The experience of repetition as death
130701/FatCat | LP13-39 | CD13-39 | DA13-39
Release date: April 3. 2020
Track listing :
All music composed by Clarice Jensen
Available on LP, CD, and digital download:
130701 | Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Boomkat | Spotify
Brooklyn-based cellist Clarice Jensen’s gorgeous sophomore album and first for FatCat’s pioneering 130701 imprint, The experience of repetition as death, was recorded and mixed by Francesco Donadello at Vox-Ton studios in Berlin in late 2018 and mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri. All of the material on this new album was written and performed by Jensen alone, and all of the sounds on it were created with a cello through a variety of effects and effects pedals.
The experience of repetition as death is a warm, deep and cyclical album that explores notions of repetition in both its conceptual underpinning and musical structure. Unlike the easily readable step builds and grid-locked looping of so many artists using the looper as a compositional tool, Jensen's loops slide across one another in organically morphing structures; align and intersect at different moments, yielding a kind of aleatoric yet minimal counterpoint, with joins overlaid in ways that appear seamless and sophisticated. Where her live performance relies heavily upon the use of loop pedals, in the studio she and Donadello recorded much of the material onto tape to create a series of physical loops. There’s something oceanic in the immensity of the resulting work – in the ebb and flow of her sound and the way it builds and dissipates through swelling and wave reflection.
Whilst in previous releases Jensen’s cello has largely been abstracted via effects to sound somewhat other than itself, The experience of repetition as death opens with an undisguised passage that is clearly wood and string – a clarity retained throughout much of the album.
The album’s title is taken from a line in a 1971 poem by the influential American radical feminist poet Adrienne Rich called A Valediction Forbidding Mourning – a response to a John Donne poem of the same title from 1611. Jensen expresses great admiration for Rich both as a writer and feminist icon, citing her as “an inspiration to create work in a field that is still largely male-dominated," and noting how “her poem to me is a reflection on the idea that dying and death are ordinary. Any meaningfulness we create comes from within and is deeply personal but entirely our own construct.”
Geographic North GN53
Release date: September 6. 2019
Track listing :
The Organ That Made You Bleed by Clarice Jensen
One Bee by Clarice Jensen
Available on cassette (SOLD OUT) and digital download:
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Jensen now follows her debut album For This From That Will Be Filled with Drone Studies, highlighting Jensen’s improvisational prowess, venturing even deeper into the meditative mire but with more organic, naturally expressive air.
“The Organ that Made You Bleed” presents a succinctly striking suite that opens in medias res, awakening in a howling chorus of disembodied tones. This tragic ocean of estranged sound ebbs and flows, almost unnoticeable growing in a swell of hymnal hysteria. The calmly chaotic frenzy soon gives way into a layered composite of deep drones and tidal textures. Hopeful harmonies clash with eerie dissonance, suggesting the deeply human balance between darkness and lightness. It’s a magnum opus told in a sequence sketches, and each new turn is a cavern of radiant resonance.
'One Bee' perfectly foils the A-side with an insomniatic interplay of pure tones and richly repetitive cello phrases. The piece begins as a blank canvas, simultaneously empty and brimming with potential. One by one, solitary tones reveal themselves in the foreground until forming a small choir of complementary combinations. This beautifully odd ritual plays out in slow motion as Jensen’s cello performs a tight loop of emotionally expressive notes.
Taken as a whole, Drone Studies a harrowing set of deep listening that uncovers new gifts with each repeated listen.
For this from that will be filled
Miasmah Records MIA041
Release date: April 6. 2018
Track listing :
bc by Clarice Jensen and Jóhann Jóhannsson
Cello Constellations by Michael Harrison
For this from that will be filled (a) by Clarice Jensen
For this from that will be filled (b) by Clarice Jensen
Artwork by Jonathan Turner
Available on vinyl, CD, and digital download:
Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Miasmah | iTunes
For this from that will be filled explores the variable differences between acoustic and electronic sound as well as depiction of the simulated and the unconscious. It was originally conceived as a collaboration between Jensen and the artist Jonathan Turner as an audio-visual work, but is here presented in its pure audible form.
Building on a long and romantic tradition of solo cello repertoire, Jensen expands and confuses the familiar sound of the cello through the use of effects pedals, multi-tracking, and tape loops recorded at variable speeds, presented in works she has written for herself as well as a piece she conceived together with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Also featured is Michael Harrison’s Cello Constellations for multi-tracked cello and sine tones, written for Jensen, which meditates on long, sustaining tones.
With For this from that will be filled, Jensen has made an incredibly strong first album that feels like a surreal and futuristic journey through an alternate timeline.
Click here for a detailed program note for Cello Constellations by composer Michael Harrison
Click here for more information about the live performance of For this from that will be filled