Sunday, February 14, 2021

Resonant Spaces


Somehow last year I missed the album Transcendence by Sherry Finzer.

It's an album of solo flute improvisations recorded in an old water tank in Rangely, Colorado. It definitely has the same feel as Paul Horn's Inside the Great Pyramid from 1976. As I listened to it, I wondered if I could collect enough tracks to make a mix of music recorded in water tanks, silos and cisterns. Well, I guess I found enough because here's the mix - Resonant Spaces.

There were a few artists that I immediately knew I would include - Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Paul Horn, and Jim Cole. From there I did a bit of research, got a recommendation from Sherry, and ended up with a nice collection of tracks. 

My first exposure to recording on-site, in an unusual location was Paul Horn's Great Pyramid album. I had that LP in college and it helped me through many nights of studying. Well, not that many because I didn't study a whole lot.

My next exposure was 1989's Deep Listening by Oliveros, Dempster, & Panaiotis. An iconic album recorded in a huge underground cistern in northwest Washington state. The space would eventually be known as Dan Harpole Cistern. Deep Listening is one of my favorite ambient albums of all time. It owes its unique sound to the incredible space in which it was recorded. 

According to the liner notes they parked their van next to the cistern and began to drop cables into the 14-foot deep cavern. They then rigged up rope and harnesses to lower chairs, accordion, sea shells, trombone, garden hoses, didgeridoos, tarps, cleaning tools and people. It was very dark, contrasted with the daylight streaming in from the hatch where they had come down.

The liner notes continue - "The remarkable thing about the acoustic space is the long reverb, which could approach 45 seconds, and the lack of slap echoes and distinct early reflections that are often characteristic of large cathedrals; only pure, smooth reverb...the amplitude of which appears to begin at the sane decibel level as the source. Consequently, it is impossible to tell where the performer stops and the reverberation takes over."

- - - - Here's a list of each artist, their album & a pic of where the recording was made. - - - -

1. Sherry Finzer - Transcendence - recorded at The Tank in Rangely, Colorado.

2. Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Innertones - recorded in a 120-feet-tall water tank.

3. Stuart Dempster - Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel - recorded in a 2 million-gallon concrete cistern, now empty, in the Pacific Northwest known as the Dan Harpole Cistern.

4.  Jherek Bischoff - Cistern - also recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern.

5. Paul Horn - Inside The Great Pyramid - Recorded in the King's Chamber inside The Great Pyramid of Gizeh.

6. Paul Kikuchi - Portable Sanctuary Vol. 2 - Live in the Great Hall - recorded in the Great Hall at Union Station, Seattle, WA.

7. Jherek Bischoff - Improvisations - recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern in Fort Warden in Port Townsend, WA. 

7. Bodhi - Inside - recorded inside an old military bunker. 

8. The User - Silophone - recorded in an abandoned grain storage facility in the port of Montréal.

9. Brother Saturn - Live at The Tank - recorded at The Tank in Colorado.

10. Bob Guido - Silophonic - recorded in Silo #5, an abandoned grain storage facility in the port of Montréal.

11. Oliveros Dempster Panaiotis - Deep Listening - recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern in Washington.

I hope you enjoy this other-worldly journey through Resonant Spaces.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Sherry Finzer - Ancient Roots (Transcendence 2020)
  • 05:18    Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Hear Earth (Innertones 2006)
  • 09:53    Stuart Dempster - Morning Light (Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel 1995)
  • 17:20    Jherek Bischoff - The Sea's Son (Cistern 2016)
  • 23:34    Paul Horn - Initiation (Inside The Great Pyramid 1976)
  • 29:22    Paul Kikuchi - Union Pacific (Portable Sanctuary Vol. 2 - Live in the Great Hall 2016)
  • 32:55    Jherek Bischoff - Two (Improvisations 2020)
  • 34:38    Bodhi - Relax (Inside 2020)
  • 35:28    The User - Silophone (2001)
  • 36:56    Brother Saturn - A Canopy Of Stars (Live at The Tank 2018)
  • 41:18    Bob Guido - Silophonic
  • 43:40    Oliveros Dempster Panaiotis - Lear (Deep Listening 1989)
  • 53:43    Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Spectral Winds, Inward Voices (Innertones 2006)
  • 60:00    end


Anonymous said...

Great mix! Thank you.

You might also be interested, for future reference, in this recording by Riley Lee, shakuhachi player, recorded in a water storage reservoir in Sydney, Australia, a number of years ago (I believe the reservoir had been emptied for repair or suchlike and he was allowed in to do this before it was refilled).

Low Light Mixes said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Riley Lee album. I like the water sounds in the background of that recording. Cheers!

The Deja View said...

the 1993 Ron Miles @ The Tank is stellar. Although he is a cornet/trumpet player

Matt said...

What a great mix - thanks for sharing. I think David Hykes would fit in here - particularly the Harmonic Meetings?

Low Light Mixes said...

Matt - great idea on David Hykes! His stuff would be great for a follow up mix or a separate one of choral music. Thanks for reminding me about him. Cheers!