i think its about experimental music. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... ........ ......... .......... ...........

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Nature Has Forever by Anthony Weis (Interview)


Long time Chicago composer Anthony Weis has a new experimental folk album out entitled Nature Has Forever. It’s a unique, accessible exploration of organic sounds and techniques in music making. From the title, you can gather there is an attempt to return to some unadulterated, back-to-basics, or “natural” aesthetic. Janky sounding stringed instruments (often home made) together with acoustic “found” percussion and the occasional field recording are used to create ever-evolving, instrumental funk-folk compositions. It (usually) doesn’t rely on some repetitive theme or riff, opting to evoke a sense of unpredictability while (usually) carefully staying on beat and in key. It’s easy on the ears except for some moments here and there of chaotic improvisation. However, the use of many of these aesthetic choices and compositional techniques is somewhat bumpy, uneven. Words like “usually” and “mostly,” as you’ve noticed, are useful in description. It’s eclectic and sort of evasive in a sense, which is most likely a product of Weis’s years of exploring different genres, as the man himself will tell you...

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Caliper (C): There's obviously elements of a lot of different styles/genres going on here, folk, jazz, rock, progressive, musique concrete. If you had to give the style of music on this album a name what would it be?

Anthony (A): I was initially calling it “Experimental Acoustic Rock”, but I also saw one website classify it as “Experimental Folk” and “Music Collage”. I think all of them work. I’ve always tried to be a student of music and explore as many genres as I can. After absorbing the style to some degree, it usually pops up into my future writing. I really don’t try to force these disparate elements together, they just sort of bubble up and expand my working palate. Recently, I’ve been learning Flamenco guitar as well as Gypsy Jazz, just for the enjoyment of it. I don’t plan on incorporating those styles anytime soon, but they may well bleed into my next project.

The hard thing when distributing my music is trying to classify it and I think this album is more eclectic than my last. There is a solo piano piece, an extended guitar solo track, slide guitar riffs, break beats, etc., so it can be challenging to tell people quickly what it is about. I seem to swing back and forth between an album narrowly defined in scope, and one that is more varied and messy. “Nature Has Forever” is the latter.



C: The title “Nature has Forever,” what does it mean to you and how does it relate to the overall aesthetic, the music, and the methods used on the album?

A: The main theme of the album was “nature”, as many of the track titles suggest, and some ancillary ideas stemming from that were “organic”, “acoustic”, “homemade”, and “handcrafted”. These words all created an atmosphere of where I wanted to take the album, which would be a departure from my last record, “Smashed Against Infinity” (2017), which was electric, aggressive, heavy, etc.

This overall aesthetic was to inform the instrument selection, which would feature acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, ukulele, and harmonica, instead of loud distorted electric guitars, and hand played percussion instead of a full drum kit in many places. The “handmade” element came into play from the various homemade instruments I created for the project.

C: What are some examples of these homemade instruments? Which was your favorite to play with?

A: I’m not an experienced instrument builder by any stretch of that definition, but through playing with manipulated audio and field recordings in the past, I realized that I could pretty easily and cheaply make instruments on my own. My goal was to create different timbers and tones than you get with most of the traditional instruments.

I was able to create 2 main types, homemade percussion and handmade string instruments. The percussion elements pop up in beats on songs like “Slide Slide Harmonica” and “Back To The Primitive”, the latter of which I was especially pleased with the results. That beat was created using the wood scraps from the building of my stringed instruments. The percussion parts also included the closing of doors/drawers and miscellaneous junk and household items banged against each other, just to name some of the things that I can remember.

The string instruments were all primitive, consisting of 1-3 guitar strings attached to cigar boxes and 2x4 pieces of wood. The lead instrument on “Up, Glorious Soil!” is one of these (I made three), and I recorded it into my sampler and played it with a keyboard instead of playing it live. It had a surprisingly nice resonance and it was so sensitive, if you moved your hand at all on it, the notes would wobble in and out of tune, which you can hear on the track.

C: You say your goal with this record was to “to create unique sounds all (your) own.” Which track(s) do you feel most lived up to this? Why?

A: The lead track “Four Strings” is a great example of this. I was in the process of recording another song with my acoustic guitar, when I broke a string. I started to restring the entire guitar and while detuning one, I started to play riffs on it. It was tuned so low, that I could get some great bends and tremolo effects. At that point I had four strings still on, so I tuned it to a very low open chord, and wrote the song “Four Strings”.

On “Banjo, Banjo”, I had 2 melody lines going at once in one section of the song, a ukulele and a banjo. I liked both, but didn’t love it. Since both instruments are in similar parts of the frequency spectrum, I ended up splicing the two together to make one melody.

C: You mentioned using some field recordings to create soundscapes. What are some of the recordings you used? How were they manipulated? What do think they added to the music?

A: The two main themes I had going throughout the album were nature and building my own instruments, and I have soundscapes around both. Uncharacteristically, I ended up with a lot of extra tracks, maybe an additional 15-20, and it just so happened that all of the nature soundscapes were on those. I’ll probably rework/release those for another album down the road.

The field recordings of my instrument building are most prominent on “Up, Glorious Soil!” where the lead instrument is the one I was creating. Adding elements like that always interested me, and I think great examples of it would be the early Books albums.

The other way I like to use field recordings/soundscapes is to give additional textures and layers to tracks. I’ll add ambient noise recordings, buried low in the mix, to give tracks a warmer, less digital feel. Also, I’ll slow down/lower the pitch 50%, 25% of the original, and layer them together to create deep, bassy, slow moving beds for different parts of songs.

