Algoritamska muzika Olivera Thurleya može se izvoziti u prirodu bez carine.
Loops are, by their very essence, stuck in a tight, constricted space, left alone to play their endless music. The loop is an exercise in repetition, where the timid use of space and the sober confines help us to see who they really are and what they have to say. It’s up to the musician to make the most out of the minimal set up. For the most part, creativity shines through, beaming out of the loop in a never-ending circle of light. Once seen as a potential restriction, the loop now becomes limitless.
Sure, the unsteady, distorted warble of the melody may seem like a repetition, but within that repetition is a genuine, slow-burning progression. Nothing is repeated – music teaches us that one moment is never the same as another. The loop gives a subtle illusion of time travel, but in reality the music is always moving forward; the seconds are giving way to minutes. Uniquely, the unlimited loop (it could loop this musical phrase forever) is limited in its scope (it could loop this forever, but it is only a musical phrase). Pretty cool, huh?
The life of a loop has a countdown that comes into effect the second after it is born. A loop, then, does not laze itself away in luxury. It’s in a constant race against the clock, the remainder of its life oozing away after every note. Nowhere else in music does a note matter more than in a loop, because it has to spill what it wants to say, and it has to do it fast. It misses out on an indulgent rock n’ roll lifestyle – there is no instrumental excess – skipping the chance for variety as it repeats its cherished melody over and over (on the other hand, it could be argued that a consistently repeating loop has a tendency to indulge, just by repeating itself). Whichever way you look at it, the loop can still mature, able to articulate itself just as brightly as any other kind of music.
Ithaca Trio, the project of Oliver Thurley, is a safe ambient harbour. The calming loop is meditative in its repetition, the deep-seated, sunken melody surfacing again and again. Ambient in nature, the piano loops revolve steadily, run through reel-to-reel, degrading – or ageing – the longer they live. The Disintegration Loops taught us that even loops will die; they have a million past lives.
It is a natural process – perhaps the most natural process of them all – that our youth-obsessed culture strives to hide or at least keep at bay, smothered under a mask of mascara and make up in order to find social acceptance, slaves to cosmetics. In thirty years, the lipstick will become a psychotic smear, worn by a hollow-eyed skeleton of seduction, with the intent on gaining some much needed attention from the boys.
“Do you think I’m pretty? Tell me I’m pretty”
The tape, too, wrinkles with age, creasing at the sides, its skin caught. ‘Lepidoptera, pt. II’, with its fluid piano loop, is serene in its motion, as if it were a kind of water music. Slight modulations and pitch-warps provide a reminder that this is not some kind of pre-recorded loop, but one that is alive and, from time to time, unstable. Fluctuations have a real authentic air to them; it’s the sound of an old personal video, rewinding and then playing back on a dusty black VCR. It has the aesthetic of an old, yet beloved cassette tape, decaying in the deck. The loop sucks the high-end out of the piano, muffling the already deep tone, but the tranquil timbre is still able to descend over the loop.
Shimmering loops rise to the surface, keeping still in their quietude as they are submerged and then suffocated by a muffled, dirty reel of tape. The ceaseless loop creates its own hypnotic rhythm. Hushed and introverted, the notes begin to chime together, overlapping and jumping ahead of their siblings in what could be the morning ringing of Sunday Church bells.
Music For Piano & Patience ages with grace, unwrapping itself loop after loop. One loop ends and the circle begins again, an indistinct, sustaining life echoing throughout the ages. The dry crackle and the airy hiss give the music a real warmth. The little details really add up, especially when dealing with minimal music.
‘Just Skin’ seems to develop more than its predecessor. The black piano loops into infinity, and a healthy smattering of reverb pours out of the loop, casting a golden rainbow in the sky. A couple of thin chimes loop their way in, leaving the music to bathe in an eerie, supernatural afterglow. A sudden dip in pitch almost rewinds the piano and reverts it back to its original melodic womb. The flushed drone is warm, glowing in the background.
The piano fades into the distance, and you wonder just when exactly that happened. The final eight minutes are truly stunning; the patience is thoroughly rewarded. The beginning of the thirty five minute track held the piano closely. In its infancy, it was as healthy and as wide-eyed as the boy Bambi. At its end, the piano is a distant, garbled remnant of what it once was; it’s close to going full circle. - James Catchpole
A recording of 10 pages of the score to my new piece, Tide.
A short prelude for my next work…
- Music for Piano & Patience (2013) – previously lost recording piano and reel-to-reel tape looping, from 2009. on HOME NORMAL
- New Music from the Delta Quadrant (2012) – a complete reworking of our 2010 Colossal release. Mastered by Lawrence English (ROOM40), on Hibernate. MORE STAR TREK REFERENCES
- Grow Flowers EP (2011) - 80mm CDr in blood-waxed card on Coma Architects. Sold-Out.
- Jumbo Soundscape (2011) – severly ltd. soundscape of the shop for it’s 40th birthday: Jumbo Records, on Coma Architects. Sold-Out.
- Quiet, Please (2011) – 80mm CDr in Library cards on Coma Architects. Available.
- Clarity (2011) – 80mm CDr Postcard series on Hibernate. Sold Out, but available as a free download.
- Par Avion (2010) – CD-R split with Machinefabriek. Physical copies sold out, download available via Boomkat and iTunes. It is also on Spotify.
- New Music by the Colossal Ithaca Trio & The Deus Ex Machina Arkestra (2010) – A series of unheard, unwritten, unknown compositions.STAR TREK REFERENCES APLENTY
- Brown Bear (2010) – A fifty-minute ominous piece for tape and broken cymbals
- Tesla Verses The Night (2009) – A mini-album released on Under The Spire Recordings. Physical copies sold out, download available.
