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morphogenesis discogs resonance

Peter Cusack Max Eastley
cusack


CD in 6 panel digipak

Includes postage - for multiple items I will refund the excess

 

•   Peep show  (9:37)  mp3
•   Day for night  (8:05)
•   Zero day to zero night  (4:54)
•   Cast  (5:05)
•   Roomshine  (4:52)
•   Arc light  (1:42)
•   Shade 1  (3:12)
•   Shade 2  (3:33)
•   Nest of wasps  (6:23)

total time  47:51

Cover by Max Eastley
Released 2000


Over the last 25 years Cusack and Eastley have been gradually adding episodes to the collection of compositions that make up this CD. The foundation of this work consists of location recordings layered with the live or recycled sounds of Eastley's kinetic sculpture. Over the same period that this CD evolved Cusack helped with setting up the LMC, worked for 2 years at Studio Steim in Holland, co-founded Bead Records and released several LP's on this label. His long term musical collaborators have included: Clive Bell, Nic Collins and Viv Corringham, as well as the group Alterations (with Steve Beresford, Terry Day and David Toop). Recent CD's are available on Platelunch, ReR and Resonance. He also frequently works with artists in other fields, including most recently in September 2000, "The Week of Small Miracles", a large scale outdoor project in the Lea Valley area of East London which he curated. Meanwhile Eastley's last 25 years have been spent more in the art gallery than the concert hall, with exhibitions in the UK at The Serpentine Gallery (1976) and The Arnolfini (1980). Overseas installations include The Apollohuis in Holland (1984), the Museum Of Modern Art, Nagoya, Japan and Xebec Hall, Kobe, Japan (both 1994). His most recent exhibits were seen this year as part of Sonic Boom at the Hayward Art Gallery in London. He has also been involved in musical performance, especially the Whirled Music project in the 80s and also ongoing collaborations with David Toop and occasional work with Thomas Köner. He has recorded for many labels including Incus, Quartz and most memorably his 2 releases with David Toop (New and Rediscovered Instruments, originally on Obscure, 1975, and Buried Dreams, on Beyond, 1994). Eastley's work is concerned with creating delicate and elegant kinetic sound devices, either motor driven or animated by environmental forces like the wind, streams or the sea.


REVIEWS

ALLMUSIC
This CD represents a 25-year collaboration between renowned British avant-garde improviser Peter Cusack and instrument builder and sculptor Max Eastley. Cusack and Eastley have made these short episodes together between busy careers recording experimental music alongside artists such as Nicolas Collins, Steve Beresford, and David Toop). With numerous releases on ReR and Incus, the two musicians are mainstays of the British improvised music world, and Eastley is particularly prominent for his work with Toop in the '70s on Brain Eno's Obscure label -- which debuted his self-designed electro-acoustic instruments. Said instruments are highly developed kinetic sculptures powered by a range of forces from small engines to the wind or running water. The duo creates intriguing delicate compositions with these instruments, abetted by the transformed string instruments and electronics of guitarist $Cusack, whose guitar is at times so far removed from its traditional use that it is hard to still call it a guitar. (Skip Jansen)

AUDION 45
Exactly how this collection of sound abstracts came into being we're not told. We're informed that it is "recorded at various locations between 1975 - 2000" and what all the sound sources are. And that's it. Back in Audion #42 I reviewed Peter Cusack's 'Where is the green parrot'? (issued by RR) saying that it was just unrelated sound that I didn't understand at all. I guess that Cusack's involvement in this project adds up to much the same, and that it's Max Eastley's collage and arrangement of things like fireworks, machines, location ambiances, silence, and such-like that make this a much more enjoyable experience. It's all still pretty abstract, yet is also almost "musical" on occasions. I dismissed it on first listen, as its subtleties were lost in the ambient noise of the Ultima Thule shop. Now on my third listen I think I'm beginning to understand the sonic pictures, which reveal themselves like the realisation of seeing something hidden in an abstract painting. Of course one could walk around London on a blustery November night and experience many of these sounds for real! So, I'm still not sure if it's the type of I would intentionally sit to listen to. (Alan Freeman)

