A couple of more download releases in the pipeline after which I’m planning to take a short break. The releases so far—all Creative Commons licensed, and free or ‘name your price’—are collated here.
I’ve also listed my recommended Bandcamp albums that have accompanied the releases. There are some very fine, inspiring creative, improvised, experimental music on Bandcamp, but it isn’t always easy to find the recordings. Here’s my small contribution to help people get started. Enjoy, download, share—support creative musicians!
A solo performance by guitarist-constructor Han-earl Park exploring, with feedback and resonant buzzes, the complex, cavernous acoustics of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, and the interactions between artifact (guitar) and the body (guitarist). For ‘Strokes and Screwballs,’ Park is joined by violinist-improviser Marian Murray for a conversational improvisation. [More info…]
Accompanying Recommended Albums
Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter
A stark, real-time evolution of on-stage relations. The performance took place during Seoul-based experimental electronic musician Jin Sangtae’s European tour. Featuring clanking hard drives, buzzing electronics, noisy guitars and machine gun percussion, this recording captures Jin’s meeting with guitarist-improviser Han-earl Park, and composer, drummer and intermedia artist Jeffrey Weeter. [More info plus the 24-bit edition…]
Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder
Áine Sheil (from the liner notes): “The Glucksman Gallery is one of the finest buildings to have been built in Ireland in recent times, but it is a tricky space for any musician to negotiate. Sounds reverberate and carry in unexpected ways, and music improvised here runs the risk of losing all definition. That [Han-earl] Park and his co-improviser Franziska Schroeder gracefully avoided this testifies to their alertness, sensitivity and experience working together in other spaces…. Indeed the evening had the feeling of conversation, with the instrumentalists demonstrating the improvisatory give-and-take of a convivial exchange of ideas.” [More info…]
Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park
This was a rare performance in Ireland by Catherine Sikora (New York-based, originally from West Cork), a saxophonist with a striking, compelling sound. She has been described as “a free-blowing player’s player with a spectacular harmonic imagination and an evolved understanding of the tonal palette of the saxophone” (Chris Elliot, Seacoast Online). Sikora was joined by cofounder of the London Improvisers’ Orchestra, trumpeter Ian Smith (London-based, from Dublin), and guitarist Han-earl Park (then Cork-based, currently Brooklyn-based, from California). Smith and Park had just come off the tour as part of the power-trio Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward) with the legendary composer-improviser Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith. [More info…]
24-bit edition: minimal post-processing of recording beyond edits and fades and EQ. Preserves dynamics of original recording (which was recorded with a limiter).
If in doubt, monomaniac audiophile nerds aside, you probably want the 16-bit edition. (Many thanks to Alex Fiennes for advice on this double release.)
This particular trio setting provides minimal tonal or harmonic sticking points to derail the listening experience—an experience not to be missed by [Han-earl] Park agnostics and believers alike. Jeffrey Weeter on percussion and Jin Sangtae on what are most likely hard drives in varying states of repair… could very well be the perfect counterpoint to Park’s active, strident departure from the last 100 years of the prevailing guitar morality….
Motility of gesture and dynamics of phrase are celebrated with sound, neither antiquated harmonic stricture nor pre-Civil-Rights-era tropes. There is a directness, a paucity of fluff, which, more than any other quality or attribute, is what separates jazz from music that emerged from and ultimately supplanted it as the ‘art music’ of our day. Sangtae deserves special mention for his vision…. While likely not the first to use the staccato grrrr of a hard drive for musical gesture, none have used it with as much imagination or in a setting as sympathetic as Cork 1-24-11. Sangtae’s contribution underscores the collective nature of improvisation and creates a feeling of want, where and when he is not present. Without question, Cork 1-24-11 is a conceptual and aural high-water mark few will ever reach.
A stark, real-time evolution of on-stage relations. The performance took place during Seoul-based experimental electronic musician Jin Sangtae’s European tour. Featuring clanking hard drives, buzzing electronics, noisy guitars and machine gun percussion, this recording captures Jin’s meeting with guitarist-improviser Han-earl Park, and composer, drummer and intermedia artist Jeffrey Weeter.
Jin Sangtae (진상태) was born in 1975 in Seoul. Korea. He started music with electronica project ‘popmusic25’ in 1999 and had several live concerts. When he came to know improvised music in 2004, he changed his musical direction. He developed his instrument with Radio, Laptop, Car horn and hard disk drive and concentrated upon improvised music, field recording and related sound works. Jin Sangtae has regularly participated in concert series ‘RELAY’ and ‘Table Setting.’ In 2008, he commenced ‘Dotolim’—a name of small space, first venue in Korea specialized for electro-acoustic improvisation. He has organized ‘Dotolim concert series’ every second month.
Jin is a prominent member of Korea’s growing electro-acoustic improvisation scene, and according to The Wire, Jin’s “speciality is extracting harsh noise and glitches from exposed computer hard drives. These circuit-bending investigations run the gamut from carefully mediated feedback blasts to jerky mechanical clatter to sparse buzzes and hisses. Hovering intently over his electronics, he probes and dissects the chaotic din with scientific precision.”
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) works within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries and concert halls in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.
He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and is involved in ongoing collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders, Matana Roberts, Richard Barrett, Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner and Kato Hideki. Festival appearances include Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), and CEAIT Festival (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and DUNS Limited Edition.
Jeffrey Weeter is a composer, intermedia artist and audio engineer. The collaboration with electronic musician Kate Simko produced the live cinema project Lustre which has toured Europe, Japan, South America and the United States during 2011–2012. From 2005–2008 he designed real-time video instruments and performed as the resident VJ for the monthly Wake Up! series at Sonotheque, Chicago. He has presented on intermedia at FIMaC, ATMI, ICMC and SEAMUS conferences, and has work published by Organised Sound, Select Media and meakusma. Weeter completed his Doctorate in Music Composition from Northwestern University, served five years as an audio engineer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Studios, Chicago and currently is Lecturer in Music Composition at University College Cork, Ireland.
His work explores the relationships between media via performance which often utilize electronic and acoustic instruments linked in a sphere of influence with video projection, expanding the dynamics of performance and forging a new live cinema. Weeter’s work often negotiates a shared agency between live performer and random or deterministic processes.
10-24-12: add recommended price. 05-20-13: updated the ‘also available for download’ list. 07-02-13: updated review. 11-01-15: add A Little Brittle Music to downloads list, and change currency from USD to EUR.