NOM14 CD, $14.00
in seattle in 1996, i began giving erformances using mainly natural objects as
my "instruments". after many such performances, two friends suggested
(independently of one another), that i might try doing it with a group. as this
idea had occurred to me a few years previously, i thought perhaps they were right.
in june of 1999, the animist orchestra began its history as a working group. we
got together nearly every week for the next three months, to play and discuss
our playing. our first performance was given in eric lanzillotta's living room
for a small group of friends, and was well received.
from the beginning, the focus of the orchestra has been on listening, and improvising
in the moment. a group of people truly playing together and focusing intently
on the present can be a powerful thing. the use of natural objects (stones,
shells, pine cones etc.) as opposed to more conventional musical instruments,
can help the players to not fall back on learned habits of musical play. there
is no canon or book of rules to refer to when using everyday things as sound
makers, and this may facilitate the removal of actions arising from taste and
during the initial period of discovery for the orchestra, dave knott made the
observation that, when when playing and focusing on the sound being made, it
was "like the spirit of the thing is telling you ho it wants to move".
mike shannon once told me that when i play i
seem to be animating the objects with my hands. i think these comments explain
the name of the orchestra better than i could.
i wanted to make a CD of the orchestra to document our work together, and to
show my admiration and gratitude for the friends who have agreed to join. i
don't think they knew what they were getting into. - jeph jerman
recorded in Jack Straw Studios by Doug Haire
animist orchestra have a track on the second "lowercasesound compilation"
on bremsstrahlung recordings
two of the members of this group also record under the name Climax Golden Twins
full color cover with 8 page booklet
a review by Jim Haynes from issue 225 of The Wire:
"Following his Second Attention album, also released by Seattle's Anomalous
label, Jeph Jerman has expanded his very quiet improvised activities within
the context of a larger ensemble. Comprised of like-minded sound artists from
the Seattle area, they have ranged in size up to nine members, but they stopped
at six for this recording.
Dubbed The Animist Orchestra, they steadfastly concentrate on the minuscule
textures from nature objects like small rocks, seashells, driftwood and feathers
being rubbed, tapped and stroked. The use of such elements must have required
an incredible amount of concentration on the moment while paying the utmost
attention to detail. However, as Jerman accurately states, 'this may facilitate
the removal of actions arising from taste and memory'. Unlike many contemporaries
within the lowercase community, whose pristine digital sounds demand near anechoic
listening conditions, the clarity of the bristlings and tinklings produced by
The Animist Orchestra work amazingly well as the foreground to the din wafting
through my urban apartment window."