offers "thought-provoking glimpses into how the past and the present merge in classical music today." In the UK, the Independent gives it four stars, calling it "a compelling blend of ancient and modern."
The album's title piece, Home Stretch, was written for pianist David Kaplan and was conceived as a companion piece to Mozart's Piano Concerto, No. 12, K. 414. Andres wanted the piece to reflect the musical resonance of the Mozart and his friend Kaplan's personality. Andres notes, "I knew I wanted Home Stretch to have something to do with fast cars, which David is obsessively interested in. The piece is in three large sections that gradually accelerate: beginning in almost total stasis, working up to an off-kilter dance with stabbing accents and ushering in a sturm-und-drang cadenza that riles itself up into a perpetual-motion race to the finish. However, there are always little 'smudges' of music from each section in the others, sometimes fitting into their new context, sometimes balefully interrupting."
Also on the album is Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26 in D, "Coronation," completed by Andres. A virtuosic improviser, Mozart left much of the solo part unwritten as he expected to play the piece himself. In particular, the left hand is mostly absent from the original manuscript. Pianists generally play from a completed score that adds simple accompaniment patterns and harmonies for the left hand, but Andres's treatment of the concerto takes a wholly different approach. He inserts his own voice into the left hand and ends the work with newly written cadenzas. He explains, "I approached the piece not from a scholarly or editorial perspective, but more as a sprawling playground for pianistic invention and virtuosity, taking cues from the composer-pianist tradition Mozart helped to crystallize." The New Yorker's Alex Ross wrote on his blog that the result is "mesmerizing."
The recording ends with Andres's Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno. Already an influential force in popular music history, Brian Eno is increasingly gaining recognition from classical composers. As Andres writes, Eno is a composer with "two quite distinct sides: as an innovator who works in ambient and collage music, and as a quirky and crafty pop songwriter. It’s all interesting, but the really amazing things happen when these musical personalities overlap and wear away each other's surfaces." In Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno, Andres focuses on Eno's albums Before and After Science and Another Green World. He builds what he terms, "a 19th-century style 'orchestral paraphrase' on the subject of Eno’s music."

Home Stretch was recorded at Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. It is Andres's second album with Nonesuch; his first, Shy and Mighty, was praised by the New York Times for its "inventiveness and originality," and by the Guardian for the way it "glides across stylistic boundaries in a totally unselfconscious way." - www.nonesuch.com/

Timo Andres is a young New York composer who stole the show at the final night of the Nico Muhly (another great young New York composer) weekend at the Barbican earlier this year. His album consists of three pieces, of which the centerpiece is his version of Mozart's Concerto for Piano No. 2 in D. Mozart never wrote down the piano part for the left hand and so Andres has written his own part. It's highly entertaining how the piece is both very familiar (with the distinctive Mozart lightness) and jarring when the deliberate dissonances and more modern approaches pop up. The final piece is based on music by Brian Eno and features, at its conclusion, the most beautiful and calming two minutes of music I've heard all year. - Jill Faure

Timo Andres' Home Stretch (Nonesuch): Any music that successfully manages to pair Mozart and Brian Eno is worth its weight in gold. Timo's Home Stretch is, for me, one of 2013's most colourful and brilliant releases. - James McVinnie

Nonesuch released the first album of music by Timo Andres three years ago. A set of pieces for two pianos under the collective title of Shy and Mighty, it marked Andres out as a distinctive new voice on the US contemporary-music scene. His collection of influences was predictable enough – John Adams first and foremost, as well as Steve Reich's brand of minimalism, with other composers such as Ligeti and Nancarrow added to the stylistic mix – but his textural imagination and ear for piquant harmony gave his music its own particular flavour.
The centrepiece of this latest collection is a perfect example of Andres's playful intelligence and individuality. The manuscript of Mozart's penultimate piano concerto, the so-called Coronation Concerto in D major K537, not only omits written-out cadenzas, but for many passages there is also no left hand for the solo part; presumably, when Mozart was the soloist, he instinctively added the necessary bass lines, and, when the Concerto was published, the missing lines were added by someone else. In 2010, though, Andres made his own completion; it's sometimes disconcerting, sometimes witty. His additions often take very circuitous routes between the fixed points of the existing text, visiting surprisingly remote keys, while his cadenzas seem to pack two centuries'-worth of piano music into their rhetorical gestures.

