Nervous / Splintered / Circular / Breath  -- Full Album Here

Nervous / Splintered / Circular / Breath

-Compositions For Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network-

By Ryan Wade Ruehlen

2020

Produced By Desert Spell Recordings / Tucson AZ
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This album is work that takes from live stream performances of Ruehlen for the *DSQN* during COVID-19 pandemic "first wave" quarantine inside the United States.

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1. Composition For DSQN / 5-13-20 Live Performance On:

Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network
VIDEO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbFqzonD1No

This piece utilizes prepared alto saxophone with extended and broken down circular breathing techniques. Along with electronic extensions, such as mixer, reel to reel and feedback based synthesis, Ruehlen performs from an isolated spot in the Sonoran Desert in early May, 2020. This piece was filmed on Hi 8 video tape and transferred digitally by the artist to sync the digital audio recording with the camcorder footage.

2. Composition For DSQN / 5-12-20 Live Performance On:

Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network
VIDEO: youtu.be/hafM5A8SGvU

This piece utilizes an open steel snare drum, loose bells, loudspeaker, mixer, reel to reel and the concrete floor of a partially demolished room. Ruehlen performs from an isolated spot in the Sonoran Desert in mid May, 2020. This piece was filmed on Hi 8 video tape and transferred digitally by the artist to sync the digital audio recording with the camcorder footage.


3. Composition For DSQN / 4-8-20 Live Performance On:

Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network
VIDEO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=py0u8UugxUg

This piece utilizes prepared soprano saxophone/snare/piano with extended and broken down circular breathing techniques. Along with minimal electronic extensions (such as mixer and feedback based inputs), Ruehlen places a grouping of microphones deep into the interior of the piano to build various acoustic resonances that reflect the timbre of the altered piano hammers/strings as well as the overtones of the saxophone bouncing around the surface and inner chamber of piano and exterior microphones.


4. Composition For DSQN / 3-18-20 Live Performance On:

Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network
VIDEO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeP-nwBurGQ&t=281s

Ryan Wade Ruehlen performs his first live set from Tucson, Arizona for the Decentralized Sonic Quarantine Network. Performance takes place on Wednesday, March 18 at 9PM Eastern Standard Time (USA).

This piece utilizes prepared soprano saxophone/piano/reel to reel with the aid of various electronic synthesis.

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"These works meld together restless, long form soundscapes with the traditions of spiritual music, the avant garde, and contemporary electronic composition. His interest in multimodal and feral sound encircle noise-centric and broadly defined woodwind synthesis, utilizing exploded super-impositions and timbres as a method for improvising perpetual difference in live settings.

For Ruehlen, the saxophone is an instrument that extends and highlights the breath of the body--not just a series of notes but an inhalation/invocation and exhalation/exaltation. Through coupling the acoustical body with an extended layout of synthesis, mixers, microphones and liminal effects, "Sheets of high-pitched ambience lay the groundwork for the saxophone meditations, (while) program glitches and shorting nodes accompany slow marches toward completion. Tones hang in the atmosphere in humid ambience, the sax slowly stirring them until they curdle," writes Ryan Masteller of Tabs Out / Critical Masses.

The performance of patching the horn and other acoustical objects into a complicated system of filters in various settings allows Ruehlen the chance to inhabit multiple voicings and rhythms at once. Feeding off of his own playing, the soloist feels more like they are in conversation with several versions of their location; an ethereal duet with the immediate and imagined environment. Much of Ruehlen's inspiration that develops during the composition process (both live and built upon) draws heavily on ecosophy, geography, and how landscape transforms, deteriorates, becomes unrecognizable, and reawakens amidst human consequence.

For years, the desert Southwest and West of the US has been a situated environment for considering how music, noise, and place envelop one another. Ruehlen, "Signifies the desert as much more than a remote, desolate, forbidding, eerily silent place without much of a human footprint. Once someone moves off the grid and finds the sweetest isolated spot, there is opportunity to capture noise that compels the listener to consider it in a whole new realm. The deepest listening experience occurs with the focus on the music of a place being transmitted from a remote location where the sensations of time, sound and space synthesize into a different realm," Les Roka writes in The Utah Review."