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Out of stock
Best of 2015

Aine O'Dwyer

Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I and II

Label: MIE Music

Format: LPx2

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

** few copies back in stock ** 2015 repress, don't miss it "Over the course of several months, Áine O'Dwyer was given access to the pipe organ in St Mark's Church, Islington, while the cleaners were at work. Primarily a harpist, this was a rare opportunity to grapple with the 'king of instruments' and apply her sense of melodic, structured improvisation in a new context. Since it's impossible to exert complete control over such a recording environment, she entered into the sessions with a Cagean mindset, embracing extra-musical sounds. This gave the recordings a unique character and concept. With the door left open to serendipity, it can seem that the sonic environment coalesces in sympathetic harmony. Here, the synth-like whoosh of the vacuum cleaner, a child's laughter, various echoed clatters and chatter become part of the music. Improvised music is inevitably influenced by the presence and expectations of an audience... Áine capitulates to the 'request from the ladies' by not staying 'on one note for a long time,' but already did 'bring music' -- that is, the graphic score reproduced in the gatefold. At the end, we can hear that even the recording device itself is subjected to the relentless advance of church cleaning. The album is multifaceted and conceptually satisfying in many ways. It's simultaneously a series of solo improvisations, a site-specific piece of performance art, rich in chance elements, and even qualifies as a field recording, where the transcendent and menial meet. Despite the absence of cheers and applause, it's also a live album. In this new extended incarnation, it becomes almost a kind of minimalist opera, with a subtle plot of polite contention softening amid curiosity about the trumpet that takes us out of this most concrete of recordings with a single psychedelicized blast. Metaphysical themes are hard to avoid using an imposing instrument traditionally intended to inspire them. The titles hint at Áine's meditative concerns while playing. Here is an Irish lapsed Catholic mind (as Cranley told Dedalus) 'supersaturated' with the religion it rejects: the double meaning implicit in 'church cleaning,' the forbidden 'deep sounds,' the pensive, often brooding hue of the music itself, heavy in every sense. Throughout I hear the dark depths of thoughtfulness, warmth, and mischievous wit that is quintessentially Áine. Originally released as a cassette on Fort Evil Fruit [in 2012], this expanded vinyl edition features new artwork and doubles the album's length, making for a truly immersive experience" --Paul Condon. Includes download code; housed in a gatefold sleeve.

"For this release Irish musician Aine O’Dwyer was granted access to play the pipe organ at St Mark’s Church in Islington, North London. For several months she played the organ while the church’s cleaners were on duty, with the occasional deep drone reportedly disturbing the workers as they went about their business. Phil Freeman said: “The presence of listeners is key to this release. It’s more like a field recording than a live album, since those hearing the music as it was played were not an audience in the traditional sense.” TheWire Best Albums of 2015

Cat. number: MIE 029LP
Year: 2015

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