Andres is also the immensely accomplished soloist in Home Stretch, a work for piano and orchestra that he composed in 2008 while still a student at Yale. It's a piece of wonderful subtlety and subversive understatement that seems constantly to avoid putting the soloist centre stage. The opening is one of several passages in which Andres reveals his debt to Brian Eno's ambient music, and he extends his tribute in Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno, which the Metropolis Ensemble commissioned as a companion piece to Home Stretch in 2010. Weaving together treatments of five songs from Eno's rock albums, it is familiar without being cliched, and affectionate without seeming sentimental. - 
Any contemporary classical composer who can be compared to John Adams – much less by the age of 27 – deserves to be listened to. And so it was that I came across Timo Andres (“Timo” is short for Timothy), an American-born prodigy who’s also a gifted pianist, and whose latest album, Home Stretch, was recently released on Nonesuch Records.
Writing in The New Yorker, critic Alex Ross said of Andres’ 2010 debut recording, Shy and Mighty, that its “unhurried grandeur has rarely been felt in American music since [Adams] came on the scene.” And indeed, echoes of Adams resonate on Home Stretch, which consists of two original pieces by Andres, interspersed with a “recomposition” of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto, written in 1788.
It’s impossible not to draw parallels between Andres and even younger colleague and fellow sensation Conrad Tao, another fresh face who’s shaken up classical music circles. (Andres himself was already improvising compositions at the age of six). Whereas Tao’s album from earlier this year was called Voyages, the cover art for Home Stretch is a tip-off that Andres is on a journey of his own as well.
The eponymous title track begins the trip with Americana-like tinges of composer Charles Ives, followed by shades of Steve Reich’s Different Trains that reverberate towards the end of the piece. Backed by New York City’s Metropolis Ensemble, Andres creates a pointillist effect which quietly announces something’s coming, its underlying sense of anticipation recalling Adams.
The reinvention of the “Coronation” Concerto is made possible by its uniqueness, as Mozart omitted notes for the left hand for many sections of the score when he composed it. Andres lets his imagination fill in the gaps, and in the second movement of the three that comprise the work, creates a lovely amalgam of Mozartian classicism and modern pianistic sensibility. The finale of the third movement is a wonderful showcase of his virtuosic skills.
The album closes with “Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno,” an ode to the experimental genius and renaissance man of rock. A defining influence for Andres (who says of Eno in the liner notes: “I could immediately sense a sort of kindred spirit: These are the right notes, sounding at the right time”), Eno’s “soundscapes” clearly left a deep impression. Though I was expecting something a bit edgier (I found the piece a tad on the dainty side), “Paraphrase” nevertheless starts with an intriguing tone of ambiguity, leaving one to wonder whether Home Stretch signifies an end or whether it’s actually just a beginning.

Either way, it’s not every day that Mozart meets Eno, and Andres is another refreshing addition to the crop of young musicians who are helping to shape the future of classical music. - 

