Library #14

Causings Tape b/w Rotational Zine

New release for the library is a pairing of the first Rotational zine with a tape by New York ensemble Causings. The album is a live recording from WKCR, performed in-studio and live Sep 6, 2015 on Gabe Ibagon’s Live Constructions radio program. The zine has a lengthy and deep interview with one of the founding members, Derek Baron. Derek and I have worked together from the beginning of the library’s start, as his second solo album, Palmillas, was released as #2.

I have excerpted some of the conversation we had below, and in the zine itself this is just a very, very small part of the full coverage he discusses about his own solo work and the histories behind his place in musical time…

rotational: so i’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with you and yr group causings, and have seen that collective in action twice now, and it’s seriously some of my favourite ensemble/group music being played right now, i call it morton-feldman-rock-music, but it’s neither of those things, it’s the quietest rock band, but really it’s free improvisation or flat out meditation, when did you know that what this group was doing was so special? and how did silence and the use of space and patience and ultimate quietude become the main vision or theme? did that come out naturally through playing? or was this something you’ve discussed or thought about in a larger way?

that’s a great description, and a very good read on our (or at least my) musical background. the group in this incarnation only started about a year and a half ago, when i was preparing for my own thesis show as i was graduating from music school. that line-up was seven of us, including my mom, brooke, close-mic’d, making glass mosaics on stage. maybe i’m blocking certain things out, but as far as i know, we’ve never really talked about what the vibe is. we all just kind of get it. for that show, i sort of let myself be a leader because i had a specific sound i was after. so we would “practice” and i would give comments, we would all chat about it, and eat dinner, and then play again, and we’d do this once a week for a couple months until the show. then the show happened (we later released it as “Cut Through”), and since then, we just all understand the vibe, but are encouraged to try to expand the notion of what that vibe can be. interesting that you mention feldman, who claimed to be all about “the sounds of the sounds themselves.” whatever that means. but like, i kinda get that sense when playing with causings too — the music is really playing itself after a while. it’s very rare that i have any recollection of what happens during a causings performance… so listening back to recordings is always a surprise.

rotational: i’m blown away that when or if the members subtly change from performance/recording to the next one, or new people come aboard, it’s the same ego-less result, it’s the same prayer-like give-yrself-over to the quiet, how do you know when someone is a good fit? can you know this before you actually make music together? is it intuitive? you can tell by personality or past musical histories?

i think with something so unspoken and intimate, it’s kind of intuitive to tell who can contribute what to the group vibe. but (1), there are always surprises, and (2) there have definitely been shows that have been weird and hard to navigate. it doesn’t always flow very smoothly, but it’s always interesting. but there’s a real difference between trying to find people that will just submit and echo what’s already there, on the one hand, and finding people that are such brave and sensitive people that they can understand what’s there and feel able to push it forward in all of these brilliant ways. like when sandy (gordon) hands out sample squares of mirrors to everyone during a show. it’s not like the causings committee is in the board room thinking, “we need someone who will hand out mirrors at a show”. you can’t even anticipate that kind of brilliance. it’s totally spontaneous.”

causzine

The tapes are one-sided tabs-in C-75s dubbed at home in an edition of 40 copies with unique typewritten envelopes and credits with found photographs of Canadian forests included as inserts. Causings love the idea that you can fill the second side with music and/or life recording to complete the tape, so feel free to write or share Side B with us if you add to the cassette.

The zines were printed at home in an edition of 30 copies on recycled banana paper, with card stock covers that include an original collage artwork by Cheryl Fraser. Inside the pages, we have two massively in-depth interviews with Derek Baron and Jordan Spencer from the Cabin Floor Esoterica label. Phong Tran writes an incredible introduction to the Dagar family tree and writes about some of his favourite recordings and some of the background to those particular moments in time. It is fantastic. I blab a little about guitars and found sound and try to wrap my head around writing about music.

These are sold as one package, so head over to the Power Moves Library shop before they’re gone.

A digital version of Rotational #1 will arrive later. Digital files for the album are freely available and can be found here and on Free Music Archive.

Take care and more to come,
Kev

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