Invited by Jon Abbey of Erstwhile Records to participate in his Amplify:Quarantine online festival of releases, Anne & I present two briefs pieces in ties two Facts together.
a note from Jon:
“4/14/20, 53rd piece/s.
for obvious reasons, almost every piece so far has been solo, with the only exception the stellar long distance English blind overdub duo, check that one out if you missed it.
so here we have the first live duo entry, from fraufraulein, the longtime couple of Billy Gomberg and Anne Guthrie. both are well established on their own, but their duo is in its own area, comfortable yet challenging, relaxing yet unpredictable, always a pleasure to see/hear perform or to listen to their recordings. this is their first released work as a duo since moving from Brooklyn to SF in 2018, and I can’t wait to dive in.
very happy to present “ties two Facts together”, two pieces recorded on March 31 and April 7.”
and a note from us:
“words: waiting for the restaurant downstairs to close (takeout only means they now shut down the exhaust fan at 9pm instead of 10pm), yet also staying quiet ourselves so as not to wake the kid, leading to small and simple sounds. clearer moments from a few nights this week”
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
once in a while, I have the pleasure of making a mix. enjoy this recent selection of recordings, electronics and moments at Dinzu Artefacts’s podcast series. thanks for listening and thanks as always for another invitation to work with w/ Dinzu.
My recent tape Beginners and digital collection of live recordings both get some words out of Bill Meyer at Dusted:
Billy Gomberg is no beginner. He’s been releasing music of his own and with Fraufraulein, a duo with Anne Guthrie, for nearly a decade. And the sound sources he uses on this tape are familiar ones — electric bass, urban field recordings, synthesizer and hand-manipulated objects. Even so, it feels like something new is happening here. Gomberg’s music has often seemed to stretch away from the listener, luring you to follow it through virtual expanses of space and time. Now it seems closer at hand, the sounds like sunning fish just under a pond’s surface. They’re simultaneously more recognizable and more processed that what he’s played in the past, creating a discreet reality that never quite loses its mystery no matter how often you play it. (link)
In his summary of his Voting Rights Day shopping on Bandcamp, Bill found my bundle of live sets to defy his “not quite a physical object” rule:
Well, there go the rules. This DL-only compilation of concert performances by one of my favorite ambient recording artists of recent years shows that the carefully wrought, ultra-deep atmosphere of his recent cassettes is no fluke. (link)
‘Beginners’, from San Francisco’s Billy Gomberg, is prime Dinzu. An artist who draws from different experimental and underground musicking practices – ambient drift, electroacoustic composition, improvisation, and so on – Gomberg has amassed a pretty decent-sized discography over the past few years, with releases on Another Timbre, Strange Rules, Marginal Frequency and others (the muted clonks of 2016’s ‘Slight At That Contact’ are a favourite round these parts). This is Gomberg’s second outing for Dinzu Artefacts, following on from last year’s ‘Transition’, and it amps up the fusty, fuzzy eerieness this time around to produce a creeped-out soundscape that’s up there with Jandek’s ‘Ready For The House’ in terms of skin-prickling spookiness. Here, muffled clunks and bangs merge with queasy, sustained tones, with ambient hum and tape hiss providing an uncomfortable translucent sheen. Everything sounds disconcertingly out of phase, as if bleeding through from a parallel dimension, the everyday life of ghosts captured accidentally by a hapless field recorder. EVP via the Tascam DR-40. Sonic ectoplasm in the Zoom. Most eye-popping of all is ‘Seeing The Sequel First’, where a plangent chorus of clangs plays out against a backdrop of subdued growls and murmurs, like some wraith gamelan playing lullabies for the beasts of the abyss.