Shy and Mighty cover art

Shy and Mighty (2010)  samples

Nonesuch releases composer/pianist Timothy (Timo) Andres’s Shy and Mighty on May 18, 2010. Comprising 10 interrelated piano pieces, Shy and Mighty is performed by Andres and pianist David Kaplan. This is the first recording of the work, and also Andres’ label debut.
Andres was an undergraduate at Yale University when critics and fellow composers began to take notice of his skills as both writer and pianist. In 2004, the New Yorker’s Alex Ross said of him: “He is a formidable pianist who has the measure of Charles Ives’s towering Concord Sonata. He is also a composer ... Most notably, his music is beginning to show an individual voice, which is the hardest thing for a composer to achieve.”
Though steeped in the classical canon, Andres has expressed his admiration for a range of artists, like Radiohead, Brian Eno, Múm, Sigur Rós, Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Olivia Tremor Control, and Boards of Canada. His classical influences include John Adams, Charles Ives, György Ligeti, and his former teachers, Ingram Marshall and Martin Bresnick.
While each track stands on its own, Andres conceived of Shy and Mighty as an album-length work. As Andres says in the album’s liner notes: “When I sat down to write Shy and Mighty, this was very clearly my goal for it—that I would write an album for two pianos. I was very focused on the recorded medium—even though this is obviously something that works live, that was somehow secondary. The two albums that really did it for me were Olivia Tremor Control’s Black Foliage and Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children, both of which are structured in a similar way ... larger set pieces and little transitional things in between. And that’s what I set out to do—I didn’t end up writing too many miniatures, but that was the idea, anyway.”

Timo Andres 2013 by Michael Wilson
Timo Andres (b. 1985, Palo Alto, CA) is a composer and pianist who grew up in rural Connecticut and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. His début album, Shy and Mighty, which features ten interrelated pieces for two pianos performed by himself and pianist David Kaplan, was released by Nonesuch Records in May 2010 to immediate critical acclaim. Of the disc, Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that Shy and Mighty “achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene … more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.”
Timo’s new works include a piano quintet for Jonathan Biss and the Elias String Quartet, commissioned and presented by Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and San Francisco Performances; a solo piano work for Kirill Gerstein, commissioned by the Gilmore Foundation; a new string quartet for the Library of Congress, premiered by the Attacca Quartet; and a new piece for yMusic. Upcoming commissions include a major work for Third Coast Percussion and an ensemble song cycle to be premiered by himself, Gabriel Kahane, Becca Stevens, Ted Hearne and Nathan Koci at the Ecstatic Music Festival, and presented by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series.
Recent highlights include solo recitals at Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and San Francisco Performances; a weekend of performances in Los Angeles, featuring a new work for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and a performance of his re-composition of the Mozart “Coronation” Concerto; and performances of Crashing Through Fences by eighth blackbird. Collaborative projects of the past season include a duo program with Gabriel Kahane at the Library of Congress, and a world premiere performance of selected Philip Glass Etudes, alongside the composer, as part of Nico Muhly’s A Scream and An Outrage at the Barbican.
Timo earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale and in addition to music, he has worked occasionally as a professional graphic and web designer. He is one sixth of the Sleeping Giant composers’ collective, and performs regularly with ACME. He has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, and ASCAP, as well as grants from New Music USA and the Copland Fund.

An avid cyclist, Timo can often be sighted commuting astride his 1983 Mercian.

Maile Colbert - Come Kingdom Come (2013)

"Eksperimentalna komorna opera" is the new black.


