One piano player. One percussionist… As classically trained musicians, Rasa Daukus (piano/keyboards) and Will Larsen (percussion/drums/electronics) began working together as music undergraduates playing a repertoire based on 20th century piano and percussion. Tess Said So combine piano, percussion and electronics with non-classical sounds and techniques, infusing their sound with pop, jazz, ambience and minimalism.
With I Did That Tomorrow (2014) they introduced their unique creative partnership, a vibrant collection of tracks that defied the apparent limitations of their chosen format. The same improvisational spirit, bold elegance, and impeccable musicianship that made such a resounding first impression shone just as brightly on their 2016 follow-up Scramble + Fate and now we are about to be treated to it once again with imminent release of Piaf’s Boyfriend, an ode to people they met while recently on tour.
The new record which will be available on CD & digital beginning May 31 finds the duo at the top of their game as musical storytellers with Rasa’s sparkling piano lines leading the way accompanied by Will’s versatile and highly expressive percussion. In this interview kindly furnished by Hayden Berry of Preserved Sound, Rasa & Will talk about writing an album that captures the personas of different people they met or who left an impression on them along the way.
Continue reading “Duologue: A conversation with Tess Said So”
For eight years, Brendon John Warner wrote, recorded & toured Australia with the progressive post-rock group We Lost the Sea before heading down a different musical path to pursue his growing interest in synthesis and lo-fi electronics. Beginning to pull at what he calls “a long lingering creative thread”, he dedicated himself to a “radical, contemporary musical view focused on contrasts, textures, dynamics, spatial relationships and instrumentation”. That choice and commitment have come to fruition in the form of his first full-length solo album entitled La Fonte (“The Melt”), a sprawling, kaleidoscopic electroacoustic exploration of the relationships between humanity and planet earth, ecology and economy, and climate change. Those are pretty ambitious themes to tackle in a first effort, not to mention one that clocks in at over a full hour of immersive instrumental music, but Warner says that stretching himself in this way had a significant impact on him creatively speaking.
“Both musically and thematically ‘la fonte’ challenged me to re-imagine the way I express myself through music. While storytelling through instrumental music in nothing new to me, using a broader concept of sound and composition to delve into more contemporary issues became the hallmark of what I was trying to achieve. From the use of found-sounds and sampling to blending synthesized drums with live percussion, and even a more open approach toward improvisation, this record, and the impossibly big themes it aims to explore, changed me as a musician and as an artist.” – Brendon John Warner
Continue reading “ALBUM STREAM: ‘La Fonte’ by Brendon John Warner”
Now based in Melbourne, Australia, Zoltan Fecso‘s musical evolution began as he grew up in Budapest, studying classical piano from an early age and then discovering a fascination for electroacoustic music while at university. Seeking to fulfill a unique vision of performing live with acoustic guitar and electronics, Zoltan had an opportunity to work with renowned luthier Ian Noyce in the creation of an acoustic guitar with MIDI capabilities capable of fusing organic instrumentation with endless possibilities of electronic programming. It turned out quite the success, leading to a busy period of industry recognition, an artist residency, live performances, a viral video, recording under a variety of monikers, and engaging in music technology talks throughout Europe.
Continue reading “Premiere: “Pont” by Zoltan Fecso [Hush Hush Records]”
Jason Sweeney is known for a wide variety of projects and many musical aliases over the past two decades. Perhaps the most personal and intimate is the classically oriented Panoptique Electrical which saw a new release this month, the first since last year’s Disappearing Music for Face. A great deal of what you need to know about the know record is encapsulated in its title – Quiet Ecology.
In 2016 Sweeney undertook a quiet odyssey across four Australian cities (Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne), searching out and mapping quiet spaces in and amongst these built environments. He wanted to discover as many zones of quiet or retreat in these cities and make compositions in response to these locations. He created maps and listening walks that took him from space to space. His desire was to ask a simple question: Can you find a way to release yourself, if only temporarily, from the noise of the world? ‘Quiet Ecology’ is a sonic memorial to these spaces and a musical act of quiet preservation. – Sound in Silence
Continue reading “Sound Impression: Quiet Ecology by Panoptique Electrical [Sound in Silence]”
Ambient music, when masterfully constructed and emotionally invested, has the power to cross inner oceans, map out the topographies of the soul, and expose the deep strata of memory. This introspective listening journey consists of a quartet of releases that do just that. Featuring the intricately woven and emotive soundscapes of Tapes and Topographies (Todd Gautreau), Bird Traps (Marcus Skinner), Wil Bolton, and James Murray.
Continue reading “Travelogue 2017.08.20: Topographies of the Soul”
The release of a new album by Sophie Hutchings to coincide with Piano Day 2017 has been one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Having beguiled us with the dreamy abstractions of Wide Asleep (Preservation) which only came out last summer, Yonder finds Sophie in a more ebullient mood as radiant melodies ripple and flow from her piano with pure élan.
Continue reading “Sound Impression: Yonder by Sophie Hutchings [1631 Recordings/Hobbledehoy]”
When composer/pianist Sophie Hutchings set out to record her third studio album Wide Asleep, she decided not to wait until after the music was released to let it forge a connection with her listeners, choosing instead to partially crowdfund the project so a special vinyl edition could be produced while at the same time peeling back the curtain a bit on her creative process.
“That’s the beauty of instrumental music. It’s felt, not spoken. Sometimes the things we feel can’t always be put into words and I think music replacing that can be something special on its own.” – Sophie Hutchings
Continue reading “Sophie Hutchings – Wide Asleep [Preservation]”
“One piano player. One percussionist.” With I Did That Tomorrow (2014), Rasa Daukus & Will Larsen as Tess Said So introduced their unique creative partnership, a vibrant collection of tracks that defied the apparent limitations of their chosen format. The same improvisational spirit, bold elegance, and impeccable musicianship that made such a resounding first impression on their debut shines just as brightly on Scramble + Fate which is released today on Preserved Sound.
“Rasa and Will wrote the tracks together in the same room at the same time; improvising, exploring, innovating, jamming, tweaking, feeding off each other’s ideas and looking for just the right combination, just the right sound. Sometimes searching for that perfect combination involved hours frantically exploring every instrument available in every combination (“Scramble”). Other times, they were grateful for the happy accidents that improvisation can bring (“Fate”)”
Continue reading “Tess Said So – Scramble + Fate [Preserved Sound]”
Nearly seven years after their eponymous release on 12k, Australian duo Solo Andata returns to the label with a sublime electroacoustic gem called In the Lens which was born from fragments and recordings “found in the interstices of decades-old hard drives, lost email threads from disused accounts, and forgotten samples recorded on cassette dictaphones”, apparently just the sort of raw material from which they like to work.
“Solo Andata’s Kane Ikin and Paul Fiocco have always pushed aside the digital studio in favor of a more haphazard and hands-on workshop vibe to their productions. They prefer near-broken acoustic instruments, cheap microphones and, as can be witnessed by their live performances, tend to turn anything they can get their hands on into a beautiful sound-making object.” – 12k
Continue reading “Sound Impression: Solo Andata – In the Lens [12k]”