Skip to product information
1 of 2

Jack Langdon & Anthony Vine - The Generous Law - Tape - PREORDER

Jack Langdon & Anthony Vine - The Generous Law - Tape - PREORDER

Regular price $10.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $10.00 USD
Sale Sold out

Release date May 31, 2024

“The Generous Law,” a new album by organist Jack Langdon and guitarist Anthony Vine, presents a glimpse of the inner voices and acoustical splendor of the Fisk Organ at Wellesley College, enlivened by the intuition of two improvisers. At the keyboards, Langdon crafts geometries of patiently braided lines and incisions, configuring the hues and shades of organ stops with an ear to the materiality of sound. Vine seizes on this, tuning his guitar to the organ and bringing his strings into alignment (continued below....)

with the harmonics of the reeds and pipes, becoming an extension of the instrument, an organ stop of sorts. The guitar flows in and around Langdon’s angular counterpoint, like the shimmer between the divots of a jigsaw puzzle, illuminating its matrix. 

The tonal design of the Fisk Organ brings these interactions into vibrant relief through its quarter-comma meantone tuning and 17th c. Danish and German stops—giving organists access to sonorities only found in historic North European churches. Resurrecting a distant sonorous past echoes the design of Wellesley College's Houghton Chapel itself, a braiding of ecclesiastical motifs with no historical center, designed to impart a sense of old-world sacredness. Fisk’s ahistorical mélange yielded something extraordinary, not a cheap replica or period imitation, but an instrument of sui generis chroma and expressivity.

The musical idioverse of Langdon and Vine is defined less by interior imaginations, established style, and compositional formality, and more by the inexplicable pull of the organ, its guiding and grounding voice. In a letter to Ross Feld, Philip Guston speaks to this abstract, yet ubiquitous dynamic in artmaking with his notion of the “generous law,” the namesake for this collection:

“I think you are writing about the generous law that exists in art. A law which can never be given but only found anew each time in the making of the work. It is a law, too, which allows your forms (characters) to spin away, take off, as if they have their own lives to lead—unexpected too—as if you cannot completely control it all. I wonder why we seek this generous law as I call it. For we do not not know how it governs—and under what special conditions it comes into being. I don’t think we are permitted to know other than temporarily. A disappearance act. The only problem is how to keep away from the minds that close in and itch (God knows why) to define it.” -Philip Guston to Ross Feld

This music is not driven by concept, process, or system, but by the wanderlust of sound, time, and listening.

View full details