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SEANCE CENTRE

"Incantaions" is a collection of sixteen visual and sonic experiments centred around the idea of the score as a spell. The incantation of a spell gives it life, brings breath to body, raises hairs, moves minds. For this project, eight spell- scores were created by visual / text-based artists for a musician / composer to incant. Taking a wide interpretation of what can be considered a score, these works include concrete poetry, collage, painting, drawing, spell-poetry, instructional art, and recipe. The resulting sound works give voice to these evocative 'texts', residing in the liminal space between musical form and magical utterance.

Creating what became the cover artwork for this release, musician and artist Benjamin Kilchhofer conjured salt paintings reminiscent of ancient runes and salt circles - improvised talismans of protection. Translating these expressions into sound using a hydro harp (water drops hitting tuned water-filled porcelain bowls), musician and artist Tomoko Sauvage evokes an embryonic environment, the cleansing and purification of salt water oceans. Artist Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh created a piece that arose from a drawing ritual - a meditation on textile, pattern, and code. In response, Museum Of No Art (Mona Steinwidder) worked her composition by 'weaving the piece, layer by layer'. She was 'particularly interested in the state one achieves when one works repetitively, stoically and excessively towards a form. Which leads to trance or meditation and creates its own immaterial energy.'

Dani Spinosa, poet of digital and print media, created a typewriter poem that emerged after consulting Hesiod's “Works and Days and Theogony” to learn more about the witch goddess Hekate. Synchronously, interdisciplinary artist Gavilán Rayna Russom had recently returned to research on Hekate, teaching about the goddess in her class “Queering European Witchcraft Traditions”. Russom spent time with Spinosa’s spell, spoke to Hekate, and then unlocked the gate, seeking to 'stir sonic emanations that were radiant, multiple and liminal.'

The side ends with a composition by musician and artist Felicia Atkinson via an instructional text from conceptual artist David Horvitz. What is it like to inhabit the mind of a crow? This simple gesture to befriend a crow, to be in relationship with something other than human implies much more, a re- orientation to our living environment and forms of intelligence.

The B-side opens with electronic composer C.R. Gillespie’s sonic manifestation of a score by bricolage artist Andrew Zukerman. Taking compositional inspiration from the Smiss stone, Zukerman created a collaged visual score on staff paper that hints at the formal aspects of occult symbols and sigils, while remaining obliquely secular. Creating an interlocking tapestry of Roman gamelan, Gillespie’s track dramatizes the negotiating power and structure of the abstract score

Over three days, iconic Canadian poet bill bissett created a jazz-scape painting filled with an ecstatic gathering of eidetic spirits, 'connekting trembling xploring serching remote brooding grooving melodee solo lifting n refrain filling.' Immersing himself in the energy of the painting, musician and composer Idris Rahman overlaid three takes of bass clarinet and found that 'melodies, textures and harmonies emerged without thought and the piece took on a life of its own.'

As a way to explore the connection between food and music, the curators commissioned a recipe from electronic producer and home chef, Yu Su. Her simple and wholesome pudding recipe lays out instructions for texture and taste that musician Scott Gailey stirs into a sonic caldron of field recordings and electronics. The closing chant, penned by writer and activist adrienne maree brown and incanted by musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland, was the result of a synergistic conversation between the two. The refrain, 'surrender to the present moment / what’s coming now is all that’s left' is a mantra reminding us of the power of speech, repetition, and the evanescent nature of temporal experience.

The eight spell cards, inspired by the format of oracle and tarot cards, are invitations for further interpretation and play. To be under a spell is to be lost in a transformation, an alternate reality, to be in collaboration with an unknowable and powerful force. The works in this collection have created a spontaneous and ludic alchemy, courageous attempts to catalyze and spark in our present moment.

Curated by Seance Centre.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: One for all the modern day witches and wizards - very big in Pendle right now! A truly spellbinding (sorry) selection of tracks based around witchcraft, sorcery and alchemy with mesmerizing results. Datura not included.

TRACK LISTING

Tomoko Sauvage - Salt Spell (Spell By Benjamin Kilchhofer)
Museum Of No Art - Textile Trance (Spell By Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh)
Gavilán Rayna Russom - Shadows Cast By Moonlight (Spell By Dani Spinosa)
Félicia Atkinson - Enter The Memory Of A Crow (Spell By David Horvitz)
C.R. Gillespie - Invitation To A Clog (Spell By Andrew Zukerman)
Idris Rahman - Incanti Jazz Score 1 (Spell By Bill Bissett)
Scott Gailey - Ginger Soy Milk Pudding ŧ

Compilation of the works by MJ Lallo, weird harmonizing mantras layered with drummachine rhythms.. Very psychedelic compositions where she uses her voice to create all kinds of sound(scapes)

Take Me With You is a revelatory voyage through the captivating universe of voice artist and poet MJ Lallo. The works on this 2LP compilation were all recorded in her home studio between 1982 and 1997, primarily using drum computer, synth and her own voice processed through a Yamaha SPX 90 digital effects unit. They range from wordless harmonizer mantras and primitive drum computer meditations, to psychedelic latin dance-floor anthems and synth-drenched end-of-the-nighters. Lallo has created her own inimitable galaxy of sound where the human voice, liberated from the constraints of language and abstracted using digital technology, is able to explore the outer realms of human expression, like Joan La Barbara with an Eventide and a new-age sensibility. Although Lallo’s flight path is distinctly her own, her journey converges with other travellers as diverse as Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Stereolab, William Aura, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Gertrude Stein and even Terry Gilliam (whose film Brazil was a big influence on Lallo). Like something beamed in from another planet, Lallo’s work is both fascinatingly strange and strangely familiar, and will leave a lasting impression for lightyears to come. Double gatefold LP, remastered DDM pressing.

