Its hard to describe the feeling that I get from making this new work. Its like I’ve been making it my whole life, but only now am realizing the true shape or form. This past month I’ve been building, whittling, and testing at the Paul Dresher Artist Residency (http://www.dresherensemble.org/arc.html). Its been a deep dive into how to craft instruments specifically for their ability to create macro-cymatic visuals – or water waves driven by sound at a macroscopic perspective. I am so grateful for the opportunity to utilize the resources at a space also so close to home. To have a full woodworking shop as well as a production environment to work on video/sound has allowed me to hone in on these explorations and unveil many new layers to what I imagine possible. I’ve built several instruments and tonight, is the premiere performance with my favorite one. This instrument is carved from a piece of cedar, and has a single string mounted on it. Above you see a still from my rehearsal last night. Other great performers investigating sound, water, and light will be joining me on the bill! Joshua Churchill & Matt Baldwin, and Moses Hacmon. Many thanks to Paul Dresher Ensemble, and to Soundwave who commissioned this performance! Details for the premiere are below. More Macro Cymatics to follow, I’m sure, as I anticipate this to become a new body of work. http://www.soundwavesf.com/6/aug22/
Location: SOMArts, 934 Brannan St, San Francisco
7:30pm doors, 8:00pm performance
$15 general admission
Aquaphonic at SOMarts
Multi-sensory performances of water-sonic phenomena by Marielle V. Jakobsons, Joshua Churchill, and Matt Baldwin with Moses Hacmon
Water and sound generate incredible phenomena. Artists reveal the mystifying aquatic properties through visible sound and vibration. Artist and composer Marielle V. Jakobsons presents ‘Macro Cymatic Studies,’ which encourages immersion in water reflections connected to droning soundscapes with water wave projections, slow melodic violin, and psychoacoustic synthesizers which plays with our sense of scale and explores unifying matter through sound. Joshua Churchill investigates moving subsonic properties water through the feeling of sound, vibrating our bodies and exposing the unique and ubiquitous nature of this natural element. Psychedelic guitarist Matt Baldwin collaborates with artist Moses Hacmon to reveal the mind-altering beauty of sound moving through air in an all-sensory experience of live music and vibration to literally move water.
John Davis’ series invites collaboration between Cinematic & New Music artists, as performance series and a limited edition book which I’m part of, as well as a limited edition double LP and DVD with selected participants. I’m very excited to be presenting a live score in surround sound to Mark Wilson’s animated film “Ghost Dance.” Also performing that evening: the home-brewed psychedelia of Andy Puls, Keith Evans (of 23five collective), and the organizer himself John Davis in collaboration with animator Lawrence Jordan.
Tickets are sliding scale and start at 7pm at Kala Arts in Berkeley.
Other evenings lineups include many great friends and artists!!
July 5, 7-9pm:
Mary Helena Clark with Andy Roche
Kerry Laitala with Ashley Bellouin & Ben Bracken
July 19, 7-9pm
Thad Povey & Mark Taylor
Steve Dye with Anthony Iamurri
Paul Clipson wth Tashi Wada
July 26, 7-9pm
Tooth with Collin McKelvey
Craig Baldwin with Maggi Payne
For more info see
Kala Arts Website: http://www.kala.org/artwork/gravity-spells-bay-area-new-music-and-expanded-cinema-art/
Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/300188523488508/
Book & Edition: http://www.bimodalpress.com/
A study for some new work combining macro photography and composing for cymatic fluid movements. This is part of a larger body of work I’m envisioning, including installations and performances. Stay tuned!
Listen and download our new track “Sky Trails”, recorded at the Dusted Sessions but previously unreleased. In addition to the main band members, the piece features Michael Cormier on pedal steel.
The tour CD has arrived! It contains Sky Trails and other unreleased and demo songs, from the living room to studio outtakes. Its a pretty sweet document of evolution of lots of material and ideas over the course of the album! If you’d like a copy, please hit me up and I’d be happy to send you one when I return from tour on the 25th of September.
By Andy Puls with his magic analog video boxes!!
First track leaked from “The Dusted Sessions”, due out on Thrill Jockey June 11, 2013. Also happens to be my favorite track from the album! This one always transports me. Hope you enjoy!
