December 27th, 2016.
This is the third Recital Newsletter.

Firstly, I’d like to announce that the second pressing of Daniel Schmidt’s In My Arms, Many Flowers LP is now available.  It turned out to be more popular than I had anticipated, and sold out quickly. The interest it has stirred has made Daniel and myself very happy.  A second LP of his will be coming soon, culled from the hours of unreleased tapes. Daniel is currently busy writing a piece for Lou Harrison’s centennial, to be premiered in the Bay Area later in 2017.

November saw the release of my major work of the past few years, Music for Public Ensemble. It took form over three years – I am so happy to have it out now and away from me. It was formally unveiled after the dark days of the American election news, which perhaps curtailed public interest in buying Avant Garde music.  No matter, I believe people will find the album if and when they need to.  It was such a joy to correspond with all those involved, and made this ‘community’ seem much more tangible to me for a time.  Having the project behind me, I find myself missing having such a grand pool to dip into in my free hours.  It was very therapeutic, being able to contort Ian’s voice or Zach’s violin to fit in place with the coffee of the morning or the emotions of the falling daylight.  Anyways, so now, to fill this void- I have been beginning to write an operetta called The Mummy.  It will be an easy platform to deliver uneasy ideas, as I say.

I have been developing a friendship with Eric Schmid over the past few months; an artist I admire.  Eric’s way of facing both himself and his interpersonal connections, with the same boldness applied to the world of art and philosophy, is an inspiration to me.  I tend to crawl along the shore and cherish the light on the water, whereas he seems to be already treading out past the buoys. This way of being is refreshing to me, and thus working together has been really beneficial and invigorating.  On our album, St. Francis (released this December on Recital), Eric and I, along with Mattea Landry, have begun to explore new ground together.  Eric basically gave me a score (a list of elements) and let me orchestrate: recordings of himself and Mattea reading about St. Francis, a Justin Bieber song, a porno, a library, a train ride, a film, digitally synthesized birds, church bells, Steve Reich, and of course Imagine etc. Eric asked me to sing, a-cappella, a song by the folk-rock band Beirut, so I complied.  I played some ambient piano lines on the first works, and on the last piece some cello layers played back upon themselves.  Form, the last piece, also features sound poetry tape work I made while sitting on my couch in the sweaty summer of 2015, interspersed. I am quite proud of this reflexive album, and feel it deserves a good listen- as it knits comfortable and uncomfortable motifs, like a deep husky whisper.  It comes connected to a short book, The St. Francis List, something one could equate to the Nurse With Wound list.  You’ve just got to see it to understand. Perhaps, there is nothing to understand.  We’re working on a series or saga – St. Paul is up next.

Lastly, in January we will have circled our Sun five times to bring us to the 5th anniversary of Recital.   Thus, I have been lucky to gather together a CD compilation that features unique new works from: Roger Eno, Graham Lambkin, Andrew Chalk, Loren Connors, IFCO, Karla Borecky, Sarah Davachi, Nour Mobarak and many more.  It is something to look forward to, something for everyone.

Here we have list that holds just some of what to expect in 2017 on Recital:

R26 – Mary Mazzacane – The Art of Mary Mazzacane (Single-sided LP) – Loren Connors’ mother’s operatic vocal recordings, 1948-1974.

R27 – Peter Friel, Mattea Landry, Eric Schmid – Password / Chamber Music (7” single) – Radio play and a vocal piece.

R28 – Gabi Losoncy – Security Besides Love (LP) – First vinyl release by the enigmatic artist. A public and a personal testimony.

R29 – Loren Connors – Evangeline (LP) – Reissue of the 1998 album, as beautiful and fragile as snow.

R30 – Various – 5 Year Anniversary (CD) – Recital’s 5th year, celebrated by all new music of past and future Recital artists.

R31 – Arrigo Lora-Totino – Out of Page (LP) – Archival recordings of the sound poetry pioneer, who sadly passed away in 2016.

also, LPs by Roger Eno, Charlie Morrow, Michael Vincent Waller, and Dick Higgins.


ring of fire and eye of fire
firebird among the fireflies
on the empty snow
shadows of uncompleted stories
from holy consumption
to very cordially yours,
Sean McCann

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