TRACK LISTING

1. Suite For Jupiter
2. Singing In The Lightyears
3. Galaxy Latina
4. Buddha's 2nd Coming
5. Midnight In The Sky
6. Ancient Mars
7. Lunar Tribal Ritual
8. Alien Angels
9. Pleiades Chanting
10. Sighting Rainbows
11. Healing For The Heart
12. U.F.O.
13. UR Dreaming In Slow Motion
14. Breathing A Prayer 

New York Grief is a nocturnal new wave incantation for the sleepless metropolis by Montréal singer, filmmaker, painter, and poet, Princess Demeny. In the early 80’s Princess started creating music for her poetry and in 1986, she partnered with Jean Mineau, her then boyfriend, who did the arrangements on what was to be her first EP, Distant Voices. Not long after the start of their collaboration, Jean was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was immediately hospitalized.
Against the doctor's wishes, Jean left to record demos of five songs including New York Grief. He sadly passed shortly after returning to hospice and the recordings were never released.

“New York Grief was inspired by several trips to New York City in the mid eighties. I was in love with the city's nightlife. At times, I would stay awake and watch the city that never sleeps as its night creatures came out to play, and I would watch as they would vanish, replaced by the suited nine-to-fives, waking up and starting the machine of the metropolis madness again and again. It felt to me as though, in New York, there was more darkness by day than at night. I felt the city's intense rhythms and the chaotic pulse of the urban grind. It made me question if, sometimes, I was awake or still sleeping. I would have vivid dreams; horrific nightmares of burning buildings and people running and even though it was exhilarating, it also scared me.”

In 1989, Princess recorded a new version of New York Grief with arrangements by the Montréal new wave group Vini Vidi Vici. She also produced and directed a music video for it, which evokes both Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and Slava Tsukerman's Liquid Sky, but set in ultracool nouvelle vague Montréal in the late 80s. Both the demo and 1989 version are featured on this 7” release with a bonus digital track of her cover of Listen, The Snow Is Falling by Yoko Ono. This single is a glimpse.

TRACK LISTING

A. New York Grief
B. New York Grief '86

"Plus or Minus Two" compiles four songs from Kansas City wave pioneers Short-Term Memory’s first cassette album, "Every Head Needs Cleaning", with two previously unreleased tracks recorded in the 90s.
This EP focuses on the group’s prescient dance-floor DIN-sync workouts which share sensibilities with contemporaneous early Detroit experiments by Juan Atkin’s Cybotron, Ron Hardy’s visionary Kikrokos tape edit, Shoc Corridor’s extended 808 exercises, and 90s Techno Pop by Haruomi Hosono. Rounding off the EP is the existential electronic soul ballad "Words".
Kansas City, 1983: a band formed, wires connected and synapses fired. Three friends, tired of guitar/bass/drums rock started jamming with newly acquired synths and Roland TR 808. They called themselves Short-Term Memory. Thanks to the vanguard technology of the time, these electronic instruments spoke to each other, and Jim Skeel, John Paul & Robert Duckworth could program their instruments, riding the DIN-sync wave. Weekly jams became more ambitious, and in 1983 they released their first album "Every Head Needs Cleaning" on their own Silly Poodle Music label. Over the 80s members drifted in and out of the group, and they released two cassettes, an LP and a 7” EP. By the 90s Jim Skeel was at the helm, the only original member, and joined by Tim Higgins he continued to record in MIDI mode for a few years before pulling the plug, leaving recordings and memories that resisted the great fadeout of time, and today sound vibrant and more visionary than ever.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Around a dozen releases in and Seance Centre are yet to put a foot wrong. Whether it be deep disco-not-disco, experimental, ambient or new age, the reissue label's aim is always true. Here they hit us with four proto-techno, synth wave jams and two unreleased cuts from Kansas City's Short-Term Memory. As well as pre-Detroit hardware heaters like "Twitch & Jerk", "Hysteria" and "The Veldt", check the esoteric flavours of "City In Mind" and lost wave ballad "The Words" for more sombre scenarios. Killer artwork from Alan Briand as standard...

TRACK LISTING

Twitch & Jerk
Yelping Doggies
City In Mind
Hysteria
The Veldt
The Words

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Keyboard Fantasies

    Invisible City's Brandon Horcura launches his latest reissue venture, the superbly titled Seance Centre, with a re-release of Beverly Glenn-Copeland's "Keyboard Fantasies" with a new carefully reconstructed glasswork design by Alan Briand. Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that blew Brandon's mind. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place. Reissued in absurdly limited quantities by ICE last year, this astonishing LP is the perfect way to kick off Seance Centre.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Invisible City's Brandon Horcura kicks off his new Seance Centre imprint with a new reissue of Beverly Glenn Copeland's techno-leaning new-age gem with lush new artwork. Buy-on-sight!


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