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Howe, Susan & David Grubbs

***Concordance is Susan Howe’s and David Grubbs’s fifth album in the unexpected and richly satisfying collaboration that began with Thiefth and includes Souls of the Labadie Tract, Frolic Architecture, and WOODSLIPPERCOUNTERCLATTER. Where these works feature the fragmentation and multiplication of Howe’s recorded voice—in a style akin to her celebrated text collages—with Concordance they’ve pared down their materials to voice and piano, aspiring to the hushed intensity of their live performances. After fifteen years of working together, the subtleties of inflection and interaction that previously resulted from Howe’s nuanced delivery and Grubbs’s composition using recorded materials now arrives as unadorned duo performance.

LP $24.25

09/24/2021 781484703617 

BC 36 

***Frolic Architecture is the third collaboration from poet SUSAN HOWE and musician DAVID GRUBBS. It follows Souls of the Labadie Tract (2007) and Thiefth (2005), both of which appeared in the Records of the Year lists in The Wire. Writing in Artforum, Bennett Simpson described Souls of the Labadie Tract as “a confrontation with history, community, language, and sound that is truly harrowing.” Where the previous works began with prose introductions that contextualized the poems’ embeddedness in history, Frolic Architecture drops the listener into a soundworld that germinates wildly from this most multiple and heterogeneous of Howe’s celebrated collage poems. Looking at one of Frolic Architecture’s poems on the album’s cover, it’s apparent why Howe initially thought the poem to be unperformable. For long stretches, it is impossible to separate Howe’s real-time performance of her fragment-strewn text from Grubbs’s further deformations, scatterings, and layerings. These aberrant vocalizations are placed in a landscape in which individual pitches pulse autonomously within thick chords; gravel and cicadas duet. There is no foreground, no background. Frolic Architecture is the most radical and abstract of Grubbs’s and Howe’s work together. Limited edition of 500 copies. (STREET DATE - 8/23/2011)

CD $13.75

08/23/2011 781484702221 

BC 22 CD