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Who will release me?
We who wait

FRED FRITH / HARDY FOX A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth

CD album | gg264
"It began in Big Sur. Fred Frith and I, sitting naked on two small wooden blocks, legs crossed, hands resting on our knees. A small clearing on a rise above the Pacific Ocean, waves pounding a steady beat against the rocks far below. I had arrived at the Zen retreat the previous afternoon and Fred was one of the first people I ran into. I’d met him in more formal situations at Ralph Records, but we had not previously hung out socially. Fred was the current artist-in-residence at Esalen, and had been there nearly six weeks. He’d invited me to join him in an "air bath" the next morning and so here we sat, bathing in the morning sea air. The glow of Fred's skin made me sadly aware of how much time I spent in a windowless studio. I could easily pass for an albino. Fred was not big on talking, so we sat in quiet contemplation. But soon I became aware of a humming sound and realized Fred was singing quietly to himself accompanied by the rhythm of the waves. I whispered, "What are you singing?" He apologized and whispered back that he was making up melodies. I might not have brought clothing with me, but my Walkman was a constant companion and asked if it were okay to record him. He said I could. We grew close over the next couple of days, and when I returned to San Francisco I transferred the waves, the birds, and the singing to a multi-track tape machine and made a collage. Next time Fred came through town I played it for him and we speculated on developing the recordings for some kind of Residents/Frith project. The lyrics followed, then Fred’s compositions. Perhaps a year later in 1991, Fred arrived at the studio armed only with a brand-new Zeta MIDI violin. Surrounding himself with his scribbled notebooks, he played all the parts for all the pieces. I recorded him acoustically, as well as collecting input from each string as MIDI data. Afterwards I spent my spare time for several days assembling and reassembling what I had to work with until I had built about twenty minutes of music. I thought it quite good, but not enough material for an album. No additional work took place, and the project was largely forgotten until, many years later, I began cataloging my collection for the new company I’d started, Hacienda Bridge. There it was. I immediately told Walter Robotka at Klanggalerie what I’d found, and he contacted Fred who was, of course, curious to hear it again after all this time. Fred was enthusiastic, and couldn’t wait to resume work on the long-lost recordings. The original words having meanwhile disappeared, he enlisted the help of his songwriting collaborator Zeina Nasr. The new voice parts were duly recorded, and—delighted that his longtime recording engineer Myles Boisen had finally acquired a piano—Fred recorded fragments left over in those scribbled notebooks, and the whole thing took on its final shape. I fine-tuned some audio details a couple of days later, and the whole thing was mastered some twenty-five years after its inception. Often projects are given insufficient time to mature. This one, however, is that seed that falls into the crack in a rock and finds just enough water and nourishment to keep growing until, years later, it splits that rock in half. Hardy Fox. Dedicated to the memory. Dedicated to the perseverance". A totally unique collaboration by two of the most exciting composers of our time. Sorry if we say so ourselves, but if you need one album in 2018, it'll be this one. A time to bring out those superlatives. Full track list: 1. Prelude 2. Who will release me? 3. Entr’acte 1 4. Could have been 5. It’s all in place 6. Entr’acte 2 7. How is a Face to replace 8. We who wait 9. A little older 10. Over then (and now) 11. Should see me out 12. Every minute counts 13. Song of the Crow 14. Almost yes unless. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Vede la luce ora un progetto di Fred Frith e Hardy Fox (uno dei Residents) dalle lontane e sorprendenti origini nei primissimi anni Novanta, tra registrazioni digitali a San Francisco e meditazioni zen a Big Sur, recuperato all oblio grazie a un casuale ritrovamento recente e all interessamento diretto di Walter Robotka di Klanggalerie. A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth.
(Hibou, Anemone & Bear, January 2018)

I guess the best way to describe what we have here is a selection of musical cues - that flit between the dramatic and quirky - sonically the sound pallet is a mix of synthetic orchestration, sawing and screaming string work (either by guitar or violin), twanging and off-colour muzak played by organ and guitar, strange often bizarrely theatrical singing/spoken word parts, and the occasional addition of piano. The synthetic orchestration elements sound like they are from the early-to-mid 90s output from The Residents - bringing to mind their more soundtrack leaning albums of the time. The other elements nicely add an extra layer of strangeness, and otherness to proceedings. Over the full twenty five minute work the pair cover a few fair genres, from off-angular singer-songwriter fare, through to moody yet odd orchestration, onto corny-yet-bent easy listening, creepy piano wonderings, bright and buoyant 90s PC game like sounding, onto general avant musak.
(Musique Machine, July 2018)

Commencé en 1990 à Big Sur et terminé 25 ans plus tard, l album sera le dernier de Hardy Fox, tête pensante des Residents. Difficile de comprendre exactement comment la mayonnaise a pris, mais il semble que tout ait débuté avec des vagues, des oiseaux et une chanson fredonnée. L année suivante, Fred Frith revient avec paroles et musiques, jouant sur un violon midi dont Hardy Fox enregistre acoustiquement et électroniquement tout ce qui en sort. En résulte un montage de 20 minutes, trop court pour un album. Récemment Walter Robotka, producteur autrichien de Klanggalerie spécialisé dans les disques inclassables et les archives inouies, réactive le projet, Frith demande à Zeina Nasr d écrire de nouvelles paroles, il ajoute un piano que l ingénieur du son Myles Boisen vient d acquérir et Fox peut enfin entendre le fruit de son travail, mais il s éteint le 2 novembre dernier, terrassé par une tumeur au cerveau. A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth sonne comme un des meilleurs albums des Residents et montre que Frith, musicien expérimental d origine folk, fut toujours plus à l aise dans le rock que nulle part ailleurs, à l instar du film iconique Step Across The Border que lui consacrèrent Nicolas Humbert et Werner Penzel en 1990, date à laquelle A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth fut initié. Et puis je commence à avoir une petite idée de ce qui m anime et que je partage avec ces deux olibrius lorsque sur mon clavier j ai un orchestre au bout des doigts!
(, December 2018)