The new solo work for concrete sounds, electronics and instruments from Australian composer-performer James Rushford: a shimmering and skittering piece inspired by the play of light and shadow on water.
Created primarily during a stay at the La Becque, an artist residency on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lake From The Louvers draws inspiration from the play of shadow and light on both the surface of the lake and the window through which Rushford viewed this lacustrine landscape. While the lake is itself at times directly audible in the form of field recordings, the image suggested by the record's title is less directly represented than translated into sonic structures inspired, as Rushford explains, by "the passing of shadow through a fixed space". The movement of light across these two flat surfaces, lake and window, finds its sonic equivalent in these eleven pieces, in which fragments and particles of sound—highly amplified crunches, synthesized squawks and pings, harp notes—ripple across the length of each track. Fixed sets of elements define each piece, often moulded into ephemeral ensembles in which individual voices consistently fade away and reappear.
Rushford's performances on various keyboards provide the unstable, wavering foundations of many of these pieces, with microtonal tunings adding a woozy, seasick edge to his stately, often stunningly beautiful playing. Each side of the LP ends with an extended keyboard work: the first for groaning, sighing church organ, the second for a psychedelic cloud of detuned synthesizer tones in which harmonic fragments sink into their own melancholic recollection. Elsewhere the record makes use of elements as varied as microtonal harp, skittering drum machines and synthetic marimba, establishing a sound palette remarkable for its breadth, as well as its sparkling, glittering quality. Where many of Rushford's solo projects have taken the form of long works with a sombre cast, Lake From The Louvers is strikingly bright and accessible, a series of sonic glimpses in which, like a late Monet, the shimmer of light undoes the distinction between image and reflection, foreground and background, surface and depth.
James Rushford is an Australian composer-performer, whose work is drawn from specific concrète, improvised, avant-garde and collagist languages.
As a composer, he has been commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Glasgow), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Neon (Oslo), Speak Percussion (Melbourne), Ensemble Vortex (Geneva), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Ensemble Offspring (Sydney), Decibel
(Perth), Melbourne International Arts Festival, Norway Ultima Festival (2011), Unsound Festival (New York 2014) and Liquid Architecture (Melbourne).
As a performer, he has presented work at STEIM Institute (Amsterdam), Logos Foundation (Ghent), Issue Project Room (New York), Instants Chavirés (Montreuil), Constellation (Chicago), Café Oto (London), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), Blank Forms
(New York), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Cave12 (Geneva), Send & Receive Festival (Winnipeg), WORM (Rotterdam), Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Only Connect Festival (Oslo), Now Now (2011/2012), Adelaide Festival (2014), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2011), MONA FOMA (Tasmania 2020) and the Tectonics Festival (Adelaide 2014, New York 2015, Tel Aviv 2015)... He has also performed as a soloist with the Krakow Sinfonietta, Australian Art Orchestra, Michael Pisaro, Eyvind Kang, David Behrman and Jon Rose.
James Rushford has collaborative projects with Joe Talia, Golden Fur (with Samuel Dunscombe & Judith Hamann
), Ora Clementi (with crys cole
), Oren Ambarchi
, Klaus Lang, Kassel Jaeger
, Anthony Pateras
, Will Guthrie, Annea Lockwood, Graham Lambkin
, Francis Plagne, Tashi Wada, visual artists Michael Salerno, Rachel Yezbick and Haroon Mirza, and the writer Dennis Cooper
His music has been published by Unseen Worlds, Pogus, Prisma, Bocian, Penultimate Press, Another Timbre, Holidays, Black Truffle
, KYE and Shelter Press
He holds a Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts.