Selected Public Works Vol. 1-4 (Lightbath)
Selected Public Works Vol. 1-4 collects four years of modular synthesizer performances by composer/improviser Bryan Noll with his Lightbath project. The majority of these works were originally presented in video form showcasing—in real-time—the physical act of coaxing music out of a mercurial box of colorful wires, knobs, and lights.
Making these videos helped Noll develop his sound and process as Lightbath. One can hear such artistic development by tracing Vol. 1’s early modular works in 2015 up to Vol. 4’s selections from 2018.
Themes of change and growth flow through the collection; watching the videos, one can actually see the instrumentation subtly shift from piece to piece, and upon closer listen the music begins to reveal an invisible thread connecting past to present.
“These pieces are artifacts of specific times and places,” says Noll, “Each piece is like an entry in a journal that takes me back to where I was living, who I was loving, and the lessons I was learning. My life is encoded in this collection—it’s all there: my discovery of this beautifully wild instrument that saved my creativity, my first move away from NYC, the Great American Eclipse that catalyzed the devastating end of a long-term relationship, learning to forgive and rediscovering my purpose, traveling the US west coast, and the weeks leading up to the NYC performance that became full/new, my split with Emily A. Sprague released earlier this year on Commend/RVNG Intl.”
Each volume has been carefully sequenced and re-mastered by Noll to present this music in fresh and vibrant detail. Each album features gouache artwork and typographic layout by Michael Kempen. Selected Public Works, Vol. 1-4 released on September 27, 2019, and is available on Bandcamp.
As Pitchfork puts it: “Once you have submitted to these videos, it can be hard to pull yourself away.” “The artfully unpretentious demonstrations… occupy a strange, sui-generis niche: Featuring balmy sounds, blinking LEDs, and low-key set-dressing, they are part performance, part tech tutorial, and part audio-visual wallpaper.”
Lightbath – Selected Public Works, Vol. 1
01. This Place Rings of Color
02. Supermoon Preparation
03. Lampeo + Lightbath
04. Purple Memory Clouds
05. Batumi Master
06. Fire Blessing
07. Social Contours
Lightbath – Selected Public Works, Vol. 2
01. A Window Into Another
02. Dream Suite (Reprise)
03. New Beginnings
04. The Future Is Not Here
05. Orange Is the New
06. Guardian Suite
07. Xaoc Rings
08. Dream Suite
Lightbath – Selected Public Works, Vol. 3
01. Eclipse Preparation
04. First Steps
05. Cold Moon
06. Holding a Feather
Lightbath – Selected Public Works, Vol. 4
01. Garment of Destiny
02. Tangerine Portal
03. Garment of Destiny (Reprise)
04. Cathartic Pressure Waves (ft. Amulets)
06. Cathedral Rock
07. The Curve of Time
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