Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

August 3, 2011

Brent Fariss, “Four Environments…Collapsing” (KSE #199, CDR), now available!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:04 pm


“Four Environments…Collapsing”

KSE #199, full-sized CDR

$7.00 ppd. anywhere, payment via paypal, to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

Proud to welcome Austin-based composer-musician-sound artist BRENT FARISS into the KSE family with FOUR ENVIRONMENTS…COLLAPSING (KSE #199), a new work of contemporary composition integrating string bass, treated string bass, field recordings, electronics, recordings made of music played in seemingly “haunted” settings, snippets of decontextualized speech, etc. All masterfully integrated into four different pieces, each one with special attention paid to texture. TEXTURE: whether we are talking about the brittle, astringent yet rubbery tone of Steve Lacy’s soprano sax, the layering of crayon and pencil on a Cy Twombly canvas, the chunks of grain and blur in the cinema of Warhol or Andy Milligan, the tense and brittle and elliptical flow of the lines in a later Tennessee Williams play, or the infinite layers within a limited pitch range found in the microtonal pieces of John Cage, an attention to TEXTURE is often the most sensually satisfying and the most memorable aspect of a work in any artistic discipline, that quality that sticks with one like peanut butter in the roof of one’s mouth or like the tastes and sounds and smells of a satisfying romantic encounter. The contrabass is an instrument uniquely able to create a wide variety of textures and microtonal subtleties, and Brent Fariss is a master of the instrument…and a man who is always thinking in terms of composition, bringing in ideas from Fluxus figures such as Benjamin Patterson and Dick Higgins to expand the possibilities of sound recording, of moving sound recording closer toward the state of intermedia process. Forgetting the jargon, it’s music that is emotionally jarring and intellectually interesting, that takes the THINGS of everyday Texas existence and integrates them into the composition.

I could go on and on about the creation and recording of this album, but like love, it’s better to experience it than to analyze it. With the wonderful Austin New Music Co-op (where I first encountered him), Brent Fariss has performed works by Arnold Dreyblatt, Pauline Oliveros, Cornelius Cardew, Radu Malfatti, Phil Niblock, and Michael Pisaro…and (perhaps at the other end of the spectrum, perhaps not) is a member of Austin’s ground-breaking, genre-smashing band WACO GIRLS. He has also worked extensively with Rick Reed, and the pair are currently at work on a long-term project called THE DEEP DREAM DECODERS, that will integrate elements of dream life and the dream world into music. We can hardly wait for that! At the KSE 5th Anniversary Concert the other night in Austin, Brent did a solo set consisting of a live performance of the title piece (one of four pieces on the album) AND a trio set with Mr. Reed and with Bill Thompson, musician-composer formerly of Austin and now of London, UK. You can watch some of Brent’s solo set on You Tube here: .

FOUR ENVIRONMENTS…COLLAPSING is a fascinating work that grows and gives up more of its secrets with each listen, all the while raising new questions, and the snippets of decontextualized speech give the album a kind of submerged narrative that sucks the listener in, as if we are listening intently at a keyhole or hearing voices of neighbors through a wall. It will satisfy those seeking the ultimate drone-noise high and it will fascinate those seeking cutting-edge contemporary composition…it’s also 100% Texan and as such has a dusty, high and lonesome beauty to it. Hand-numbered, hand-assembled edition of 89 copies, only $7 postpaid anywhere.

I circulated some advance copies of this in western Massachusetts, in Pittsburgh, and in the New York Hudson Valley when I was back there in May, and FOUR ENVIRONMENTS commanded a lot of attention from the musicians, poets, and artists I met. It will surely become an album YOU play and think about often, and it may well lead you to experiment further in whatever artistic discipline YOU work in. I know it has inspired me as a poet!!!

Get your copy while you can…

3″ mini-cdr’s ($5.00 each, ppd.)

KSE #198 ( 3-inch CDR), MATAMOROS  (R. Lee Dockery and Derek Rogers), “Five-Toned Rows”

KSE #191 (3-inch CDR), Massimo Magee & Tim Green, “Direct To Tape.”

KSE #200 (3-inch CDR), Alfred 23 Harth/Soojung Kae/Chang U Choi, “Red Canopy.”

KSE #194 (3-inch CDR), Venison Whirled, “Xibalba.”

KSE #185 (3-inch CDR), Belltonesuicide, “non-conformist.”

KSE #186 (3-inch CDR), Parashi, “Zone of Alienation.”


full-sized CDR’s ($7.00 each, ppd.)

KSE #201 (CDR), Andreas Brandal, “Disturbing The Dust.”

KSE #189 (CDR), Nick Hennies, “Objects.”

KSE #175 (CDR),  Alfred 23 Harth, “Micro-Saxo-Phone, Edition  III.”

payment via paypal to    django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com   (note: to speed up your order, please send a note along with paypal payment listing numbers/titles of items ordered…thanks!)

As always, thanks for your support of KSE and of micro-presses and micro-labels everywhere.

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