* disc one - catastrophe point #7 - 50.50
* sound materials recorded at arsenic: lausanne, switzerland
* 2004.10.21 - 11.28
* disc two - catastrophe point #8 - 58.00
* sound materials recorded at ex power station : edinburgh, scotland
* 2006.10.23 - 10.28
* (catastrophe point #7 excerpt)
* standard edition includes:
* 3-panel letterpress sleeve by ben owen, assembled by invisible birds
* liner notes by giancarlo toniutti, letterpress printing by ben owen
* all compositions by lethe
* photos by kuwayama kiyoharu
* sleeve design by invisible birds & kuwayama kiyoharu
* letterpress printing by ben owen at middle press, brooklyn
* liner notes written and designed by giancarlo toniutti
* invisible birds continues lethe's catastrophe point series with a 2cd set which includes 2 recordings in his
* series, one recorded in switzerland in 2004 and the other recorded in scotland in 2006.
* lethe's series take place in abandoned industrial sites, using drones, chains, an occasional instrument, objects
* found in the space, but most importantly the resonant qualities of the space.
* the wire magazine explained this series "the music sounds like it's taking place in a vast, pitch black aircraft
* hangar of the soul".
* yannick dauby said ""these are kiyoharu's obsessive abstractions dealing with physical substance and volume".
* the packaging for this release was done in collaboration with kiyoharu kuwayama and letterpress printer ben owen
* with the hope of achieving something that reflects the beauty and intensity of the work.
* [l. le-the-, a use of gr. ???? forgetfulness, f. ???,
* ablaut-var. of ???, root of ??????????? to forget.
* in gr. ???? is not the name of the river, though it occurs
* as a personification; the river is ????? 'water of lethe'].
* 1. gr. myth. a river in hades, the water of which produced,
* in those who drank it, forgetfullnes of the past. hence,
* the 'waters of oblivion', or forgetfullness of the past.
* ¶2. [?influenced by l. le-t(h)um.] death. rare.
* 3. atrib. and comb., as lethe-flood, lake, wharf; lethe-wards adv.
* (oed definition)
* aquarius records
* for many years now, kuwayama had been recording the resonance of various abandoned spaces, first around his native japan and more recently from sites far far away. he seeks out an old warehouse, airplane hanger, the hull of a ship, or any massive slab of architecture shaped by concrete and/or steel which happens to have an open door (or broken window) and a choice amount of natural reverb and resonance. there he collects whatever he can find within the space to use as source material to resonate those industrial spaces: slabs of metal, empty water tanks, sodden wood, broken glass, small bones, and the flotsam that had collected on the floors after years of neglect. out of these found objects, kuwayama has an uncanny knack for producing natural, acoustic drones which hold a haunted aesthetic amplified through the cavernous reverb of those crumbled cathedrals to industry. given the seemingly surreptitious nature of kuwayama's wanderings, these recordings are swaddled in the darkness of night with only candles or a bonfire somewhere in the far corner of the building as his illumination. it has to be said that kuwayama does overlay and edit all of his recordings into composition, following liked minded artists such as tarab, eric la casa, or john grzinich.
* catastrophe point 7 begins with this process at a site deliciously referred to as arsenic in lausanne, switzerland. well, it turns out that arsenic is a contemporary theater space in current use, and despite his non-feral residence, kuwayama offers an incredible assortment of acoustic drones, noises, and textures. bellowing tones emanate from a variety of long plumbing pipes, replicating the circular breathing strategies of yoshi wada; and around these leaden flutterings, he scrapes uneasy textures and builds clattering crescendos. the point about arsenic not being a totally disused space comes to the forefront about halfway through catastrophe point 7 as he rolls a piano into the empty theater space and sets forth a melancholy series of clustered piano tones, much like his one time collaborator jonathan coleclough produced on his signature album period.
* catastrophe point 8 was recorded in an abandoned space. this time, it's a former power station in scotland. a mournful acoustic drone, perhaps from a similar set of plumbing pipes heard in the swiss recordings opens this disc, with small crumblings of wood, glass, and concrete positioned close to the microphone. set in spatialized contrast to these closely miced sounds, kuwayama captures various clanks, thumps, and other bumps in the night all decaying in the prolonged reverb of that power station. it's a much more spartan affair than the first disc, but just as effective in its haunted sensibility. highly recommended listening!
* and yes, the packaging. the discs themselves are housed in a beautifully printed letterpress folio, with a lengthy booklet written by fellow industrial shadow-master giancarlo toniutti.
* ~ jim haynes