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Download of Nature Has Forever is available via Weis's Bandcamp.


Matt Ackerman, Anthony Weis

Friday, May 17, 2019

Kissing Infinity by Mira Martin-Gray

Thursday, May 16, 2019

surface clouds by crushed, elated.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Somewhere Legacy by Moon Dream

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

METAL JOKER 2020 V​-​Edit + iMAD Musik /​/​/ ORGULLO LOCO! by Dr. Meme Vivaldi

Monday, May 13, 2019

Icer by TæT Music

Sunday, May 12, 2019

hidden selves by Janna Lee and Corey Lyons

Thursday, May 9, 2019

West Side Story Winner Of Ten Academy Awards by Spoelstra

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

shiver by gestura

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BWV 1032 / BWV 1020 (trois espaces) by Simon Labbé

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Unlonely Raindancer by Keith Tippett

Sunday, May 5, 2019

left by crushed, elated.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

thouechocaves by ???

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Skychief by JWPaton

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

ZONING: Kowloon Bay Suite by ERIC WONG + NATURALISMO + SHERMAN + SIN:NED

Monday, April 29, 2019

Injection by Sigh Of Relief

Saturday, April 27, 2019

I by Aloes

Friday, April 26, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Afternoons In The Valley by Peter Kris

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mosaismic by IKARUS

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Icer by TæT Music

Monday, April 15, 2019

Adrift by Hypnagogue

Sunday, April 14, 2019

fine gnaw by SHAMIN

Friday, April 12, 2019

Nothing Stays Buried (la la la la) by Karris Adams Duo

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

LUNAKIN

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Wooden Mirrors by Daniel Barbiero & Cristiano Bocci

Monday, April 1, 2019

Best of The Worst by Quainex

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Passed by Surrenderer

Saturday, March 30, 2019

martin rach live - densities, distances, differences

Friday, March 29, 2019

Wszystko Jeszcze Jest by Nac/Hut Report

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Bop Shoo Bop (Edit) by Duck The Piano Wire

Monday, March 25, 2019

Flowers: Shrieking Sounds Under Morning Sun by Van Klokan Band

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

monologue by Tomotsugu Nakamura

ARTIFICIAL BLOOD - SK8R VS. THE MAN

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Seven Different Places by Mike Weis & Matt Christensen

Monday, March 18, 2019

Dear Body by Glice | Coen Oscar Polack

Friday, March 15, 2019

CLOUD DIAMETER

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mourning Cofee by Aequor

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Enthousiasme viscéral by Sergio Castrillón + Émilie Girard-Charest

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Everlasting by Matthew Bailey

Monday, March 11, 2019

Fleisch III by Glice

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Greatest Hits by LIPGLO$$

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Origin Of My Depression by Uboa

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Commonfate EP by Phineas Brady

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

an ark in my flesh by Mascara Snake

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Back to the Salt Mines by Monumental Folly

Monday, March 4, 2019

Ashland Hills by Ryan Huber

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Malam Malam by Wu Cloud

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Rungs & Firstfruits by Stereo No Aware

Friday, March 1, 2019

All My Friends Live in Uncanny Valley—The Remixes by Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Right after the forest by Saenïnvey

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Liminal Humanwish by Verufycim

Monday, February 25, 2019

Alexithymia​/​Attachment Panic by fri(G)id

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Starchild by Elizabeth Joan Kelly x Xqui

Saturday, February 23, 2019

For A Ride by HAWN

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Edo & Arnold: 'Faversham' LP by chemical imbalance.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nikola, Was Right ! by Giuseppe Pascucci, Vito Pesce

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Anti​-​Litterbugs by Ray Kosmische

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Girls Four And Eighty by Maedchen84

Thursday, February 7, 2019

DE​|​CON​|​STRUCT by Static Void Records



From Static Void Records: "DE|CON|STRUCT is made up of 4 tracks that have been split across two transparent square 5" records housed in a mini handmade gatefold jacket. The listener is encouraged to rip the tracks from the records and combine them into one in order to hear the project as intended."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Collection by Dexter Dine

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Live: Concentration Club by Drekka / Lather

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

ABRACASMOGMA by SMOGMA

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

OCEANOGRAPHY by Craig Aalders

Monday, January 28, 2019

ROUGH & WOJTYLA featuring RICHARD PINHAS by ROUGH & WOJTYLA feat RICHARD PINHAS

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Noisy Whispers Compilation by Billy Yfantis

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cold Fire by Nick Maxwell

Friday, January 25, 2019

Resting As Worlds Collide by Kevin Griffin

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Looking at Animals by Regular Expression

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Post​-​Biological Wildlife by Juhani Silvola

Sunday, January 20, 2019

tash by koby.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Talking For 40 Minutes by Zhivko Bozdanski

Monday, January 14, 2019

(split) by moduS ponY & VLK

Friday, January 11, 2019

Pansy by The Wooden Brain

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Luminous Fluid / Luminous Fields by GORPLORD

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Basement Room by SOLAR MAXIMUM

Saturday, January 5, 2019

I Killed Myself, Ate Myself, Sold My Children, Prostituted My Wife, Amputated My Cock And Voted For Donald Trump 8xs Before The Bright Bruises On My Body Opened Into Gaping Portals Of Infinite (Ab​)​Solvency by Derivitive

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Abstract Healing by ь ρ ட г x x ו ו ו .

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Lonely Psalms by Aisuru

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

(chef kiss​)​° i told my cartographer "no map is right​!​" (thank you​)​° by shamane