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Nate Wooley - The Almond
21061-2,  CD, $14.00
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Nate Wooley
The Almond

Nate Wooley, trumpet and voice

I was really only familiar with Nate's jazz/improv work, so when he asked if he could submit something, I must admit I was curious. Well, hot damn, this a great piece of experimental/drone music. You have got to get your hands (and ears) on this one.

The Almond started as a short study for trumpet for the British website Compost and Height. Wooley, a rising young composer known mostly for his radical recontextualization of the trumpet in improvisation and jazz music, was, at the time, feeling constricted by the sound based language he had been using up to that point in both his live solo playing and his earlier solo records. His goal was to make a true solo trumpet record, using only the trumpet as it was intended to be played with no extended techniques. This challenge spawned a 20-minute piece that, at the surface level, was a quick, arcing narrative made up glacially shifting textures of pure pitched sound.

The process behind the piece was much more complex, however, as each pitch heard in the piece was made up of anywhere from three to ten different recordings of the trumpet recorded in different mutes, tunings, with different microphones, and in different rooms. The result was each note of the piece, now expanded to 70 minutes in its final version, takes on a synthesized aspect, sometimes sounding like a voice, others like an organ, but always maintaining some timbral tie to the trumpet. With the exception of one very low pedal tone, all the pitches are played on a regular embouchure, again a far cry from Wooley's usual work.

The piece grew to 70 minutes as a formal construction for the presentation of materials became clear to the composer. What is on the recording, The Almond, is a much different piece of work from the early, raw 20-minute study that spawned it. Now the materials appear and return in the same relaxed pace, but they seem to grow out of each other, spatialized in a way that suggests a more organic movement than the tedious tape preparation outlined above would suggest. Groups of pitches appear and recede, creating phantom overtones of ghostly singing as they interact with other harmonies already present in the work. In the original sketch, posted on Compost and Height, Wooley suggests that The Almond should be listened to at a high volume or better yet in headphones. The extended version of the work, here presented for the first time, is better experienced loud on speakers with time to listen in a relaxed way to the complete 70 minutes, allowing the listener to follow the entrance and exit of each new harmony.

Review Reviews

Cat.# :: Composer(s)
21078
::
Triple Point
21077
::
Robin Hayward
21076
::
Ron Nagorcka
21075
::
Secluded Bronte
21074
::
David Rosenboom
21073
::
Peter Batchelor
21072::Alvin Lucier
21071::Lou Cohen
21070::Brian Chase
21069::Jerry Hunt
21068::If, Bwana
21067 :: Jorge Antunes
21066::Enzo Minarelli
21065::Tensions At The Vanguard
21064 :: Frances White
21063 :: Noah Creshevsky
21062 :: If,Bwana/Trio Scordatura
21061 :: Nate Wooley
21060 :: Leo Kupper
21059 :: Pauline Oliveros/ Francisco López/Doug Van Nort/Jonas Braasch
21058 :: Philip Corner
21057 :: Alvin Lucier
21056 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21055 :: Birds + Machines
21054 :: Kiva
21053 :: César Bolaños
21052 :: Lionel Marchetti & Olivier Capparos
21051 :: Tom Hamilton/
Bruce Eisenbeil
21050 :: Source Records 1-6
21049 :: Noah Creshevsky/ If,Bwana
21048 :: Simon Wickham-Smith
21047 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21046 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21045 :: Annea Lockwood
21044 :: Felix Werder
21043 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21042 :: Nick Didkovsky
21041 :: Montreal Sound Matter
21040 :: Anla Courtis
21039 :: Crawling with Tarts
21038 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21037 :: Hans Otte
21036 :: DIY Canons
21035 :: Band/Myers
21034 :: Chris Brown
21033 :: Tom Johnson
21032 :: Roger Reynolds
21031 :: Trios - Collaboration
21030 :: Beth Anderson
21029 :: Hamilton, Silverton, Margolis
21028 :: Warren Burt
21027 :: Jorge Antunes
21026 :: David Dunn
21025 :: Roger Reynolds
21024 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21023 :: Pauline Oliveros
21022 :: David Rosenboom
21021 :: Ross Bolleter
21020 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21019 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21018 :: Leo Kupper
21017 :: Robert Rutman
21016 :: Matthew Ostrowski
21015 :: various
21014 :: Rune Linblad
21013 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21012 :: Pauline Oliveros
21011 :: Rune Linblad
21010 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21009 :: Leo Kupper
21008 :: various
21007 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21006 :: Trigger
21005 :: Big City Orchestra
IB :: If,Bwana
FPM :: Frog Peak Music
CUE :: C.U.E. Records
SOP :: Sound of Pig Cassettes
ANTS :: Ants (Italian Label)
ANIMUL :: Ned Rothenberg
HOMLER :: Anna Homler
OAKSMUS :: oaksmus (German Label)
GD STEREO :: Geoff Dugan
ANOMALOUS :: Anomalous Records
NONSEQUITUR :: Nonsequitur
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