Shadow Cuts

by Owen Kilfeather

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1.
33 05:22
2.
Tsaraiuki 01:50
3.
Earth I 01:55
4.
5.
Covenant 04:56
6.
It's Simple 01:45
7.
Haoma 13:21

credits

released November 18, 2012

Oscar Durán: drums, percussion
Gabriel Millan: electric guitar, percussion
Patricia Balmaceda: conduction
Marika Kobayashi: cello
Marga Mingote: vocals
Hanselett: vocals
Mia Salazar: vocals
Eva Gallego i Ossul: recorder
El Pricto: clarinet
Julia Sinusía: graphic score for Haoma section V
Andrew Russell: superglue
Inês Saldanha, Sergio Sánchez, Mireia Tysoe, Txus Molina, Jay Noden, Salva Chiva, Ben Palmer, Guillermo Digiuni, Françesc Daniel Nasip, Miguel Carvalho: readings, vocals
Owen Kilfeather: vocals, organ, synth, rhodes, glockenspiel, percussion, spanish guitar, electric guitar, prepared guitar, tape manipulations, conduction


Recorded by El Pricto at Discordian Records, Barcelona, between June and August of 2012

Assistant engineer: Matt Wenzel

Mixed by Jim Colominas

Mastered by Ralph Lopinski

Design by Wancalo/Andrea Cirotto

Cover photo courtesy of Inês Saldanha

Produced by Kilfeather/Discordian

Released on Discordian Records as DR029

All compositions by Owen Kilfeather except It's Simple (words: Neil McMahon, music: Owen Kilfeather), Tsaraiuki (Igor Stravinsky), and Earth I (words: traditional, Dieri of Central Australia). There are a couple of samples of Bartók and Greek plainchant in there too. Thanks to Samuel Vriezen, Neil McMahon, Mike Garcia, Kathleen O'Hara and everybody who participated.

This album is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Arkin.



Album notes:

1. 33
Written as part of a new batch for my concert in La Justa Entropia's summer season of 2011, this was one of those pieces you see spontaneously and scribble down, effectively composer as stenographer for this one. The title comes from the 33 phases to be found in the piece, hit upon while simultaneously reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead and listening to Ligeti.

2. Tsaraiuki
Precious little thing arranged from one of Stravinsky's Three Japanese Lyrics. I had never heard these before, happened by the score and at first glance thought, I'll have that.

3. Earth I
Also written for La Justa Entropía's summer 2011 season, I set to music a cant by the aboriginal Dieri of Central Australia, source: The Handbook of Folklore, Charlotte Sophia Burne, 1913. Here is the lyric of a woman digging into the earth to find her lost children, shockingly beautiful in its grammatical urgency:

"Earth I, clay seeking, under go,
Backwards down go,
Hard earth splitting yes, I down go,
After me drawing, yes, I go,
Blood in streaks, yes, I down go,
Earth depth I back again go."

And here is the writer's comment just after the text:

"It is a long way from such artless compositions as this
to the intermediate stage of barbaric culture at which we
find poetry erected into an independent art practiced simply
for the pleasure and amusement of the singer and his hearers."

Thanks Ms. Burne, ehhhhh, we'll call you, okay? but cheers for the lyric anyway...

4. Postcard From V.
Postcard came together late summer of last year in a quiet, well-lit room in the middle of the Festes de Gràcia with all its attendant beer and light-to-medium ordnance of which people on the Iberian peninsula are so fond. I particularly like this one for its symmetry and Bartókian bitonalism. Most of the lyrics were fleshed out and mapped through graft, though a few special ones were of the kind you wake up with ghostly on your lips in the morning and prove to be strangely pertinent during your day. Save Tsaraiuki (which was just me and guitar), this was the only piece recorded one-take live beginning to end, with the participation of Eva Gallego (recorder), Hanselett (vocals), Gabriel Millan (guitar) and myself on rhodes and vocals. Honourable mention for Gab's mindful effects work and mixmaster Jim's treatment of the recorder.

5. Covenant
One of my favourites, using a Persian rhythmic cycle in 13 called zarafat, grouped as such: 3343. The synth on this is a delightfully honking piece of cheese, a house lead that (save for some tweaking for temperament) didn't need any modifying on my part for a sound akin to the marvels Omar Souleyman coaxes out of his lethally shitty karaoke systems. Could say plenty about the lyrics but all the same feel it's best left to the yourselves. I like Oscar's junk percussion a lot.

6. It's Simple
A resetting of lyrics to a hiphop song by my friend the poet and songwriter Neil McMahon, It's Simple is a choppy little serialist mini-fugue for which I used a tarot deck to decide the order of the tone-row (my preferred method is cynaromancy, divination through the reading of artichoke leaves, but they were out of season at the time). Many summers ago, Neil enclosed in one of his liquid-comedy letters a copy of his song, which wove its way through a succession of coffee tables, drawers, cardboard boxes, multiple apartment changes and Barcelona quoteunquote winters to find itself on my desk and thence onwards to be recorded by Marga Mingote (vocals), Marika Kobayashi (cello) and myself (vocals and glockenspiel) and finally heard by you, good listener.

7. Haoma
This piece has multiple readings, is named for the mythological bird of Persia (look it up, great stuff) and one of the sections is inspired by the legendary Barcelonian character Ramon Julibert i Torras (1929-2013), who sang mangled scat versions of Verdi on the metro for eight hours a day over the course of fifty years. Julia Sinusía provided an exquisite graphic score for one section which is a work all in itself.

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Owen Kilfeather Sligo, Ireland

Composer, conductor, interpreter and curator. Miss Foreign Affairs, Ensemble PMV, Gulpt, Etermortífera; and previously: Filthy Habits Ensemble, Ivyfuuur the Polimonstre (FVJVR), Sin Anestesia, Near Death Ensemble, Tom Agad, Discordian Community Ensemble, inter alia/alios. ... more

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