AUF ABWEGEN 31 (translated)
Peter Cusack and Max Eastley have let the material on this collaboration grow for a long time and continued to add new sound layers. The foundations are field recordings (Cusack), which are then layered with live improvisations from Eastley's sound installations. Eastley also supplied the images for the cover of this exciting CD which radiate a mysterious power. In recent years he has specialised in sound sculptures which utilise either the power of motor devices or the sounds of the environment (wind, water) for their operation. (Zipo)

AVANT 20
Given that most discs of freely improvised music are recorded in two or three hours, jazz sessions take only a day or two, and rock albums are usually wrapped up within 18 months, the 25 years that it took for Peter Cusack and Max Eastley to complete Day For Night seems a little excessive. That's approximately one minute of music every six months. Either a considerable amount of thought has been given to the project or it was shelved for long periods. Maybe a bit of both. But I'm glad they managed to finish Day For Night, it's rather wonderful. Each of the musicians has a satellite relationship to free improvisation, but during the last quarter century they've become increasingly involved in other ways of perceiving and making music. Detailed and atmospheric location recordings are principally what Cusack brings to Day For Night. Eastley's installations and sound art have been exhibited world-wide, and recordings of his kinetic sculptures play a key role in the project. Sometimes Cusack and Eastley record simultaneously to document the environment in which an event took place. I suspect that, at other times, compositions have been fabricated out of disparate materials. The relevance of the CD title is that 'day for night' is a technique used by film-makers to replicate night under daylight conditions. The selection and editing of environmental sounds is just as likely to result in an illusion of reality, no matter how much one strives for audio-verite. There are instruments too on Day For Night. Cusack plays acoustic guitar and bouzouki; Eastley plays aeolian harps and the Arc, a monochord capable of producing rich drones and overtones that can be manipulated electronically. Sporadic bursts of bouzouki music can be heard during the fireworks party episodes of 'Peep Show', in which a ragged off-mic marching band also makes an appearance. But most of the music is found in places one would least expect to find it, such as the Klee-like soundlines made by flying drones in 'Nest of Wasps'. Perhaps what's most impressive about Day For Night is that nothing is overdone; the pieces sound spontaneous, their simplicity is beguiling. (Brian Marley)

BANANAFISH 16
A justifiable first response to Peter Cusack and Max Eastley's 'Day for Night' would be to assume that its environmental and wildlife recordings constitute yet another series of recorded postcards sent from exotic locales, an audio documentary of a Duran Duran video-making spree. But the centriphones, humming tops and broken glass given equal value in this endeavor, cloud such clear pictures as might be put forth by an average jet-set travelogue curator. In homage to the documentary style that does not forbid the filming of a handful of lemmings placed on snow-covered turntables to creat a false but touching migration scene, Eastley and Cusack twist, melt, scratch and scribble upon their slides, constructing a willfully artificial environment in which clips from 'Save a Prayer' and 'The Wild Boys' coexist. None could be so hard-hearted as to deny 'Day for Night's' assurance of the peaceful coexistence of groves of bamboo stalks tying themselves in knots as winged salamanders swarm through the leaves, all the while watched by a tittering bullfrog hidden behind a rock. (Alesandro Moreschi III)

MOTION

With the popularity of the opening Peep Show on mainly european radio stations Day For Night happened to come together bringing with it 25 years worth of collected sounds dating from 1975 to 2000 by "favourite sound" archivist Peter Cusack and sound sculpturist Max Eastley. The title, Day For Night, is taken from a filming technique whereby, as Eastley explains, "You put a filter over the camera during daytime and it looks like night". This process also conjures up other notions; the way in which one can enjoy the experience for example, "I think some of the tracks are very tangible and some are very much interiors to do with the mind, you know, sort of spaces with which you can use your imagination." The preluding Peep Show, as the title suggests, provides a fleeting glimpse into a collection of sounds that exist in separate sonic worlds. Opening with a harmless bonfire night, the mechanism of an old brass clock (without the chime) winds itself up, opening our anticipations to a collection of other fascinating sounds as varied and as rich as you can hope for: broken glass being brushed along inside a 5,000 square foot area with a clean electic guitar waterfalling down through the whole space; stretched elastics ripping through fresh forest air. The track acts as an excellent prelude to pure, raw and hardcore sounds. Sounds that would take 25 years to compile. Sounds that people might not hear in a lifetime. And within the remaining tracks we are not let down neither in terms of density of structure nor richness and variation of sounds: rotting carcasses with deers barking a Lord of the Flies soundtrack; Japzenlike made instruments warming wind into spiritual bliss; the ferocious sub-bass inside a nest of wasps. This is nature cranked up to 11. Purposefully underexplained in the sleevenotes each new listen awares the listener to new things taking place making this disc a real stodger. Played in your home it seems to bring the outside in. As Eastley states, "Some of the tracks are landscapes and obviously some are interiors". review by (Cormac)