There is something tender and naive to our perception of our effect upon the world around us. Of course, we do affect very much our immediate surroundings in time and space. But we can only speculate in our short time in existence how these effects play out, and what their roll in the grand tapestry of this world they play. We have a childlike perception to our relationship to the world and nature, as if we were still somehow the center of all that is good and destructive. We equate the end of the world to the end of our species; even within our own species we equate an extreme shift or change as End Tymes, rather then an evolutionary leap. We give our End Tyme such extremes…there is no middle ground. There is clarity of good and bad, those punished and those promoted, those not ready and those who saw the light. It reads like a fairy tale, “Come Kingdom Come” is an experimental opera concerning millennialism and apocalyptic thought and theory; an exploratory comparison of this past turn of the millennium to it’s prior. A geography in time and space is formed using various field recordings of the before, during, and after math of natural disasters and other phenomena; the seismic activity of an earthquake, the thunderous tsunami, VLF recordings of a sun storm hitting our magnetosphere, the quiet of Chernobyl, and endangered species of bird calling in the desert. The work is then shaped and molded to achieve a haunting tapestry of rapturous desire, a desperate and beautiful search of meaning, and a whirlwind ecstatic joy and fear.
The audio-visual performance begins in darkness with the sound of VLF recordings of the magnetosphere surrounding the seated audience. Slowly emerging one by one, then disappearing just as fast come textured images we cannot quite make out, almost like the impression of a bright light upon our closed eyelids. These images begin to slow their reveal and we see the beautiful photographic work of sound and visual artist Olivia Block. The technique of exposing the development process without a direct subject…strangely powerful in their minimalism, they slowly weave in and out of each other on three walls forming a triptych as the sound begins to build into the first act, performed live electronically in surround-sound by the artist. The performance bookends with bringing in a live-feed of the electromagnetic current of the space, mixing in duet with the VLF recordings from the beginning, bringing us to a full but changed circle.
Come Kingdom Come is an experimental opera concerning millennialism and apocalyptic thought and theory; an exploratory comparison of this past turn of the millennium to it’s prior. The opera uses The Book of Revelations as a score and launching point, mixing the poetry of Ian Colbert with medieval chant, sung with the sublime voice of classically trained soprano, Gabriela Crowe under the direction of Maile Colbert. The work was then shaped and molded by Maile towards a tapestry of rapturous desire, a desperate and beautiful search of meaning, and a whirlwind ecstatic joy and fear.
Come Kingdom Come is available in a custom 6-panel sleeve, and a glass-mastered CD.
For cd and digital purchase:http://www.thesingularwe.org/fs

For a little taste: Sound Cloud

Maile Colbert's so-called “experimental opera”—“experimental chamber opera” might be more accurate—is a tad mystifying but no less pleasurable for being so. On content grounds, The New Testament's “Book of Revelation” acts as as a springboard for a work conceptually rooted in ideas about apocalypse and the recent millennium turn; musically, the score blends Ian Colbert's poetry with medieval chant and features the singing of the classically trained soprano Gabriela Crowe as well as guest contributions of unspecified design from Tellemake (tracks one, three, five, and six) and Jessica Constable and Rui Costa (track eight).
That Colbert, a media artist, writer, and educator who once lived in Los Angeles but now calls Lisbon, Portugal home, has created something unconventional—at least as far as traditional opera conventions are concerned—is readily apparent from the outset, with “Ouverture For That Day” eschewing the customary orchestral sounds for electronic textures one more associates with ambient-electronic soundscaping. Choral voices emerge quietly, their presence muted somewhat by a dense swirl of electroacoustic sounds and nature field recordings. The seven parts that follow likewise challenge expectations by in some ways falling in line with opera conventions—in Crowe's refined delivery, for example—but in other ways deviating boldly from them, particularly in the experimental sound design. Perhaps the boldest display of contrast occurs when “Act Three, Day From Arrival” merges programmed beat patterns and electronics with baroque string elements and church organ.

A hallucinatory quality often permeates the work, in particular when Crowe's supplications intermix with other disembodied voices, choral and otherwise, within the haunted dronescapes “Act One, Begins,” “Act Four, Four Falling Branches,” and “Act Five, A Fluid Dawn.” As dreamlike is “Act Two, Two Vessels,” where murkiness is embraced to a marked degree. As compelling as Colbert's work is, it's Crowe's contribution to the recording that merits special mention. Without her presence, the work's oft-ponderous instrumental presentation would come across as emotionally cool and less involving; to cite one example, Crowe's anguished expression raises the emotional temperature of “Act One, Begins,” and her singing makes a critical difference elsewhere, too. Come Kingdom Come is an enigmatic work but a captivating tapestry nonetheless, and one Will Long should be proud to have appear on his Two Acorns label.  - textura


Selected works

Where Under (2010)

