Open Circle Party

Album of original Australian dance/trance/dub/space music composed, performed and produced by Open Circle Party: CD info, interviews & downloads (MP3, AAC, Flac, ALAC, Ogg).  Release date: 1 Feb 2010

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Chris Basile - guitars, bass [2], tabla, darabuka, kalimba, qraqib, suling, percussion, tapes

Garry Havrillay - keyboards, bass [1], samples, drum box, programming, nylon guitar [1], tapes The debut self-titled Open Circle Party album is available;    

OPEN CIRCLE PARTY INTERVIEW (excerpts)

"...its 'Open Circle Party' because a party is a celebratory gathering as well as a social or political force... and its a circle - well, anything is really - but its an 'open circle' in the sense that both the music and the band are open-ended and participation, improvisation and chance are encouraged and invited... this present album is a studio project by the two of us, but we are organising performances for which the band will expand to six or seven members and hopefully some form of that expanded line-up will feature on the next album so, yeah, its really an ongoing 'open circle party'..."

"...the album has two extended tracks that are like two sides on an old vinyl album... its not too long an album by current CD standards, but its about the same length as the 'Love Supreme' album by John Coltrane or Santana's 'Abraxas' or an old Nick Drake or Beatles album or whatever... and we like 'side-long' tracks that get into a mood or a groove and stay there for a good while, like Fela or Ali Akbar Khan or electric Miles Davis, music that changes constantly with subtle variations and which feels like it can go off in any direction at any given moment, like life, like sex..."

"...each of the two pieces on the album is based on a live, solo performance which was then developed and manipulated in various ways... the basis for the first part is an electric guitar feedback improvisation in an altered tuning, and the second is based on a rhythm performed on Indian tabla drums... each initial performance, the guitar feedback and the tabla groove, went on for about 17 minutes and was recorded in one take, and the album grew organically from that simple foundation... by overdubbing we played along with the basic tracks with no preconception or plans, and when we agreed that something sounded interesting we worked with it... the process was completely free and improvisational and for that reason exciting and engaging for us as the composer/performers because we never knew how it would turn out..."

"...so there were no rules but, inevitably perhaps, as we played and listened back to the music there were a couple of operating principles which emerged - the first was that we didn't want to play music that was identifiable as belonging to any given genre... so none of the usual rock, jazz or funk moves, or the expected 'dance music' elements, or imitation whatever... not that we don't like all those kinds of music and many others depending on mood and time of day and so on, but because we wanted to create space to hear something fresh in our music which could reflect the way we feel right now, so something could emerge that is distinctly in its own time and space, if you know what I mean... but having said that, different listeners have since commented that they hear echoes of Eno, Bartok, Laswell, Jimi or Jaco or whoever (because everyone hears something different) in the music, and that's ok too and kind of interesting... the second working method which emerged in the studio was something we called the 'LFIU Principle' - LFIU stands for, um, "Lets Fun It Up" perhaps - the idea being that once we had something on tape we liked we could and should "fun it up" and transform it into something even more unexpected and against the grain... the aim being to arrive at sounds and forms which are challenging, complex and subtle, and which reward multiple listenings, and to keep the whole thing *open* and collaborative, and to avoid 'good taste' which is the enemy of surprise..."

- from an interview with Chris Basile in Melbourne.

1.  Side 1   dur: 16.13
included on Stereo CD, DTS 5.1 Surround CD & Download Album
2.  Side 2   dur: 17.47
included on Stereo CD, DTS 5.1 Surround CD & Download Album
3.  Remix 1   dur: 7.22
included on DTS 5.1 Surround CD & Download Album
4.  Remix 2   dur: 10.26
included on DTS 5.1 Surround CD & Download Album

"SURROUNDED" - THE REMIXES

"...and to call them 'remixes' is not very accurate. I like the term that Bill Laswell uses, being 'Reconstruction and Mix Translation' because it says so much more about the act of ... well ... 'funning' it up (laughs) ... to be uninhibited about a possible radical departure from the original - a bit like baking a cake, but throwing the recipe book away after a first glance, and seeing whether the result is still palatable .... "

"...and that organic process of experimenting in constructing something new from already recorded material probably came in part from Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, for example to swap the foreground for the background elements with unexpected results. Some recorded parts discarded for the two main pieces emerge quite prominently in the remixes..."

"... We'd recorded 17 minutes of continuous electric guitar feedback that appears clearly in a large chunk in the brooding Remix 1 and only briefly as a solo element elsewhere, even in the laid-back Remix 2. That feedback is probably the main unifying element in both versions of the album. It became the guitar landscape in Side 1, and in creating that 'loudspeaker cascade', it also became clear that a surround-sound version of this album was a worthy goal ..."

"... The DTS Surround format has been available for standard CD now for some years, so it seemed the obvious choice given that home cinema amplifiers with decoders are quite common now. In case you don't know how it works, the CD is 'normal' in every respect except that instead of burning standard audio onto the CD, you use encoded DTS WAV files. These just sound like a buzz if you try to listen to them on a standard system, but connecting any CD or DVD player to a DTS-decoding amplifier with a digital cable brings the 6 encoded channels to life in surround sound. I dreamt about this technology 30 years ago .."

- from an interview with Garry Havrillay in Japan.  

Listen / Download:  http://opencircleparty.bandcamp.com/album/open-circle-party-download  

* The 5.1 Surround Sound CD requires a DTS-capable playback system, e.g. any normal CD or DVD player via optical or coaxial digital cable to a home theatre amplifier with DTS decoding. (DTS name and logo used under license.)