In Indian musical theory it is said that there are two kinds of sound, one a vibration of ether, the other a vibration of air. The vibration of ether, which cannot be perceived in the physical sense, is considered the principle of all manifestation, the basis of all substance. It corresponds to what neo-Pythagoreans called “music of the spheres”. It forms permanent numerical patterns which are the basis of the world’s existence. The kind of vibration is not caused by a physical shock as are audible sounds. It is therefore called anāhata, “unstruck”. The other kind of sound is an impermanent vibration of air, an image of the ether vibration. It is audible and always produced by a shock. It is therefore called āhata or “struck”. (Alain Daniélou, 1980)
I’d never thought about Luke Stewart in such terms until recently, but I think that scholar Alain Daniélou’s words are a great place to start. When asking our bassist-at-large about how he wanted to approach talking about this new record, he gave a little background, but ultimately wanted the music to speak for itself… and speak it does.
Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier Volume Two takes the foundation laid down by Volume One and builds a large flame out of it. A sort of regeneration. This beauty is not for the weak listener, afraid of radical change. Nor is it for a casual passerby. Over an hour, this new opus is not only a form of expression regarding where Luke has been but his willingness to examine the nature around him, specifically the relationship between electricity and wood.
Or, as I like to think of it, a few lovely compositions about a cleansing forest fire.
After Volume One, Luke advanced his techniques and recording processes through his work with several artists. Traveling and watching an array of disciplines being harnessed before his eyes led him to redeveloping his approach to training his bull fiddle to play nicely in the sandbox with a few power sources. Luke says of forming his concept that “it is the main influence for the process by which the sound is generated on this setup, but using the bass as well as the crucial element of movement. Literally moving the bass back and forth, creating an effect of movement, is necessary to make the process musical.”
Another technical observation regarding Volume Two falls someplace between the opening quote and a conversation on our mutual love for classic-era Hip-Hop production. The chopping function on the Akai MPC allows the user to take any sound and separate the impact from its sustain… or aftermath. Having tinkered on the machine for many years, I always found it fascinating to hold onto the ghosts of notes, as opposed to repeating the point of attack where they are first heard. Luke gives many examples of this through the record. Not only does his creation of the sound resonate, but the actual soul of the notes often lingers in the air like an audience listening to themselves.
A simple pluck of one, or several, strings reverberates between, at times, two amplifiers placed in varying positions around our bassist. These placements allow Luke to not only focus on his contact with the wood, but also the wood's relation to the electricity. Hand strikes a match, causing flame. Then flame touches the tree. Spreading and cleansing the area. It is ultimately a process of universal creation right before the ears. There aren’t too many spaces left where a brother can go into a place quietly and create his own universe.
Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn, 2021
released February 25, 2022
My Hope is for the Listener to discover a connection within themselves,
To inspire deeper personal development, and radical change when needed.
These pieces contained on this album are documents of various approaches to the setup, intended to further explore the developments of the Sound.
Each Work is an exhibition of the intersection of acoustic and electronic Music, the intersection of the elements in the natural world.
Track 1 - Upright Bass and 2 Amplifiers
Track 2 - Upright Bass and Amplifier
Track 3 - Upright Bass and Amplifier and NO-INPUT Mixing Board
All Subsequent Tracks - Upright Bass and Amplifier
Recorded by Craig Bowen, Mattson Ogg, and Luke Stewart
Performed Live no Overdubs by Luke Stewart
Mixed and Edited by Craig Bowen and Luke Stewart
Mastered for Vinyl by Mikey Young
Film Stills by Pat Cain
Design & layout by Dylan Marcus McConnell
Thanks to: Amirtha Kidambi, Beatriz Feyrerra, Bill Nace, Bob Bellerue, C Spencer Yeh, Chris Corsano, Craig Bowen, Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn, Jake Meginsky, Jeff Carey, John McCowen, Julia Santoli, Leila Bordreuil, Limor Tomer, Mattson Ogg, Miriam Parker, Nate Cross, Nate Wooley, No Land, Pat Cain, Patricia Parker, Samantha Riott, Toshimaru Nakamura, Zach Rowden, Zach Watkins.
supported by 190 fans who also own “Works For Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 2”
I like free jazz but I'm not familiar with many artists in the genre and Ahmed Abdul-Malik is a refreshing discovery. This jam is wild and all over the place. What I like the most about it is the pianist is not afraid to be brutal with the piano. Most piano playing I have been exposed to potray it as a mild instrument and this release proves how powerful and aggressive piano can be. Now I am off to hunt down and explore Malik's other musical offerings. Nuclear Distortion
supported by 188 fans who also own “Works For Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 2”
Beautiful synth-keyoard driven jazz with a cerebral atmosphere that's natural and artistic, as well as simply comforting to one's soul even as it challenges you, the listener, to open your ears. Maybe even your eyes, too. I select Sunrise on Pruhina as my favorite track, but really, it's all about "Goldilocks". A fave of 2021!!! Matthew Flores