Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

December 24, 2014

new album from BRENT FARISS….”FOLK SONG FOR 27 OBOES” (KSE #284)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:20 pm

brent and bass (anathema)



CDR album    KSE #284

$8 US postpaid / $11 elsewhere postpaid

payment via paypal to DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM


We are very excited to welcome back Austin composer-musician BRENT FARISS for a second KSE album, the composition FOLK SONG FOR 27 OBOES (KSE #284). Brent’s first KSE album, FOUR ENVIRONMENTS ….COLLAPSING (KSE #199, released in July 2011) was much acclaimed, he played (both solo and in duos with Rick Reed) in both of the 2011-2012 KSE Austin concerts sponsored by the Church of the Friendly Ghost, and when I was asked by Corwood Industries to assemble a group to support Jandek for the Austin 2012 concert I organized, Brent was the obvious choice for bassist. That concert was a sublime event, and Brent’s intuitive, edgy playing was an important element. One of the areas KSE wants to support through our CDR music releases is contemporary composition. This recorded performance of FOLK SONG FOR 27 OBOES was commissioned directly by Kendra Steiner Editions, and we worked with the composer at every step along the way, including the bleached-out, oversaturated cover art he provided. It’s been well worth the effort to present this stunning and fascinating  composition. Let’s let Brent Fariss himself explain the genesis of the piece:


Jacob Green – oboe(s)

Brent Fariss – acoustic guitar

“Folk Song originally started as my attempt to create a beautiful folk / pop song. It quickly developed into something more complicated, taking over 4 years to complete. Why the number 27? The primary reason was due to the large number of instrument groupings I could utilize, mainly because of the number 3 (3 x 3 x 3). Obviously, finding 27 oboes willing to play this was going to be next to impossible, so I opted to seek out a single oboe player (Jacob Green) to record all of the events. The oboe tracks were recorded one at a time and then carefully mixed (with placement in the stereo field based on each parts relationship to the overtone series).

Even though the piece remains fairly abstract, with a huge emphasis on texture, I still felt it connected to the idea of “song” form, albeit one that has been slowed down quite a bit. The first section is considered the “verse”, the 2nd section (which focuses primarily on harmony, overtones, and microtonal tunings/beatings) is the “chorus”. The chorus became fascinating to me in that it becomes almost a piece for some otherworldly reed organ. It takes quite a while for this to happen, but when all 27 oboes play at once, the cluster of sound is dizzying!

Special thanks to Jacob Green (dawn of the oboe), Clark Crawford, and Nathan Wood for their assistance and patience in recording this, as well as putting up with hearing me blather on about it for so many years.

Folk Song is dedicated to my grandmothers, Lois Bird Cooper (1921-2002) and Dolores Fariss (1912-1993), both of whom offered a deep exposure to country music. Dolores (aka Granny) explained the ideas and the long tradition of stories told through western, folk or regional music…as well as giving me my first gig (playing snare drum on her acclaimed song, “The Austin Waltz”). And Lois (aka Mimi) taught me how to square dance by the age of 10, taking me all the way to the state square dancing competitions in the big city (aka Dallas)…and how much more folksy can you be than that?”

It’s amazing what composer Fariss and performer Green do in this piece….starting off with percussive  “clicking” extended techniques with the oboes then weaving in and out of all kinds of string-like textures and raga-like variations and thick, kaleidoscopic layers of oboe overtones…all held together with the same occasional acoustic guitar chord, explored from many directions, from the composer. You’ll lose all sense of time with this piece, and when it ends, you’ll want to push the “play” button again…and again.

As with any worthwhile piece of composition, you can either focus on the structure and the juxtapositions….or let it wash all over you while entering into its world….or alternate back and forth. In any event, this is an exciting album, a worthy follow-up to FOUR ENVIRONMENTS….COLLAPSING. I’ve probably seen Brent in performance a dozen times over the years with various groupings (and with the Austin New Music Co-op) and solo (and let’s not forget his membership in WACO GIRLS…), and this album really captures the inventiveness and playfulness and textural explorations (as a string player, Brent is a specialist in textural explorations) that epitomize his work. It’s KSE’s final music release of 2014,  and a testament to the forward-thinking musical talent we have here in Central Texas.

Hats off also to Jacob Green for a virtuoso performance….27 of them, that is. The oboe is an under-utilized instrument….nice to hear it taken to the limit here.

FOLK SONG FOR 27 OBOES.   Limited edition of 99 copies. Get yours NOW!   $8 US   /  $11 elsewhere

red brent 2 (the return of hauss of wolves)


“When all 27 oboes play at once, the cluster of sound is dizzying!”–indeed, it is!


Brent Fariss is a composer / performer living in Austin, Texas. He has collaborated in several modern music ensembles including the Austin New Music Co-op, Knob Jobs, and the Gates Ensemble. As a performer, he has worked with Phill Niblock, Ellen Fullman, Michael Pisaro, Radu Malfatti, Pauline Oliveros, Jandek, JG Thirwell, and Arnold Dreyblatt. Currently, he is completing a trilogy of music theater pieces (der IdiotprinzThe Magic Show, & the forthcomingLarry Lewis); destroying galleries & clubs alike with the retro-noise project, Waco Girls; and composing a new chamber work for Ensemble Pamplemousse (premiering Spring 2015). Fariss holds a Master’s degree in Composition from Texas State University, where he also studied the contrabass. His goal in music is exploring the nature of sound (timbre), elevating it to the same level as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. He is the recipient of two Meet the Composer grants for the compositions, “Dim Gleam” (for choir, 2 basses, 2 percussionists and choir chimes) and “The Water Bowl” (for 4 performers, horn, trombone and percussion). In late 2014 – early 2015, Fariss will have three releases coming out on Kendra Steiner Editions (Folk Song for 27 oboes), Weighter Recordings (unitard), and Instincto Records (bliss…).



 ($8.00 each, ppd. in US        —outside US $11 )

Please include a note with your paypal order including the items ordered AND your mailing address (which Paypal often fails to provide me)….thanks!


KSE # 291 (CDR), MARCUS M. RUBIO, “Cities Sinking Down”

marcus cities

KSE #266 (CDR), MATT KREFTING, “Recitals”

matt recitals

KSE #286 / MJC #440  (CDR), FOSSILS, “The Cardigan Hour” (only 24 copies available from KSE!  “Chamber Fossils”)

fossils cover cardigan

KSE #289 (CDR), A. J. KAUFMANN, ‘Stoned Gypsy Wanderer,” cover art by Justin Jackley

AJK, album cover

KSE #285 (CDR), SMOKEY EMERY (aka Daniel Hipolito), “Live At The Hideout Theatre”



KSE #288 (CDR, spoken-word poetry), BILL SHUTE, “Worried Men and Wooden Soldiers: Bill Shute reads selected 2013-2014 poems,”  produced by Marcus Rubio


KSE #275 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH, “China Collection”


KSE #281 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Wooly Bully” (a co-release with Middle James Co., only 20 copies available from KSE)



KSE #279 (CDR), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Wistful Entrance, Wistful Exit”

ernesto album cover



CATHAL RODGERS_20140117_0002

and the last remaining copies of …

A23H  4

KSE #257 (CDR),  ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Micro-Saxo-Phone, Edition  IV.”

Thank you for your continued support of KSE and all independent, grass-roots arts organizations….as we enter our TENTH year of operation!

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