Sunday, January 24, 2021

Pet The Tiger-Gaze Emanations; Public Eyesore Records #145, 2020


OK, class, raise your hand if you've ever bought a record just because of its cover art. Disaster Amnesiac asks rhetorically, because I figure that anyone that's ever been a music consumer has done so. I also ask in reference to Pet The Tiger and their 2020 release, Gaze Emanations. See, the music on this album was inspired by the visual art of Oakland CA based painter, poet, and musician Brian Lucas. 

Made up of twelve improvised pieces, performed by a group featuring several SF Bay Area New Music luminaries, Gaze has struck me as I've listened to it as a really good example of what happens when musicians listen to each other as they interact. The music here seems to be defined as much by the silences that happen as by the sounds that emanate from the perspective rigs of Bryan Day, Tom Djill, Philip Greenlief, Cheryl Leonard, Tom Nunn, Suki O'Kane, Gino Robair, and David Samas (can one call the human voice a rig?) Many times over, this group gets down to some seriously primal spaces within their interactions, spaces that do indeed match up with the Lucas's similarly adept use of "the gaps" within his visuals. Disaster Amnesiac, being somewhat familiar with most of these players and their voices, has tried to isolate who is doing what, and I pretty much have given up in order to just let the sounds flow into my perceptive field. 

I have also wondered if the sequence of Gaze is in accord with its actual performance, in light of the fact that some of the later pieces seem to have a bit more heat generation as opposed to their predecessors. Not that that's a complaint, for, again, the feels that arise from hearing these great improvisors meet and listen, and then respond to what they hear bear the marks of the mastery that we can all agree that they display. When that heat gets thrown, it's all the more noticeable for those previous moments of contemplative dialogue. Astute use of restraint can be such an effective route to ecstasy, and this crew knows all about how to make that happen within their musical pursuits.

I'd recommend a pairing of headphones and the inner booklet's reproductions of all twelve pieces that give Gaze Emanations its song titles. Find a cool quiet spot, slap this disc on, and

It's probably what Brian would want you to do.

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