“What was the first sound heard? It was the caress of the waters”
-R. Murray Schaffer
“The wise man delights in water.”
Sadly inspired by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, “Where Under” asks us to take a different perspective of the importance of our clean water; as life forms born of water, evolved from water, and constructed primarily of water. Shot and recorded in Northern Portugal within the Rio Paiva, the cleanest river in Europe; the film is composed of an underwater ballet and sound composition provoking us to consider the importance of this underwater world.
Sound co-composition: Rui Costa
Underwater sound and video recordings: Andrea Parkins, Rui Costa, Maile Colbert
Production residency: Binaural/Nodar
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Ice Thaw Chorus (2008)

Commissioned for Klaus Nomi tribute show at Galleria Aus18 in Milano, Italy, 2008
Interview with Maile Colbert

Over the Eyes (2009)

Over the Eyes from Maile Colbert on Vimeo.

Created at Binaural art residency fall 2007, Nodar, Portugal
Interview with the artist Maile Colbert
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I'm Awake Now, Let's Get Lost (2007)

Music video created for the collaborative effort of the French band Nape and composer Tellemake, 2007
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Nows Important (2006)

Single channel video premiered at the Turn the Screws Festival in Los Angeles, 2006

Out (2003)

Out (2003) is an optically printed experimental film portraying Lady Macbeth’s nervous breakdown in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. As the actor paces nervously back and forth across the set, ringing his hands anxiously, his body splits, top leaving bottom. The image doubles, the speed quickens. Optical effects manipulate the image with the rhythm of anxiety. The structure climaxes, falling into an eerie calm. Using a technique called “weaving”, the image moves in and out of the darkness, until he is completely enveloped. The soundtrack is composed by the acclaimed Avante Garde jazz bassist, Mark Dresser, and electronic musician Davis Kendall.
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Butterflyweed (2002)

Single channel video work made in 2002, premiered at the Portland International Experimental and Documentary Film Festival. "I want to describe a feeling felt at the age of seven re-occurring, i have not found the words to yet describe.

Night Light Shake (2002)

Single channel video inspired by a poem by her brother, Ian Colbert, Night Light Shake premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
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gama ray (2001)

Early work from 2001, premiered at the New York Video Festival.
Phantom limbs closely monitored.

artwork | performance, live video and sound

Selected works

Passageira Australis

iAir artist-in-residency at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with the interdisciplinary performance "Passageira australis", Melbourne, Australia

Come Kingdom Come


May 2013
Sintoma Festival, Porto, Portugal
Activate the Medium, The Lab, San Francisco, 2012
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passageira em casa

still frames passageira

Project page
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Open Decallation (2012)

Video: Maile Colbert
Sound: Maile Colbert and Simon Whetham
Production: Granular and Opensound
A decal is a shadow of its former context, an object on its own, a trace of its former self. "Open Decallation" as well refers to recall and recollection. Its main sources are various text chats and messages composed between members of the Opensound group during the production process. Run like a salon to promote discussion in the midst of experiencing the audio/visual aspects of the work, "Open Decallation" acts as a living catalog of an event and its production. A special thank you for Granular and the fine folk at Opensound.

Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, Sons d'Hiver (2012)

Live capture of video projection created for Wadada Leo Smith's Organic at the Sons d'Hiver Festival in Paris, February 2012.
Wadada Leo Smith - composition, trumpet
Angelica Sanchez - piano
Brandon Ross - electric guitar
Lamar Smith - electric guitar
Michael Gregory - electric guitar
Okkyung Lee - cello
John Lindberg - double bass
Skuli Sverrisson - electric bass
Pheeroan Aklaff - drums
Jesse Gilbert - live visuals
Maile Colbert - live camera
Roulette, NYC 2011
Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, Portugal, 2011

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Decalled Upon Performance reel

