brief update to highlight two upcoming performances in San Francisco (wow!).
the first will be this Saturday, April 30th, at Abode Books, with Jonathan Piper & Eric Derr from San Diego, grein (duo coming together from Boston/Seattle), and fellow locals Sally Decker & Brendan Glasson.
I was asked by radio.syg.ma to create a mix, having just been asked by Hi-Vis to make mix, so…I made a different kind of mix. Collaged from a range of different recordings, from synthesis to light noise, location and field recordings, and messy areas in-between. Locations and approaches (and approaches to locations), A non-linear sonic dairy documenting different excerpts, edits, and location recordings, superimposed over each other, accepting discontinuities and small collisions.
Fraufraulein’s music is immersive. Anne Guthrie and Billy Gomberg beam themselves, and us along with them, Quantum Leap-style directly into multiple environments in medias res. Through the clever employment of field recordings, they transport us to a hurricane-addled beach, performing a voice/piano duet as driftwood missiles careen through the air. In another “episode,” the manipulation of small objects conjures up the intimacy of a water garden filled with windchimes. Partners in both life and art, Guthrie and Gomberg are also consummate solo artists. He is a master of spike-textured drones, while she explores the intimate properties of physical entities. Like a child tends to resemble one parent while borrowing subtle traits from the other, Solum identifies more with Guthrie’s electroacoustic tendencies than it does with Gomberg’s electronics. This is in stark contrast to 2015’s Extinguishment, which felt a little more balanced between those two modes. Both approaches work, yet Solum feels more meticulously crafted and nuanced. Careful listening unveils multiple subtle tones and textures, and each piece is an adventure for the ears.
Scaffolding was recorded in March and April of 2019, while the building we live in was being repainted. Green netting gauzed our view and shaded our interior. Work was not regular: some days the temporary structure would be busy, weeks would pass without work being done. Some days work would be relatively quiet, others days quite loud.
We had been living in San Francisco for a little over one year at this time and my creative practice was still nding new balance with life, so this work presented a unique intrusion that I could accommodate or resist. I attempted the former, preferring to favor my ongoing impressionistic tendencies working with electronic material and field recordings. Throughout this period I let my recorder run through the afternoons, recording long, repetitive sound from my synthesizer.
The weather and light was generally pleasant through these months, even through the netting and noise. Scaffolding
continues my general focus on exploratory listening material for articulation of a listeners own experience – your own
language inevitably describes better what you hear in these works, it contains the poetry of your own perception and
feeling. I will not tell you how to feel or what to experience while listening, I hope to provide the tools for a poetic experience
worth discovering again.
Editing and composition took place through the rest of the season, with ongoing work in 2019 and 2020. Both the field recordings and synthesizer material are left mostly as they were recorded, with edits for clarity and pacing, touches of EQ and dynamic processing, some light flourishes added in the mix.
An earlier edit of Scaffolding was shared privately in 2019.
Scaffolding is being distributed via Soulseek and BitTorrent. I ask that you continue to share this material, as downloaded,
via these means. If these resources do not work for you, I welcome requests for a download link.
I am using Scaffolding to conduct a small experiment in the distribution and reception of “this kind of music” in 2020. This
experiment may continue with more releases in the future. This is not “against labels,” or “quitting Bandcamp” – it is for
something else. I am thinking of you, of us. This is something I want to try.
I want to emphasize the relationship, the exchange between myself and a listener, our perceptions and expressions, our
understanding. I want to remove the mediated space of the website, the algorithm, one’s retail trail and the immensity of
machines keeping our purchases online, the bloodless code handling ourselves as metrics. The mirror of prestige in the
working of capital.
This is an imperfect plan, and a porous perspective. This is what I was inspired to do. I wanted to take a step to engage the reception of my music differently, and taking that step is all I can do.
Thank you for listening, and thank you for reading and participating in this with me.
Billy Gomberg San Francisco, California February 2020