NOISEGATE 11
Recorded at various locations between 1975 and 2000. Sound sources used, aeolean harps, ghetto blaster, cassette machines, broken glass, electro acoustic monochord, fire, centriphone, guitars, bouzouki, humming tops, environmental and wildlife recordings, buzz disc. Kids, fireworks. I had to give it a number of listens before I began to really appreciate this recording.
Begins with the typical sounds of a Mediterranean festival, the bazouki implies it's in Greece, or it could be north London. Cuts, crash, broken glass. The sounds switching quickly in places like scenes in a film, your mind putting in the visuals. You're in a forest, sitting around a fire, an animal is barking, a fox maybe, birds singing, something is about to happen? You're now in a factory, moody, melancholy. Protestors going home after a demo, blowing their whistles, someone's trying to start their car, there is a musical undercurrent  at times, the monochord, with band saw, dark chilling. Surface scratching, trains slowly rattle down a line. A field, hazy sunny day, bees occasionally fly up close around your head, aeolean harps, electronic. Dreamlike, ideal, unreal, poetic. (Paddy Collins)

OPPROBRIUM
This comes in a lovely fold-out digipack cover. The sounds are processed audio verite. You know the drill: small-town firecrackers, 'Granchester Meadows' fly buzzing lazily around, night-time campfire with various species of birds in attendance. At other times you will hear quasi-Xenakisian transforms of breaking glass and metallic sounds (could they be... [hushed pause] bowed cymbals?). It's all very likeable - perhaps nothing you haven't encountered before, but who cares? If you like this sort of thing, you will find this a very good example of the "genre", worthy, even. (Brian Doherty)

SONOMU
With the popularity of the opening Peep Show on mainly european radio stations Day For Night happened to come together bringing with it 25 years worth of collected sounds dating from 1975 to 2000 by "favourite sound" archivist Peter Cusack and sound sculpturist Max Eastley.
The title, Day For Night, is taken from a filming technique whereby, as Eastley explains, "You put a filter over the camera during daytime and it looks like night". This process also conjures up other notions; the way in which one can enjoy the experience for example, "I think some of the tracks are very tangible and some are very much interiors to do with the mind, you know, sort of spaces with which you can use your imagination."
The preluding Peep Show, as the title suggests, provides a fleeting glimpse into a collection of sounds that exist in separate sonic worlds. Opening with a harmless bonfire night, the mechanism of an old brass clock (without the chime) winds itself up, opening our anticipations to a collection of other fascinating sounds as varied and as rich as you can hope for: broken glass being brushed along inside a 5,000 square foot area with a clean electic guitar waterfalling down through the whole space; stretched elastics ripping through fresh forest air. The track acts as an excellent prelude to pure, raw and hardcore sounds. Sounds that would take 25 years to compile. Sounds that people might not hear in a lifetime.
And within the remaining tracks we are not let down neither in terms of density of structure nor richness and variation of sounds: rotting carcasses with deers barking a Lord of the Flies soundtrack; Japzenlike made instruments warming wind into spiritual bliss; the ferocious sub-bass inside a nest of wasps. This is nature cranked up to 11.
Purposefully underexplained in the sleevenotes each new listen awares the listener to new things taking place making this disc a real stodger. Played in your home it seems to bring the outside in. As Eastley states, "Some of the tracks are landscapes and obviously some are interiors".  (Cormac)