Documentation of the Decalled Upon intermedia performance
Part of Decalcomania, The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom

where under

where under images form video

“What was the first sound heard? It was the caress of the waters”
-R. Murray Schaffer
“The wise man delights in water.”
Sadly inspired by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, “Where Under” asks us to take a different perspective of the importance of our clean water; as life forms born of water, evolved from water, and constructed primarily of water. Shot and recorded in Northern Portugal within the Rio Paiva, the cleanest river in Europe; the film is composed of an underwater ballet and sound composition provoking us to consider the importance of this underwater world.
sound co-composition: Rui Costa
underwater sound and video recordings: Andrea Parkins, Rui Costa, Maile Colbert
production residency: Binaural/Nodar

Transit Project Reel

A project in collaboration with Maile Colbert and Paul Bradley

Premiered in 2008 at the Centro del Carmen (Valencia, Spain) for OBSERVATORI 08 – International Festival of Artistic Investigation


artwork | installation

Selected works

Xestobium rufovillosum (2013)

For the group show "Diorama of an Art Exhibition no.4"
Media: box, photo puzzle, field recording, headphones. audio device.
About: "To attract mates, these wood-borers create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard in the rafters of old buildings on quiet summer nights. They are therefore associated with quiet, sleepless nights and are named for the vigil (watch) kept beside the dying or dead, and by extension the superstitious have seen the death watch as an omen of impending death."
"...within ye hear
No sound so loud as when on curtain'd bier
The death-watch tick is stifled."
- John Keats


Documentation of the Decalled CCC video and sound installation
Video: Maile Colbert
Sound: Maile Colbert and Simon Whetham
Curation: Paulo Mendes
Funding:Europeal Capital of Culture

Decalled Upon Installation Documentation

Documentation of the Decalled Upon video and sound installation
Part of Decalcomania, The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Transit Project Reel

A project in collaboration with Maile Colbert and Paul Bradley
Premiered in 2008 at the Centro del Carmen (Valencia, Spain) for OBSERVATORI 08 – International Festival of Artistic Investigation

Over the Eyes Installation Documentation

Created at Binaural art residency fall 2007, Nodar, Portugal
Interview with the artist Maile Colbert


STATION is a multi-sensory media environment constructed in collaboration with artists Jeff Cain, Maile Colbert, Nate Harrison, and Albert Ortega. STATION consists of 2 radio stations with receiving towers and computer controllers, 4 scrim projection screens and a loudspeaker array. Using Very Low Frequency radio receivers, audio data from the earth's magnetosphere (data responsible for the natural phenomenon known as the Northern Lights) is captured and fed through custom software developed to manipulate video content in realtime. The resulting audio is both sent out over the speakers and used to trigger the video engines, creating a space in a constant state of transformation due to the earth's naturally changing electrical conditions.

Come Kingdom Come

Two Acorns
Come Kingdom Come is an experimental opera concerning millennialism and apocalyptic thought and theory; an exploratory comparison of this past turn of the millennium to it’s prior. The opera uses The Book of Revelations as a score and launching point, mixing the poetry of Ian Colbert with medieval chant, sung with the sublime voice of classically trained soprano, Gabriela Crowe under the direction of Maile Colbert. The work was then shaped and molded by Maile towards a tapestry of rapturous desire, a desperate and beautiful search of meaning, and a whirlwind ecstatic joy and fear.
Come Kingdom Come is available in a custom 6-panel sleeve, and a glass-mastered CD.
For cd and digital purchase:http://www.thesingularwe.org/fs
For a little taste: Sound Cloud


Passageira da Água

Mixed down narrative soundtrack from "Passageira em Casa"
Sound Devices, Dublin, Ireland


"Revival" exhibit and album, soundtrack including my latest song "Helen's Hands".
Center For Contemporary Arts - Muñoz Waxman Front Gallery
March 9 – April 14, 2013
Collaborating with an array of musicians, Albuquerque-based artist Billy Joe Miller presents the second installment of a larger project that investigates the four seasons through sound and art. For Miller, spring is a time of urgent newness, raw beginnings, cycles, movement and wind. Through mixed media, a live concert and a special edition CD, Revival explores the many layers of vernal temperament.

