Launched two years ago by Preservation label boss Andrew Khedoori, Longform Editions is a digital listening gallery which he frames as a “curatorial music practice created to foster and celebrate immersive listening experiences for the musically adventurous”. Indeed, now 56 releases into the project, Khedoori has brought together an impressive array of sound artists from around the globe representing a diverse range of styles from boldly experimental sonic interrogations to the most atmospheric of soundscapes. Releases are introduced in groups of four, and edition 14 presents an especially introspective collection of works which I’ve been absorbed in over the past week.
Carmen Villain – Affection In A Time of Crisis
“Listening to something for a long time reveals new layers and details and tones, for me, it engages and relaxes the mind in the best possible way.” — Carmen Villain
On “Affection In A Time Of Crisis”, Norwegian-Mexican artist & producer Carmen Villain creates a spellbinding tapestry with harmonies built upon granular synthesis, field recordings, breath, synth and voice and flute contributed by regular collaborator Johanna Scheie Orellana. What begins as a coalescence of intricate sounds & textures evolves into something quite affecting as a beautiful overarching melody emerges before yielding to the comforting sounds of a seaside vista. A wonderful 20-minute journey.
Celer – For the Meantime
“The idea of change is ever-present… For the meantime, let’s pretend we can keep this moment forever. ” — Will Long
An American artist living in Japan, Will Long, and his alias of Celer, need little introduction to followers of ambient music many of whom are familiar with his ability to feeze time and memory in musical amber. Even with Long’s penchant for extended sonic forays, “For the Meantime” is comparatively lengthy at a running time of a full hour. What holds the attention throughout is the elliptical orbit of the looping melodies allowing the piece to morph and change shape as they circumnavigate each other.
Chihei Hatakeyama – Blue Goat
“I recorded a number of improvisations to make sure that the minimalist playing would hold up with a minimum number of notes…The subtle melody is influenced by the melody of Angelo Badalamenti, who I listened to when writing this piece.” — Chihei Hatakeyama
Chihei Hatakeyama is a sound artist and musician living on the outskirts of Tokyo with a prolific output under his own name while also forming one half of the electroacoustic group Opitope along with Tomoyoshi Date. According to the artist, “Blue Goat” was composed with an old Alpha Juno analog synth and a modular synth. The piece finds him taking an especially restrained approach that allows full exploration of the juxtaposition of textures both shimmering and grainy while allowing ample space for the delicate melodic structure to develop.
Michael Vincent Waller – A Song
“This recording gives listeners deep glimpse into Waller’s impulses as a musician. Certainly “A Song” is full of ideas that one could imagine nestled in a more settled framework, but here they’re charged —directly and palpably so – with Waller’s own internal curiosity. The energy that accompanies the arrival of each musical statement is the foundation and what make it so evocative.” — (from liner notes by Nick Storring)
Michael Vincent Waller is an American composer of contemporary music based in New York City whose work draws inspiration from impressionism, post-minimalism and world music. With “A Song”, the long form concept affords Waller an opportunity to take a painterly approach to improvisation that yields something quite beautiful. For a solo piano piece to create such a rare sense of immersion seems rather remarkable but such is the effect the artist with his instrument here.