In February 2016, Shepherds of Cats performed extraordinary concert with Markus Wenninger that included premiere of Naturalinee 2 video scores by American composer Joe Pignato, video art by VJ Pietrushka and live archery. Priori to that event, the band met with Marcus in the studio over the weekend to record material for an album that awaited daylight until now. Marcus Wenninger is a German flutist and clarinettist, as well as didgeridoo and shakuhachi player and archer. Founder of The Nora Volkova Ensemble, he is orientated on unconventional and avategarde artistic collaborations. Using plethora of woodwind instruments, didgeridoo, cello, clavichord, darbuka, drum, gongs, singing bowls and daily objects, Marcus and Shepherds of Cats made improvised recordings which selection of found their way to this atmospheric album.
For me, this album is totally unique. The title itself transports me internally to the world of memories and evokes a number of pleasant connotations. I don’t know if the authors did this intentionally or not, but the melody of the words Tales and Bleached and Chameleon is completely unique. Try not to infer meanings from the words for a moment, but listen to the fleeting melody of the words: Tales from the Bleached Chameleon. It’s as if drops of water were falling from great leaves after a summer storm, or snow lit up with pixels of red in the rising sun. The recording reminds me of old radio plays, where the story takes us into some completely different world without the obtrusive literalness of what we see. Now it’s hard to imagine such a thing, but in the past emotions were evoked more by what we hear than by what we see. This album is a tribute to the word and its content, which comes into being only when it is processed by our inner ear. Shivers run down my spine. Get into this story. I really invite you to do so.
If we told you that this recording should be considered one long piece rather than 6 pieces, you would quite possibly accept this. But, similarly, if we said it is six independent pieces and not one long piece, again, probably you would accept it maybe even more readily, especially as it is separated into 6 different pieces. More at the behest of Bandcamp than us, but still… However, if one of us Shepherds says you should listen to it as one piece and another says you ought to listen to it as six different pieces, where does that leave you? But then again, don’t listen to us, listen to us.
Beanbag Universe by Lone Arrivals, sets the star to drive to ‘squelchy’ and the navidial to ‘abstract’ …
Lone Arrivals – guitars, chimes, vibes, autoharp, dulcimer, tiny pianos,
door harp, faux sitar, tiny orchestration, sundry percussives, rattle,
echo and garble
and guest starring Jan Fanfare /Shepherds of Cats / – vacuum cleaner, virtual radiophoria,
source and treatments
Check this latest release from Fanfare Records here:
FIVE LAYERS are:
Five musicians, who hasn’t seen one another during the recording session.
Each of them recorded one layer of each of the five pieces.
Somebody started the piece, recording the first layer in complete silence.
Second person recorded the next layer.
Each one had to think about the other person to leave enough space for another recorded layer.
On this record, just like in real life, each of us speaks the FIRST word, somebody ANSWERS with his own word, to say at the very end just once THE LAST WORD.