- Oxe (2009) – An introductory two-track release for acoustic guitar and glitch.
Par Avion (2010)
Judging by the front of this A5 sized fun sized package it seems local Leeds lads The Ithaca Trio (previous release on Under The Spire) approached Machinefabriek to see if ole Rutger was interested in doing some sort of collaboration. I reckon he was as it's here and he's made the artwork. Funtimes! You get 4 tracks by The Ithaca Trio who seem to make soundscapes created from weird double bass sounds, field recordings and weird noises. It's all very laid back though and chilled out. Kinda nice in fact as it's lodging itself comfortably into my brain. There's some exceptionally strange noises on track 3 which sound like some sort of compressed saxophone but it's more like Sweep (Sooty and Sweep....) being strangled. Machinefabriek has 2 tracks on here. The Desolate Delay is sparse and as vacant sounding as you can get with some weird delayed piano popping up dead centre amidst a load of 'hum' for a quick visit before it fades out to more of a derelict soundscape. As ever best enjoyed with headphones! - Norman Records
“…Oliver Thurley from Leeds is all three members of the Ithaca Trio, and he, or should I say they, wrote a nice letter suggesting they collaborate on a split CD, which emerged a few months ago onExperimedia. I sometimes feel like doing similar myself; asking Zuyderfelt just to follow me around, and provide some sort of ambient electronic soundtrack, perhaps. Or to remix my life. Again, this may be some very quiet music, but there is a lot going on. The Ithaca Trio tracks manage to combine droning and glitchy electronics with live instrumentation (double bass, piano, sax, percussion) and field recordings (bird song, barely-there chatter), leading to something at times quite dense, and always atmospheric. The ever-shifting nature, combined with a background of echo and unidentifiable small sounds, make this music that blurs the boundaries between the real world and the recorded. Perhaps the unintended is in fact one of the other members of the Trio. Machinefabriek’s side opens in more expansive fashion, before the gently pulsing atmospherics of “The Desolate Delay” lead into the harsh “The Harmed Harp”. In the latter I can only assume that Zuyderfelt is actually subjecting a harp to a number of practices which may contravene the Geneva Convention as unsettling scraping, splintering, cracking, and creaking noises puncture the deep rumbling drone and oscillations. I’ve never been a fan of the split CD format, as unlike the split LP, the transition between artists can jar. But here the Ithaca Trio side just bleeds into the Machinefabriek side, as the album highlight “For Ailing Health” almost sounds like one of his slow-building pieces (I’m sure he, or, they, would take that as a compliment) as it collects breath, cymbal, skronk, and lots of coughing as it winds its way up to the plateau.”
- Review by Scott McMillan for the Liminal’s 2010 roundup of Machinefabriek
“Released in an edition of 100, this split album finds Ithaca Trio and Machinefabriek working as pen pals to create a cohesive work, assembled with fine detail and nuance.
Par Avion is an album that belongs in the category of ‘music from another room’. Music of this nature, built on subtlety, has the effect that what your hearing is actually coming from another room, as it exhibits qualities of vast expanse and separateness. After putting on the record and allowing it to fill the space with its presence, the minutia becomes apparent after closer listens but the overall effect is distant and far away. It seeps into corners, into the cracks of the wall, hides underneath floorboards, and comes to rest in thin air; the dust finds company. In this manner, Par Avion makes its fragile nature known through repeated listens, in after thoughts, as it will haunt the listener for some time after hearing it. While never in the foreground, it begs the listener to move inward, through the cracks, the floorboard, the thin air.
Ithaca Trio work in a similar vein to Zelienople, except that in addition to the three members, there is a fourth member whose presence is felt throughout: silence. It seems that as most bands will begin with noise, and use silence when at rest, Ithaca Trio begins with silence, harnesses its power, and works to fill in places with sound where it is absolutely necessary. I am reminded of the note accompanying Sylvain Chauveau’s 10″ release on Type Records, S, which states “For a more realistic listening, please play this recording at low volume.” In a similar manner, Ithaca Trio craft their four pieces around this idea, and, played a low level, the music speaks volumes. On ‘Orca Towards Ground’, the pitter-patter of drums intersects assorted screeches and organic groans. The freeform approach reaches a pinnacle with ‘For Ailing Health’, marked by a slow rumble that defines the somber title.”- Review by Michael Vitrano for Fluid Radio
Tesla Verses The Night (2010)
Ollie Thurley seems to have looked towards the Andrew McKenzie school of solo project nomenclature and made a trio of himself, but unlike all things Hafler, Ithaca Trio is a very approachable, easy going affair, merging together immersive field recordings, soaring processed guitars and other live instrumentation, plus a big scoopful of electronics. Tesla Verses The Night is by no means a minimal example of the ambient genre, and a glance at the list of contributors would suggest as much: for this recording Thurley is assisted by a band of instrumentalist chums, bringing accordion, clarinet, flute, piano and even drums to the table. The outcome of Thurley's sifting and processing stretches between the epic, pastoral loveliness of 'Dragon Sleeps Well' and the quasi-Eastern percussion glitches of 'Huo Shan (Pt.ii)', whilst also taking in the Fennesz-like warm draughts of 'Untitled #10' and the dismantled piano meanderings of 'Catching Monkeys'. A very fine example of its genre, Tesla Verses The Night comes with a ringing endorsement. Limited to 150 copies. - boomkat