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Sept duos pour guitare acoustique & piano préparé (2 vinyl LP)

Stephen O\'Malley, Anthony Pateras - Sept duos pour guitare acoustique & piano préparé (2 vinyl LP)
The second collaboration between Stephen O'Malley and Anthony Pateras, this time entirely acoustic, based around an acoustic guitar and prepared piano: a music that seems suspended, captivating by its almost organic coherence and modal simplicity, behind which resonances and subtle plays of pitch develop.
Sept duos pour guitare acoustique et piano préparé is the second duo recording from Stephen O'Malley and Anthony Pateras. Their first together, Rêve Noir (2018), took an electro-acoustic scalpel to a 2011 duo concert for electric guitar and piano, using Revox and digital treatments to twist and smear gig documentation into ghostly echoes and fractured drones. Here, in contrast, the music is entirely acoustic and presented as it was performed, without overdubs. Both players' choices of instruments are notable: this is O'Malley's most extensive recording on steel string acoustic guitar (playing an instrument whose previous owners include Marissa Nadler and Glenn Jones) and Pateras return to the prepared piano, which he has rarely employed in recent years, after spending much of the first decade of the 21st century exploring its possibilities.
Recorded during O'Malley's residency at La Becque on Lake Geneva in the summer of 2021, from the first moments of the opening "déjà revé" the music immediately establishes the distinctive landscape of chiming tones and hovering clouds of resonance explored throughout its one-hour running time. Pateras' preparations create tolling bell-like tones alive with complex overtones, alongside which O'Malley's open strings and natural harmonics add a sparkling clarity. While Pateras' music often uses a densely chromatic harmonic language, these duos are remarkable for their modal simplicity. However, the interaction between the pure intervals of O'Malley's just-intoned strings and the unstable harmonies created by the piano preparations suspends the music in an oneiric state of hazy ambiguity. Without obvious reference to tempo or meter, the music floats in what the composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler has called a "bottomless sound space", the temporal placement of events determined by bodily rhythms and the performers' own listening to (and enjoyment of) the sounds being made.
Heard one way, this music can seem striking in its consistency, almost environmental. Attending more carefully, the listener hears the pitch sets and tunings changing throughout the album's length. Each piece has its own character, subtly distinguished from the others through mood, pacing, and timbre. On "déjà voulu", for instance, O'Malley makes prominent use of slide, the woozy, bending pitches weaving through a series of lush arpeggiated chords from the piano. "Déjà senti", on the other hand, is particularly spare, the gestures spaced out to the extent that they often float in isolation against the background of fading resonance. Much of "déjà su" is built around a slowly pulsing single prepared piano tone, creating an almost ominous tension, whereas the sparkling guitar harmonics and arpeggios of the closing "déjà raconté" have a gently triumphal air. While the music's calm, rippling surface is immediately entrancing, these seven duos – in the tradition of the best improvised music – also reward close listening, which reveals sonic details and focuses the listener's attention on how the music unfolds spontaneously from decision to decision, from gesture to gesture.
Recorded during a period when O'Malley and Pateras were grieving the loss of recently departed friends and collaborators, these seven duos possess a reflective, at times almost mournful quality. More importantly, though, they are imbued with other qualities that can arise from personal loss: a clarity that allows one to clear away the inessential, to begin again, to renew one's faith in friendship and music.
Stephen O'Malley (born in 1974 in Seattle, lives and works in Paris) is a composer and musician. O'Malley's multifaceted, multidisciplinary interests intersect on many levels. He has been involved in hundreds of concerts and performances around the world over since 1993. O'Malley is a founding member of several groups and a frequent collaborator of many outsider musicians, artists and composers in various formations, in concert and studio settings. Wildly prolific, His oeuvre is defined by its remarkable breadth and complexity and includes collaborations with a wide range of musicians, including Scott Walker, Merzbow, Jim O'Rourke, Keiji Haino, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Rehberg, James Plotkin, Z'EV, and Oren Ambarchi; French choreographer and theater director Gisèle Vienne; author Dennis Cooper; contemporary composers Iancu Dumitrescu, Roger Tessier, Eyvind Kang and Alvin Lucier; Israeli conductor Ilan Volkov; American sculptor Banks Violette; Italian performance artist Nico Vascellari; Luxembourg's filmmaker artists Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert; Swiss artist Emily Ding; American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch; Fashion designer Rick Owens; Belgian filmmaker Alexis Destoop; and many others.
Anthony Pateras (born 1979) is an Australian-born composer, pianist and electro-acoustic musician active since the late 90s. His music explores electro-acoustic orchestration, auditory hallucination and polytemporality.
His work has been recognised through the 2020 Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship, residencies at Akademie Schloss Solitude, La Becque and ZKM, fellowships from Creative Victoria, Ian Potter & Sydney Myer Foundations, and representing Australia twice at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers.
Pateras has been commissioned internationally by INA-GRM, Südwestrundfunk, ensemble]h[iatus, Eklekto, Kitchen Orchestra, the City of Modena, Musica Sanae Festival, Festival Archipel and Synergy Percussion. His pieces have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC & Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Golden Fur and ICE, among many others.
Anthony Patera also works with text and film, recently completing an adaptation of Jump Cuts by Sasha Soldatow & Christos Tsiolkas with James Rushford, music for The Man Who Disappeared by semiotext(e) founder Sylvère Lotringer, and Another Other, an audio-visual re-imagining of Ingmar Bergman's Persona with Natasha Anderson, Sabina Maselli and Erkki Veltheim for Chamber Made.
Pateras' longest running collaborations are with the composer/violinist Erkki Veltheim (in duo, in tētēma & in North of North with Scott Tinkler), and with the electronic musician Jérôme Noetinger, specialising in musique concrète environments using piano, electronics and tape machines.
He has also worked extensively with the programmer & mathematician Rohan Drape on multiple keyboard and ensemble works.
Pateras has also collaborated with Sunn O))), Anthony Burr, eRikm, Oren Ambarchi, Mike Patton or James Rushford on various recording projects, and notable bands include Thymolphthalein, PIVIXKI and Pateras/Baxter/Brown.
Anthony has published over 40 albums of his music on labels Tzadik, Editions Mego, Ipecac, All That Dust, Cave12 and Penultimate Press, and from 2012-2019 edited and produced the 15 volume Immediata text/music project.
From 2001-2008 he completed a Masters and PhD at Monash University which both focused on the intersection of composition, improvisation and electronic music, in relation to timbre and form.

See also Thymolphthalein (Natasha Anderson, Will Guthrie, Jérôme Noetinger, Anthony Pateras & Clayton Thomas); Extended Pianos (Erik Griswold, Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox); Astral Colonels (Anthony Pateras & Valerio Tricoli); North of North (Anthony Pateras, Scott Tinkler & Erkki Veltheim); 176 (Chris Abrahams & Anthony Pateras); Pateras/Baxter/Brown.
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu.
Artwork: María Jesús Valenzuela Vittini.
published in September 2023
2LPs with etching on fourth side.
currently out of stock
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