Important Records, on the occasion of Pauline Oliveros' 80th birthday, presents two new releases from the Deep Listening Band. These recordings, sadly, mark
some of the final trio recordings with David Gamper who passed away in 2011. This CD is being released simultaneously with DLB's Octagonal Polyphony LP and Pauline
Oliveros' comprehensive 12 CD collection of electronic work.
Stuart Dempster, Recording/Mixing statement
Deep Listening Band January 2011 residency and concert at Town Hall Seattle produced enough material for both a CD and an LP on Important Records, and a double LP on Taiga Records. The subsequent summer consisted of well over 100 hours of listening on my part along side DXArts technical wizard Michael McCrea who himself has between 150 and 200 hours of listening and editing in this multifaceted project.
In the process of both performing and recording as a member of DLB I found myself exclaiming, "I am hearing spherically." DXArts' elegant Meyer Sound Surround System was phenomenal with its eight loudspeakers and four subwoofers surrounding the Band and audience. I was hearing the sound ambisonically as it came from above and below me as well as all around me.
Capturing the ambisonic effect on stereo would seem to be impossible, but there are hints of this in these recordings depending on both how the recordings are edited and the playback system. During my listening I was astonished at McCrea's ability to not only "incorporate" a small measure of ambisonic sound in stereo but also how he would "deconstruct" the recordings in order to improve instrument balances and sonic spectrum uniformity.
Michael McCrea, Recording/Mixing statement
From the moment that the Deep Listening Band first sent sound ricocheting through Town Hall, through every corner and aisle and up into the dome, it was clear that capturing the auditory scene around me would be a compelling endeavor. With no small amount of trial and imagination, we set the microphones throughout the hall. We needed to listen from every direction, as the audience would, while the acoustic space constantly shifted – expanding, multiplying and resounding according to the whim and will of the DLB and their unseen collaborator, the EIS. Indeed everyone in the hall on the evening of the public concert heard their own unique performance resulting from their place and presence in the sound-field that night.
The task of re-presenting this continuum of sonic volumes and fleeting spatial environments was an elusive one! Hours of listening with Stuart would leave me absorbed by the sheer richness and breadth of sounds. Solo'ing particular microphones, or even specific frequency bands would reveal countless hidden performances and new directions. After local adjustments to one sound source or another we would re-emerge to the main mix and find ourselves in yet another world of sound, captivating and foreign despite numerous previous listenings. I would ask Stuart to remind me, "How many performers were playing that night? Oh yes, just three..."
David Gamper joined Deep Listening Band (DLB) in 1991 and helped develop the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) and, with Pauline Oliveros, wrote two papers together about EIS. David's musicality and technical skill were a core part of DLB's music making and DLB recorded several DLB CDs in David's Kingston studio including Deep Time and Sanctuary. Subsequently DLB toured nationally in many parts of the world including Canary Islands, Europe, and Japan.
Our last time with David as a member of DLB was a marvelous weeklong residency at Town Hall Seattle. We were treated to a week of expert technical support from University of Washington's DXArts, and also major assistance from UW's School of Music. For the first time in our long history together David was freed up from serving as technical supporter of DLB as well as performer. All we had to do was come in each day and play and thus the recordings we made seemed to reach a pinnacle of our performances. We three strongly felt that together. It is all the more tragic that we will never perform in this way again, and we miss him terribly.
I met David Gamper in 1967, almost 45 years ago when he was a Bowdoin College senior. He supported me by loaning his dorm-room stereo for my concert of commissions I was touring around. In 1989 he joined DLB as an able, willing assistant, then as a consummate band mate, colleague, and electronics guru. Soon his status as a marvelous family man, friend, gentleman, musician (conch, natural flutes, piano, toys, voice), and troubleshooter came to the fore. Furthermore, he was "there" for people, support that is well respected. For over 20 years his spectacular piano playing propelled DLB concerts forward, but it was only recently during the editing of these January 2011 recordings that I discovered the depth of his playing, playing that I thought I knew! Over time I became enthralled with his magnificent flutes and how he performed on them and integrated everything into EIS. DLB will carry on, but it will never be the same. He is deeply and sorely missed.
Seattle, 27 November 2011
Stuart Dempster, trombonist, composer, didjeriduist, et al. and professor emeritus at University of Washington, has recorded for numerous labels including Columbia (Sony), Nonesuch, and New Albion. The latter includes In the Great Abbey of Clement VI at Avignon—a "cult classic"—and Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel consisting of music sources for a 1995 Merce Cunningham Dance Company commission. Grants include Fulbright Scholar to Australia and Guggenheim Fellowship. Dempster's The Modern Trombone was published in 1979. He is a founding member of Deep Listening Band, which celebrated twenty years with a double LP on TAIGA Then & Now Now & Then (2008). Dempster soothes aches, pains, and psychic sores with his healing, yet playful, Sound Massage Parlor. Golden Ear Awards: Deep Listening 2006 and Earshot Jazz 2009; International Trombone Association Lifetime Achievement Award 2010. http://faculty.washington.edu/dempster/
Pauline Oliveros (1932), composer and improviser, performs extensively in a variety of venues world-wide. Her music is also performed by notable musicians and ensembles. Oliveros plays a Titano acoustic accordion and the Roland V Accordion. In 2009 Oliveros was honored with the William Schuman Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Columbia University along with a three-hour retrospective of her music at Miller Theater in New York in 2010. Foundation for Contemporary Arts presented Oliveros with the 2012 John Cage Award at Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation in New York March 19. Oliveros is founder of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd., based in Kingston NY. Through her Deep Listening practice she has facilitated numerous workshops and intensives throughout the world leading to collaborations across many disciplines. For more information see http://paulineoliveros.us and http://deeplistening.org
David Gamper (1945–2011) moved freely in composition, improvisation and electronic instrument design and construction. He named his technology "The Sound Shifter" and could capture live instruments (piano, winds, and others) and electronically shift them into other musical realms. He designed variations of EIS for teaching, demonstration, recording, and use by guest musicians in performances with Deep Listening Band where he had been a member since 1990. Gamper was also half of See Hear Now, (with photographer Gisela
Gamper) a visible music sound and video projection duo, and hilde+ed productions, a multi-media content development partnership. JdK Productions released two recordings: a duo concert with Pauline Oliveros at The IJsbreker in Amsterdam, and a compilation of Whitney's Bistreams exhibition's sound artists, which includes his piece Conch. Recently released is a DVD with See Hear Now.