THE SOUND PROJECTOR 9
Not exclusively formed of environmental and wildlife recordings - there's a lot of stringed instrument playing - but Day For Night does make highly effective use of many such recordings in a brilliant tape-collage suite. The sleeve is covered with landscapes, both photographs and watercolours, and along with the silhouette of a cricket and the stained glass river-of-music on the front cover, goes together to evoke a fascinating journey through the wondrous English landscape. The first track 'Peep Show' mixes a firework display, a marching band, insects buzzing and snatches and samples of music and sound. 'Zero Day to Zero night' has a bonfire, birdsong and a wild dog (?) making an uncanny barking noise; this piece is more in Chris Watson territory, only somehow not as mystical. Peter Cusack is a veteran improviser on stringed instruments, including the guitar and bouzouki, both of which he plays here. He has recently been involved in some large-scale sound-gathering / walking projects in and around London, and has exhibited the results. Max Eastley has exhibited sculptures of his kinetic, sound-making metal objects. His interest in this area is reflected in some of the choices of materialist objects used as sound sources (eg aeolian harps, broken glass, humming tops), an interest audible on the title track, and on 'Cast', a documentary tape from the factory floor with added layers of droning music. Most sublimely, on the short track 'Arc Light', which presumably features the electroacoustic monochord - without doubt a device of Eastley manufacture. The tracks 'Shade 1' and 'Shade 2' near the end are the most haunting; I'd like to think they're nocturnal recordings, but I'm probably mistaken. They both suggest stations on a surreal train-journey worthy of De Chirico, the second one featuring the return of fire - an element that seems to be one key theme to this record. The art lies in the selection and the editing, as much as in the playing and the recordings; if I was given the same raw material, chances are I would simply emerge with a hideous mess of noise and abysmal tape-edits. Here, these two gifted UK sound-artists triumph with a totally coherent series of statements, all their thoughts lined up in a row. They have also created some intensely beautiful things to listen to. (Ed pinsent)

VITAL
Max Eastley is one of those of names that everybody knows, but whose recorded output is not exceptionally high, at least not my knowledge. He's mainly known for his visual installations in which image and sound are incorporated. I have never seen any, so I can't comment. Peter Cusack worked with a lot of London's finest such as Clive Bell, David Toop, Beresford and helped setting up the LMC. According to the sleeve this CD was recorded in the course of no less than 25 years and it sources include: aeolean harp, ghetto blasters, broken glass, fire, guitars, wildlife recordings and more of this. Eastley's installations seem to be the backbone of the nine pieces, but a piece like 'Peep Show' seems to me be entirely made of environmental sounds. The title piece on the other hand seems to be just sounds from an installation. Of course I might be mistaken. I don't think it's really important. The music is of delicate beauty, small and vulnerable. You are time warped through time and space - from the urban jungle to forest and back in no time. There is one thing however I don't understand: why it took so long to make this CD. It's hard to see for me why it took them 25 years. It's a very very good CD, but 25 years...? I hope the next one will arrive sooner. (FdW)

The WIRE (March 2001)
Peter Cusack and Max Eastley's work together over the last 25 years has largely been invisible. Indeed, this is the first recorded manifestation of their collaboration. Here, the wild card improvisor Cusack contributes environmental recording skills, leaving his MIDI-bouzouki and acoustic guitar behind, while visual artist and musician Eastley brings his invented instruments (many designed to be played either by the natural environment - streams, the wind - or tiny electric motors) and occasionally his arc (a bowed one string instrument processed with live electronics). The beautifully designed sleeve (adorned with Eastley's artwork and a photgraph of him and Cusack disappearing into a thicket of bracken and heather) arms us only with the slight epigraph: 'Recorded at various locations between 1975-2000'. This leaves us to wonder about the motivation behind these recordings: Are they the traces of acts of poetic terrorism in the wilderness? No information is given about their sound sources. They're obvious enough on 'Peep Show', a kind of audio film which alternates sound events of a macro scale (firework displays, brass bands) with those of a micro scale (bees, small instrument improvisations, footsteps in shingle, spinning tops), marking their juncture with the audio equivalent of short, sharp slaps. On 'Shade', the sound of a train fades in and out of the driving rain as if mirroring the drift of consciousness between inward and outward attention. 'Zero Day To Zero Night' features crackling wood fire alongside the night calls of birds and animals - was this remarkably full soundfield a multitracked construction or a naturally occuring event? Elsewhere recognisable sounds rub alongside those of unknown origin. 'Cast' could be opencast mining noises merging with feedback, while the title track might derive from objects rattling around the inside of metallic bowls. If the act of naming is a kind of closure giving an excuse to stop listening, then these powerful yet evanescent recordings let sound, in all its natural wonder, delicacy and complexity, speak for itself. (Phil England)

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