Album is avail for pre-order here
Watch us become “an oscillating rainbow prism or a kaleidoscopic drone symbiote” (according to TinyMixTapes)
Here’s a new Date Palms track, recorded live with mind-melting video processing by Andy Puls, from our upcoming Thrill Jockey Records album “The Dusted Sessions”
photo by Shundo David Hayne
As part of the Soundwave Festival, I am very excited to be performing a special set utilizing the large meditation you see in Buddha Hall in the photo above. Before I perform there will be guided meditation. Following me is En (Maxwell Croy from Root Strata & James Devane) and Sean McCann, so it should be a sublime evening! Curated by Danny Paul Grody.
5:30 Doors open
6:00 & 6:30 Meditation in Buddha Hall led by Lien Shutt
6:15 & 6:45 Tours of the SF Zen Center led by Tova Green
7:00 Marielle V. Jakobsons Buddha Hall Performance
with Seated meditation led by David Zimmerman
7:40 Sean McCann Garden Courtyard Performance
with Kinhin instruction led by Gretchen Rau
8:25 En Dining Room Performance
with Well-being chant led by Shundo David Haye
I am very excited to announce the release of my second solo album, ‘Glass Canyon‘. Its been two years in the making since my first solo record (‘Ore‘ under the moniker Darwinsbitch) and it was quite a journey unfolding this work.
Its available on vinyl, CD, and digital by Students of Decay and available through Experimedia distribution. Mastered by the amazing Antimatter (Christopher Davidson), and layout design by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Special thanks to Thomas Day for lending me his modular, and Gregg Kowalsky for the cover image and support to make this happen.
You can listen to previews in two locations– the first one has a sort of collage-type preview of each of the tracks, the second one has a few selected songs in full:
Super excited to be sharing the celebrations of Evan’s new release & to hear KWJAZ live for the first time.
p.s. i’ll have CD’s of Glass Canyon available at the show!! LP’s will be coming later in June, be in touch if you’d like me to save you a copy.
Echo is memory, slowly fading. Slight gradations cull the annals lining time distorted mind’s eye. To hear this ring out is to experience the folding of past onto present. With agile hands, these artists crease, bend and transform perception, sifting ephemera through ever-shifting and evolving relationships.
On this date, we embark towards engulfment in celebration of the release of Evan Caminiti’s Night Dust on Immune Recordings, as well as Marielle Jakobsons’ Glass Canyon on Students of Decay. Traversing the indefinable divide is another local hero of the obscured: KWJAZ.
LIMINAL SPACE | 950 54th St. Oakland 94608
Saturday May 26th | 8:30 doors, 9pm start
Contribution: $7 – $10
A project speared by Disquiet, I contributed two tracks in honor of Fernando Pessoa. I used exclusively source material from a single field recording of Lisbon which was given to all of the artists.
Also participating is in the series is Steve Roden (aka In be tween noise), Pedro Tudela (aka Johnny Days), Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner), Kate Carr (aka The Frigatebird), Shawn Kelly (aka Y?Arcka), Marielle V. Jakobsons (aka darwinsbitch), Paula Daunt (aka Agnosie), and João Ricardo (aka OCP), all working from a shared set of sounds collected and constructed by Elvis Veiguinha. Veiguinha’s field recordings originally served as the score for an installation of photos of modern urban Lisbon by Jorge Colombo.
Due out on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, 2012) on ArachniDiscs, this is a super-limited 100 run CD of our electric string trio’s improvisations. Multi-layed handmade transparent outer-sleeve, lino-block printed envelope handmade artwork!
More info & purchase the CD here
Coming January 24th to Important Records, the first official document of this mindmelting group drone project just in time for your winter meditations….
Recorded in Oakland California in 2010 with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Evan Caminiti & Jon Porras (Barn Owl), Lisa McGee (Higuma, Vestals), Gregg Kowalsky & Marielle Jakobsons (Date Palms, Myrmyr), Maxwell August Croy (En) Steven Dye & Tony Cross (Tarentel alum) and Michael Elrod (Date Palms, Barn Owl & The Alps). Three tracks of long form in the zone drone. Edition of 500 with lovely screen printed jackets. Recorded & mixed by the Normal Conquest who also worked on the recent Barn Owl/Infinite Strings Ensemble.
