Taylor Deupree+ Christopher Willits: Listening Garden
Bob Burnett: I've spent a good part of the last 30 years getting further and further immersed in long form, minimal/slow/glacial forms of music and sound composition. It all started with the Obscure label (Eno, David Toop, Jan Steele/John Cage, Penguin Cafe Orchestra) and has drifted, melted and ambled through many wonderful iterations and varieties. (This Heat, Lamonte Young, Morton Feldman, William Basinski) One of my current favorites is a sound composition by Taylor Deupree and Christopher Willits aptly named "Listening Garden". The composition is an environmental sound design based on the natural sounds of Japan's Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. Among the tones and hues of the space is a beautiful blending of Deupree's sonic manipulations and Willits' treated guitar textures and hums. The result is an album-length composition broken into five segments that drifts and ambles within the sound textures of the environment; the listener experiences air pressure changes, muted voices and distant comings and goings, the clicks and clacks of motion and a sense of a fleeting moment in time captured and framed. There's nothing new-agey or sound effects soaked about this composition. Albeit "relaxing" as a listening experience, it offers engagement and stimulation. Listening Garden was released on Deupree's 12k label--a limited edition run of 1000 vinyl copies came out originally. I found it as a digital download on emusic; it instantly made its way onto my iPOD however, I suggest playing it through speakers to give it the much deserved space it craves. There's another review with further comments here. In addition to the mentioned review please go to 12k's webpage.