Spellewauerynsherde is the third release by LA-based composer, sound explorer, and music software inventor Akira Rabelais. His fascination with sound and several sonic explorations led him to create music software such as Argeïphontes Lyre, which is also favored by artists such as Terre Thaemlitz and Scanner. The program itself has several features with mysterious titles like Eviscerator Reanimator, Time Domain Mutation, Morphological Disintegration, Verwechslung Kaffeetass, and The Lobster Quadrille, and is normally used for sound treatments and alterations. Beautifully packaged with a Byzantine Icon on the front cover and an intriguing poem (the cut-up method), this release is based upon location recordings of Icelandic voices he accidentally found on some reel-to-reel machine.
Anyway, his approach is what makes a difference; the real essence of this disc comes from the sound design, mixing, and processing. He either heavily processes the voices or leaves them intact, then subjects them to unusual treatments to create a soundscape which is, paradoxically, dense, bleak, and dark yet open. In doing so, he subverts one's expectations of musical structure. The pieces build gradually and move at a slow pace, creating a subtle and mysterious elixir of strange effects and textures. The titles of the tracks are related to historical figures such as John Wyclif ("1382 Wyclif. Gen. ii.7"), William Caxton ("1483 Caxton Golden Leg. 208b/2"), and William Cuningham ("1559 W. Cuningham Cosmogr. Glasse 125"). The final track refers to John Milton and his work Samson Agonistes ("1671 Milton Samson 1122").
Spellewauerynsherde is a strangely beautiful mixture of contemporary sounds and found voices that resemble early music or Gregorian chants. There is something seductively poetic about this mixture as the sounds slowly descend throught minimalistic textures. It is nearly overwhelming in its mystic ambience, and there are plenty of rewards for patient listeners.
Track Listing: 1) 1382 Wyclif Gen. ii. 7
And spiride in to the face of hym
an entre of breth of lijf.
2) 1390 Gower Conf. II. 20
I can noght thanne unethes spelle
that I wende altherbest have rad.
3) 1440 Promp. Parv. 518/2
Wawyn, or waueryn, yn a myry
4) 1483 Caxton Golden Leg. 208 b/2
He put not away the wodenes of his flessh
with a sherde or shelle.
5) 1559 W. Cuningham Cosmogr.
Glasse 125 Within which draw an other
Circle, a finger bredth distant.
6) (Gorgeous curves lovely fragments
labyrinthed on occasions entwined charms,
a few stories at any longer sworn to gathered
from a guileless angel and the hilt edges
of old hearts, if they do in the guilt
of deep despondency.)
7) 1671 Milton Samson 1122
Add thy Spear, a Weavers beam,
and seven-times-folded shield.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.