Saturday Sept 10, 8PM
Yoshi Wada and Tashi Wada, 0th, Area C, Max Mathews Tribute (with me & Diane Douglas)
Brava! Theater Center (2781 24th Street, SF)
I’m performing on violin a tribute to Max Mathews with Diane Douglas on computer, Theme and Variations on Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 for Violin and Phaser Filters (2011). Max and I played together in a string quartet, and this was one of the many pieces they rehearsed together. Max and I also worked together over the last several years as he developed his Phaser Filters program, which is a live performance software based on tuned resonances capable of incredible transformation and beauty. This piece is a tribute to these two aspects of our work together.
Max Mathews’ Phaser Filters create tuned resonances within any sound played through them, the same way that a particular room will amplify certain frequencies based on its shape. Max would play these filters melodically to simulate a constantly shifting resonant space, transforming the original sound into something entirely new. He was especially fascinated by the subtlety of harmonic and emotional tones forged, for example, by changing his filter’s tuning to quarter tone, or complex chords like Risset’s Major-minor hybrid.
Diane Douglas also worked closely with Max, as he guided her to create her own version of his Phaser Filter Program in the Max/MSP environment. Input audio from a live instrument or from looped samples is passed through 5 banks of 4 of these filters which form 5 ‘chords’. This provides a new harmonic backbone for any sound they interact with. There is also a degree of randomness which can make them sound alive – as Diane can control the diatonic mode or the tempo for example, but other improvised aspects will make sure that they never sound the same twice.
Together, Diane and I will perform a piece based on some of Max’s favorite sounds- the violin and Beethoven- transformed by the sound world of Phaser Filters.
The festival lineup is killer this year, check it out: sfemf.org
Thursday, September 8th 8PM @ SFMOMA
Live and fixed sound and video works by Les Stuck & Sonsheree Giles, Sarah Howe, Tim Perkis/Tom Djll, Alba G. Corral/Kadet Kuhne, plus Milton Babbitt’s “Philomel” performed by Dina Emerson
Friday, September 9th 9PM @ Brava Theater Center
Christian Marclay featuring Shelley Hirsch, Jessica Rylan, Zachary James Watkins
Saturday, September 10th 8PM @ Brava Theater Center
Yoshi Wada + Tashi Wada, 0th, Area C, Max Mathews tribute
Sunday, September 11th 8PM @ Brava Theater Center
Kevin Drumm, JD Emmanuel, Gregg Kowalsky
Tickets & Passes: $16 General; $12 Student/Senior.
Full festival pass: $45
Purchases online at Brown Paper Tickets
or at the door (cash only)
Brava! Theater Center, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco
Phyllis Wattis Theater at SFMOMA, 151 3rd St, San Francisco
Max Mathews died yesterday, 02.21.2011. His enthusiasm and bright star energy will inspire me through the rest of my life. The world misses you already, Max. You reminded me that technology & technique are merely expressive vesicles. Your supportiveness reminded me that I make music to move people.
Picture: Max + Marj with my installation String TV (2009): he was so enthralled by my strange creation.
Here is a recording of us in 2008, performing a Jon Appleton piece called Precita Eyes, he on Radio Baton, me on violin as a duo.
Here is Schubert’s quintet, a particularly memorable performance in Max and Marj’s parlor. Ok not exactly how we sounded, but equally as passionately performed!
Lastly, the final recording we made together in February 2011. It was to be just a test recording, a little snippet of violin improvisation he could try out a few different settings of his Phaser Filter program, we would always record more…. He was so happy with how his Phaser Filter program was finally sounding and behaving- he said it was finally getting musical. I agree, over the 3 years he’d been working on it, refining it into a performable program that could transform a piece of music into something completely new and captivating.
He couldn’t decide which of the four chord set of filters was more beautiful, so he sent me all 4. He tuned his filters to: the minor 1/3′s chord, the risset major-minor chord, the harmonic chord, and the risset major-minor 1/4tone chord.
Here they are.
Lots of exciting stuff for us this week….
New website ::: DatePalmsofPsalms.com
New release announcement ::: Early 2011 12″ record on Mexican Summer!!
New show announcement ::: Feb 20th @ Great American Music Hall w/Godspeed You! Black Emperor
with myself on violin & Jefre Cantu Ledesma on guitar/FX
Its here! The Date Palms debut LP, over a year in the making. Listen/buy at Thrill Jockey.
