The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Majmua Music: 3 New Releases Pre-order Now!

museumfire/FireMuseum/Fire Museum!


go to: for pre-order special, $15 (plus
postage) for all 3!

MM 7 My Country of Illusion - Jambient Excursions

My Country of Illusion is back, hovering in the sonic stratosphere with
Jambient Excursions! Now split between Rome & New Mexico, the duo here
stretches out their high desert ~Sjambience~T to new peaks.

First coming to the attention of discerning listeners with their
contribution to Azadi!,their debut release ~TAmerican Dreamlife~T was
hailed by Don Poe of EAR/Rational thusly:

"This is surreal music, swirling around your head like a dream that makes
you wake up on the underside of the bed. What is going on? I feel sick and
keenly aware that I am very excited about this music. Guitars, drums and
the usual done in a very unique way that chills me and makes my skin
crawl. It isn't evil music, just very demented. A perfect soundtrack to
the weirdest Spaghetti Western ever.~T

This time out, they have largely jettisoned the samples of their debut to
concentrate their efforts on a pure, enveloping sound. If one were to
consider this record the logical extension of their first, perhaps it
could be said they have aimed for the heart of the ~SDreamlife~T while
leaving ~SAmerican~T soundbites behind.


MM 8 Susan Alcorn - Curandera

A curandera is a Latin American traditional folk healer or shaman,
dedicated to healing physical and spiritual ailments. The musical balm to
be found here offers a similar result for those who will listen and
surrender themselves to its deep well of sound.


Susan Alcorn is a composer, improviser, and pedal steel guitarist active
in contemporary music and free improvisation. She combines the techniques
of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a
personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music,
Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world.

Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists
including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler,
Joe Giardullo, Caroline Kraabel, Le Quan Ninh, Sean Meehan, Joe McPhee,
LaDonna Smith, Mike Cooper, Misha Feigin, Ellen Fullman, and Johanna
Varner. She currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

"Alcorn is a great player who has mastered and redefined an unlikely
instrument . . . With an exquisite touch she invoked the history of her
instrument, extended its emotional and ethereal strengths, and explored
its microtonal possibilities, drawing it out of contexts that
traditionally render it invisible -- or generic -- and placing it into its
own mature discourse . . . reminding improvisers that "free" includes the
right to be romantic, melodic, and eight to the bar." - Chris Cutler, The


MM 9 Alan Sondheim - Boojum

Boojum was our cat, who died recently at 18, and is missed terribly. Most
tracks are recorded mono directly from a Yamaha keyboard output. This is
the 'pure' sounding of the machine; there's no stereo enhancement or
graphic equalization. I determine the state of the machine, that's called
playing it. The accompaniment is automated but its figuration is not. The
keyboard is touch-sensitive, but as you know, touch on an acoustic
keyboard translates not only into volume, but also harmonic structures and
envelope. Here touch is volume only. Note that all playing is live.

Think of the real. Track 8 is recorded live on the same keyboard
acoustically; you can hear breathing, key and nail sounds, and so forth.
The recording is stereo. Here the machine gives way to the periphery of
the human player One might place this configuration in the symbolic.

The Cluster track is recorded from a very large Beowulf computer cluster
which generates considerable electromagnetic radiation in the radio
spectrum. These are recorded acoustically from a Realistic Patrolman SW-60
radio slowly tuned across various SW, VHF, and UHF bands. This is the
sound of the machine in air, transformed into audio signals within the
range of human hearing. Machine-states and machine exist in the imaginary.
Emanents exist within and without the machine..

Think of the true world in all its glory.

For Boojum. ~V Alan Sondheim

"Alan the exprimentalist, meet Alan the lounge lizard?~T
-Howard Frampton, Spectacular Times

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