Envelope Petals

Mastered by Taylor Deupree, and with remixes by Billy Gomberg, Yann Novak, and Maile Colbert, 'Envelope Petals' is the final completed Chubby Wolf album, now available for the first time exclusively digitally.
Available here


An album of graceful crystalline hum by Maile Colbert, a multi-media artist based in Portugal. The music is inspired by experiences of loss, but this is not oppressive or dark music at all. Rather, Colbert‘s assured tones take inspiration from the process of grieving and emerge as bright, reflective electronic music.
A collaborative track with Chubby Wolf, aka sound artist Dani Long, is presented here as a loving tribute after Long’s untimely death. Pop/opera performance artist Klaus Nomi is remembered with a piece based on samples of his music. Colbert the film-maker dedicates a piece to Stan Brakhage, acknowledging the pioneering film-maker’s impact on her own visual artwork. Elsewhere on For, Colbert finds depth in collaboration and partnership with her husband, the sound artist Rui Costa. Using analog and digital synthesizers, field recordings of children in Tehran, voices, cello, pipe organ, VLF recordings of space-weather activity in the magnetosphere, hydrophonic recordings and more, For is a moving statement about family, community, and friendship.



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TrÊs Anos em Nodar/Three Years in Nodar

Published by Edições Nodar (Portugal)
Compilation retrospective of 20 sound works in 2 CDs, part of the catalogue printed publication with the same name.

resonant embers

edition sonoro / Twenty Hert (United Kingdom)
Compilation CD
Featuring Paul Bradley, Maile Colbert ("Day of Anger act five"; "A fluid dawn"), jgrzinich, Andrew Liles, Colin Potter and Ubeboet.

Mandorla (Mexico)

Autumn Net-Project Vol.4 / Coming Soon 2012
"Golden Chariot Bore Me Away"
Autumn Soundscapes / Mandorla Netlabel 010 / 2008
A Net-Compilation focused on Field Recordings/Soundscape Composition/Digi &
Electro-Acoustics, including tracks of: Dale Lloyd, Christopher McFall, Scott Taylor, Mario de Vega, Asher, Kim Cascone, Francisco Lopez, Tô, Manrico Montero, Marcel Türkowsky, Macumbista, Rui Costa, Maile Colbert ("Fall Leave Tumble Song"), Phil Thomson, Gabriel Hernandez, Dallas Simpson, Sebastien Roux, Akira Rabelais.
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Compost and Height (United Kingdom)

"Fall Leave Tumble Song"
The base of the song is a recording of a city park in Tehran at midnight, recorded by Vahid Sadjadi. Using Akira Rabelais's Argeïphontes Lyre program it is mutated, meshed, mixed with a recording I made of the Magnetosphere in Joshua Tree Desert at dawn...the dawn chorus. The rest was shaped and molded to follow and play with the lament of the children’s stretched swings and calls and midnight passes and they grow old.
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Meditations on Light

Monochrome Vision (Russia)

Reconstructions of Simon Whetham's composition 'Lightyears' by: Fourm, Richard Lainhart, Philippe Petit, mise_en_scene, Maile Colbert, Scanner, Christopher McFall, David Wells, Iris Garrelfs, Yann Novak, Lawrence English & John Kannenberg
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Sightseeing For The Blind

1000füssler (Germany)

RUI COSTA and FRIENDS: Marc Behrens, Gregory Büttner, Maile Colbert, Bill Jarboe, Pali Meursault

Störung V.3.0

Störung (Spain)
Compilation CD: Paul Bradle, Daniele Cortese + Crab Fisher, Asférico + Elufo, Thanos Chrysakis + Dario Bernal-Villegas, TCO, Maile Colbert, Federico Monti, LB^LC and Vitor Joaquim
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