Avey Tare (of Animal Collective) w/ Sarah Louise
MarchDoors 8pm, Show 9pm
Speakers of a car spit flurries of warm road dust. The scene is a half melted snowy canyon. Fences of large farms stacked in sevens are spaced seven lengths apart. Seven shadows laid across cold rock and grass. Someone is asleep in the back seat. Sun lighting them up. Black lines of fences on bright clay based vistas. We stopped every now and then gazing at impressive canyon crevice drop off. Eyes seeing reds and sun-dyed pinks and orange in clouds above other canyon pinnacles. Snow patches in the hills till you can’t see with eyes. The car moves forward farther than the eyes can see. Life is being left even faster. There are cows everywhere, like Lancaster. Cows way out in the distance far from the road. Patches of black and white blur on white carpet, coloring or blotting dreams formed under mossy roofs and spinning out chimneys across the earth. There are cows closer to the roads and in the cold streams. Brown crowds under the trees walking slow in the scene. We follow or leave them behind. America blinks and cows appear. They stand stunned. Disappearing little black eyes in the mirror. Brown coats and horns. It’s an intimate scene in the car. You’re behind the wheel. The Driver and the Navigator and the Music. The music moves out in the way it did years ago. Like when we sat on porches and at fires and on hilltops and climbed the pyramids. Way before I was born. A singular voice singing out at something way out there. Could have been the stars, could have been other people. Unnameable things. A voice made of many. The music is speaking about the movement of things and about you moving with them. The Driver bobs their head. The Navigator leans in to get deeper into the sounds of things. The sounds of spaces.
Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings are telling a story of a dusty time on the road while waiting for the studio engineer in the mechanical room to say ‘go’. Buddy had been dead for years but it feels like it’s 1951, and a tape machine is about to snap forward into motion like a car underneath the rock church dripping clay caps (much slower than you can think). It’s capsizing us into a jangle of light guitar strum and hum of sweet tunings. Echoes on vocals sing of a room filled with music. A robot army looms on the other side of the mountains, well out of range of Buddy and Waylon’s farmhouse holler. Screaming at the wheel and crank. The voices mingle with the elements. The robots bounce off the neon blue vapor of the song’s vibrations. Blue ice surfers riding on perpetual ice foam. A frozen mist appears outside and all the lights have a blurry glow in the haze. A car playing the Harden Trio drives by. The Driver wonders if it’s all a hallucination.
In here you'll find only the dreams that the music once sang of. It sings back through time and sings forward at us. To ease us in the crowded spaces. I’m on a stage singing out to a crowd of sweating faces. I don't want to forget the pure spaces. Endless spaces. You leave them as soon as you enter. Drifting along in a space of beings. Bouncing on other lively things. The feelings. The things that never leave us. A full shiny pot empties spilling water into a snow shaped well. Water had to find its way into the ground again. To be walked on by horses. To be dug up by someone working for a family in the insurance business. To find a home. To have the means to do so. To leave it or see it fall. To remember a time when going home wasn’t as easy as pressing the video button on your phone. And there wasn’t a particular direction to leave home for, just distance untraveled.
On the T.V. there’s a tan spaghetti western film that glows in the corner of a den where previously we saw dreams rise and leave through wood-scented hearths. Morricone soundtrack blaring, but getting softer and softer as the old white car pulls out the long driveway to the canyon road. “Well how long do you think you'll be gone?” “As far as it takes.” At work on Monday, the Robot Boss greets him bluntly: “You’re late for my cleaning.” Misses Saturdays. Misses the dirt. Misses the mud, the blue pink sunshine drop behind the canyon towers. Robot war blaring in the distance. Missed that drive. You should have been awake, robots don’t sleep. Presses Record.
COWS ON HOURGLASS POND was recorded from January-March 2018 by Dave Portner at Laughing Gas to Tascam 48 half inch reel to reel tape machine. It was mixed by Adam McDaniel at drop of sun with Dave Portner mixing effects and moving some faders.
The pieces on Nighttime Birds mine components of the Appalachian folk music Louise is steeped in, as well as spiritual jazz, contemporary classical, and new age, while drawing intensely personal inspiration from the natural world. “Ancient Intelligence” ruminates on the power of and connection to Mother Earth through wordless, almost alien skitters. For Louise, the natural and the psychedelic are indelibly linked through their ability to provide healing. Drawing inspiration from a profound healing experience she had, Sarah assembled the pieces in dedication to that healing. Compositions exude spiritual relief and exploration, as they are both explorative musically and soothing in their gentle, delicate details. Moments of surreal intensity bubble forth on tracks like “Chitin Flight” which stoke curiosity and provide flares of tension and relief. Pieces like this offer Louise’s unique take on what a guitar solo can be while whimsically playing with guitar tropes of the psychedelic era.
Technically she approached performance on the album in a patulous manner, improvising on electric guitar in standard tuning, rather than her signature 12-string acoustic guitar and song- specific tunings. This radically different approach for Sarah was in and of itself liberating as well as inspiring. Louise carried this intuitional mindset with her into recording new pieces. Like Deeper Woods, she engineered the album herself, but with a new focus on innovative use of her recording program. With her improvisations as the raw material, she carefully crafted deliberate compositions that are her most painterly and cosmic work to date. Sampling herself, Louise’s approach to composing with guitar magnifies single notes, short patterns and overtones to reveal microtonality and otherworldly timbres. Frayed rhythms flow freely atop and between lush waves of devotional drones. Variations in speed and tone transform the guitar across the album from brassy bellows to the sounds of rustling insects.
Louise’s daring blend of heartfelt stream of conscious playing and bold studio processing demonstrates her unique ability to craft poignant music regardless of what tools she uses. She finds harmony rather than dissonance in synthesizing raw and organic materials with the technological. Sections of electronic bursts swell and ebb with a lifelike pulse, collapsing distinction between the natural and artificial. Each piece inhabits its own biosphere and Louise’s guitar and voice act as the flora and fauna. With Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars, Sarah Louise has reimagined the limitations of guitar music to create a work of sublime resplendence.