Much love to Jefre & Maxwell at Root Strata for their enthusiastic support, thanks to Antimatter for his beautiful vinyl master, and to the Norman Conquest, Agnes Szelag, Trevor Montgomery, and Jonathan Segel for your helpfulness.
Hope you all enjoy the vibes!
Ore, the latest release from Oakland-based composer Marielle Jakobsons’s solo project darwinsbitch, evolves in a fashion similar to Darwin’s coral model: it grows in seemingly anarchic ways. Expressionistic brushstrokes paint the solid droning soundscape with violin interpolations and complex, detailed harmonies; but as you look back, the previously obscured hinges that hold it all together are revealed. This music isn’t “built up” in a traditional sense; instead, it expands in non-vertical directions full of eastern nuances.
We’ve came a long, strange way when most of our contact with the world is mediated by some sort of technology, whether it be something as simple as gardening or something as abstract as creating electronic tones that simulate the music of the spheres. Ore thrives on this idea. It suggests that perhaps such a world is on the border of death; that perhaps all the earth repressed beneath the sidewalks, all the wildlife exiled from our cities, and all the rivers confined in drains create an ecological lament, one of pulsing sounds and sparse phrases that become blurred with artificiality. The result is beautifully tragic, as in “Shadow Leaves,” a long, mournful, trance-like piece that could be a metaphor for the planet after our passing, because we, after all, are an integral part of it as well. Gamelan-esque meditations adorn a dark, chilling drone that ebbs downward until it finally rests upon the ground as mere obscurity.
The tranquility, or maybe contained energy inherent to drone music turns this album into a strong meditational provocation: we are almost helpless as we watch our environment fall apart; we are almost forced into contributing to its demise; and we, along with our machines, will play our part while fully conscious of its dire consequences. Maybe that’s why, beyond the technical specs, there is no precise beginning or ending to this album. It endlessly grows like coral, with no narrative to guide its course, the all-encompassing noises and drones almost whispering their way through our minds to reveal, like the tolling bells at the end of “Raven’s Dissipation”, the dreadful, inevitable conclusion to it all.
October 21, 2009
Behind the immaculately named Darwinsbitch is one Marielle Jakobsons who, on this, her debut solo seedee, has assembled a many layered monolith of sound.
Taking elements of drone, folk music and melancholic sacramental music, jakobson (who is also part of the duos Date Palms and Myrmyr) has focused them into a most intriguing whole. There is a deceptive ease to the music. It’s far too easy to slip comfortably inside the ambience and miss the sheer quality of the music. Her instrumentation is dense yet unobtrusive and drenched in the white heat of her drones.
Ore is a beautiful piece of folk music that is equal part utterly familiar, utterly alien and utterly compelling.
Below are two videos of my installation String TV, which was presented in San Francisco at the LAB’s 25th Anniversary Exhibition August 2009. The first video is a demo explaining the system and inspiration for the piece. The second video is a performance on the instrument by Gregg Kowalsky, who also did the camerawork on both videos. Special thanks to the staff at the LAB for being such wonderful hosts & to Max Allstadt for his beautiful fabrication & woodworking.
StringTV is closing Saturday 8/29 and there’s a reception Friday 8/28 5-7pm @ the LAB, 16th @ Capp st, SF.
Also, here’s a short lo-res, kinda crunchy video of the TV/visual portion of the installation. The video shows only the TV, not the string instrument which is making all of the sound you hear. During the video, I am moving the magnets, so you can hear/see the string overtones changing. Sorry there’s crunchy distortion on the audio & the black bar on the side…
Last night I recorded a much better video including an explanation of the piece and “performance” demo on it by Gregg Kowalsky, who is definitely the best StringTV player out there… It will be the same kind of format as my “Rigs” demo/performance, where I explain all my not-so-secrets, and then you can see it in action. Will edit & post it soon!
My new installation opens July 31st at the LAB, San Francisco, and runs through August. Stop by 6-9pm if you’re in the area!
The string instrument is almost totally finished, and is looking a bit like this. The middle is where the magnets slide along the string, shaping the overtones of feedback.
In the second picture you can see better, how the board is a sort of undulating shape. It is also a little bit soft, and turns into a superfun “wammy” bar when you lean on the curves… Not sure if that will stay a feature of the final version or not, but it was a fun side effect nonetheless…
More pics coming as I install it this weekend!