**Available in an extremely limited pressing of 200 copies, it includes 4 inserts (offset printed)and liner notes with additional artwork by Harry Smith. Grab this one fast. We can’t recommend it enough, and it’s sure to be gone in a flash** The 1960’s presented remarkable possibilities for freedom, particularly within the creative fields. Countless individuals crossed the threshold, making the radical arts their home. One such figure was the musician, poet, and performer Louise Landes Levi. During the middle of the decade she was a founding member of Berkeley’s legendary Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, know for their multidisciplinary ritual dramas, incorporating the ideas of Antonin Artaud and elements of folk theater, Balinese Gamelan, Tibetan monastery rituals, and Indian Kathakali dance, and involving such notable figures as Angus MacLise, Daniel Conrad, Terry Riley, and Ramon Sender. Following studies with sarangi-master Pandit Ram Narayan at Mills College, Levi embarked a solo adventure into the world, travelling via Istanbul, through Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, on her way to India to study the country’s traditions of Classical music and poetry, becoming the student of Ustad Abdul Majid Khan, and later of Ali Akbar Khan, Annapurna Devi, and La Monte Young.
Much of Louise Landes Levi’s career has been spent as a chronicler, poet, and translator, issuing a number of highly regarded works of her own, as well as esteemed translations of those by Rene Daumal, Henri Michaux, and from the Indian traditions. Despite all these accomplishments, her musical practicehas stayed constant.
In 2014, Bart De Paepe, who has been a key figure in re-discovering and publishing Louise Landes Levi’s work, issued under his label Cities of Delirium, 'an assembly of Louise's instrumental & spoken word works - then in 2014, under the new label, Sloow Wax, From the Ming Oracle, a joint effort of Catherine Christer Hennix who wrote the composition/drone played by Hilary Jeffery on Trombone & LLL on sarangi & voice, with booklet of same title as insert. We’re overjoyed to see her return in 2018 with a beautiful 10" via the Belgian imprint Drupka Records - run by visual designer Jeroen Wille - Colloidal Love. It’s an absolute gem which has blown us away since it first reached our ears.
Colloidal Love is a stunning effort, largely build around the instrument which Levi has dedicated decades to, the sarangi, augmented by voice and flute. The recordings are the result of Levi’s residency at The Villa in Antwerp back in 2012, where she was joined by Paul LaBrecque – who plays banjo, and also recorded and mixed this album – and Bart De Paepe with his hypnotic, ritualistic percussion (Bells, Singing Bowls). Flirting with the outer-reaches charted by Buddhist music, Colloidal Love is a trance-inducing, meditative, cosmic world of sonic interplay. It is a deeply sorrowful body of work - an imagistic musical journey through the idea that the American folk tradition, Southern Appalachian, ballad, dance and blues – as documented on Harry Smith’s ‘Anthology of American Folk Music’ – would play a vital role in these recordings. Louise intuited a correspondence between the string tradition, especially fiddle and banjo in ‘old weird America’ and the early recordings of sarangi, especially those of Ustad Bundu Khan and his pupil (and her teacher) Ustad Abdul Majid Khan, with relation both to ‘tension’ and ‘intonation.’ An ambient, meditative wonder, laden with abstraction and exquisite beauty, Colloidal Love can’t help but beg the question of why we haven’t heard more from Levi over the years, and the hope that this is but the first of many in those to come.
Available in an extremely limited pressing of 200 copies, it includes 4 inserts (offset printed)and liner notes with additional artwork by Harry Smith. Grab this one fast. We can’t recommend it enough, and it’s sure to be gone in a flash.
In loving memory of Jack Rose & Ira Cohen.
Special thanks to Raymond Foye and Frances-Marie Uitti.