* Edition of 90 copies * With a practice dating back to the 1960s, over the last decade the poet, musician, and performer, Louise Landes Levi has slowly come into focus as one of the most fascinating and engaging figures in the contemporary landscape of experimental music. A founding member of Daniel Moore’s Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, where she performed alongside Terry Riley and Angus MacLise, a student of a number of the most important figures in 20th century Indian Classical music - Sri Annapurna Devi, Ustad Abdul Majid Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Pandit Ram Narayan - as well as a close associate of La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Ira Cohen, and Catherine Christer Hennix, she stands among the great links between high psychedelia, the countercultural explorations of Artaud and Michaux, Eastern mysticism, Hindustani music, and the sonic avant-garde.
Opacity & Oblivion intertwines many of Louise Landes Levi’s discrete worlds, encountering her reading her poetry, singing, and improvising, all the while accompanied by Ash Martin and Dok Gregory on various acoustic and percussion instruments, as well as Kelvin Daly on a number of his own custom made instruments - the Filipoberiophone (long scale lyra viol), the Greater Drone Crested Night Fiddle (a cross between a kemanche or tambura and a banjo) and the Bambujo (fretless instruments similar to a banjo). Like nearly all of the work that has emerged in recent years, the album is a striking expanse of abstraction, where fleeting images of the known world dance with the ethereal, mysterious, and ritualistic, Levi’s poetic utterances and Hindustani tinged vocals, met and elevated by the musical responses of Martin, Gregory, and Daly, producing a droning, delicately percussive tapestry that touches on the territories explored by Third Ear Band, Aktuala, and Werner Durand’s collaborations with Amelia Cuni, while being entirely its own thing; an avant-gardism grown from mystical roots.
Brilliant, immersive, and challenging at every turn, Louise Landes Levi’ Opacity & Oblivion is yet another high-water mark from one of the most fascinating artists working in experimental music today and a beacon of creativity and hope for the beginning of the new year. Issued by Sloow Tapes in a very limited cassette edition of 90 copies, this is going to be gone in a blink, so don’t sleep. It’s as essential as they come.