Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

March 21, 2015

now available, STEVE FLATO, Exhaust System (KSE #307)


Exhaust System (KSE #307, CDR album)

A process piece in just intonation for three clarinets, oboe, bassoon, cello, bass, and sine waves.

mastered by A. F. Jones, Laminal Audio (, cover art by Nicholas Szczepanik

$8 US / $11.50 elsewhere        payment via paypal to   django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

please provide address/item ordered in a note with your paypal order….THANKS


KSE believes in contemporary composers and contemporary composition…hence our albums by Nick Hennies, Brent Fariss, Marcus Rubio, Forbes Graham, and others….and we try to bring composers with exciting new creations into the fold and feature their work, giving them an international platform for release of new pieces in hard-copy CDR form. We are introducing two composers new to the KSE family in 2015 (the second, Denton, TX-based JEN HILL, will be featured in Fall 2015), and the first of these is San Diego-based composer and multi-instrumentalist STEVE FLATO. Having performed and recorded with such friends as DEREK ROGERS and VANESSA ROSSETTO, Steve was familiar to me, and when I heard his major new piece in just intonation EXHAUST SYSTEM, I immediately inquired about an album release on KSE. Long-form process pieces in poetry, film, the visual arts, and music have always fascinated me, and EXHAUST SYSTEM is the kind of work you can put on and then immerse yourself in its world and FEEL its construction and its internal logic from the inside out (and the rich and crystal-clear mastering of Alan Jones, who also did our recent Derek Rogers album, helps a lot to bring a sense of depth and immediacy to the listening experience). I remember back in the day listening to the LaMonte Young album on Shandar at various volumes and settings, in different parts of the room, on headphones and without headphones, etc., and speaking of Shandar, also doing that with Terry Riley’s PERSIAN SURGERY DERVISHES. (I’m also reminded of the cascading/alternating/slipping/incantatory repetitions in Gertrude Stein’s THE MAKING OF AMERICANS.) This is that  kind of album….a transcendent listening experience and a fascinatingly constructed piece. Let’s let the composer explain:

EXHAUST SYSTEM  is a process piece based on Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting In A Room” for 3 clarinets, oboe, bassoon, sine waves, bass, and cello. It is in the system of tuning called just intonation, a microtonal tuning that uses pure ratios to achieve very pure sonorities. Basically, it is like “I Am Sitting In A Room” in that the source sounds (microtonally tuned instruments playing swells of long notes instead of spoken voice in this case) are processed by being sent into a room over and over again. I’m sure you are familiar with this piece, so you know how Lucier’s piece works linearly. He starts from point A (dry) and goes to point B (processed reverb). In Exhaust System, each instrument is on its own timeline. The process, instead of linearly like Lucier, works backwards, from the middle, going 2x speed, half speed, etc and through different permutations. This creates a counterpoint between the instruments texturally and harmonically. Additionally, all the “swelling” notes played by the instruments was done so through a Reaktor script that randomized when these swelling events would happen. The effect is a shimmering, pulsating wave of sonorities that moves and changes so slowly that you can’t quite perceive any differentiation.

Steve also did a recent interview with the Spanish website PREPARED GUITAR, where he explains his aesthetic and the nature of his work very well. Check it out here:

This is an exciting and fascinating album from a man who’s making a name for himself in the contemporary music world, and it’s easy to see why with such a major release as EXHAUST SYSTEM. Be sure to get your copy NOW…I can’t imagine this piece ever getting old…! Ordering instructions above….and why not check out some of KSE’s other excellent releases of contemporary experimental music on CDR….look below on this page for brand-new releases from DEREK ROGERS and FOSSILS along with the remaining copies of late 2014 releases from MATT KREFTING, BRENT FARISS, ALFRED 23 HARTH, and others.

BIO: Steve Flato is a San Diego-based musician working primarily in and exploring areas between composition and improvisation. Using live sound manipulation, broken electronics, just intonation guitar, and mangled samples, he transforms and rearranges his own sound and the sound of his collaborators in live settings and on record.
Flato is concerned with process and chance, and the line between synthetic and natural sounds. He is particularly interested in impurity — taking processes and concepts and freely interchanging them without the process necessarily dictating form. His label, Abrash, is named after the impurities found in the accidental color bleeding that occurs in the process of creating rugs, noted by Morton Feldman.
His compositions are often sourced from improvisations, improvisations sourced from compositions, and he utilizes recurring and intuitive processes to transform his material. In addition to Abrash, he has appeared on labels such as Copy For Your Records, Kendra Steiner Editions and Lengua de Lava. Past collaborative work includes  Fyxzis (with Corey Larkin and Richard Kamerman) and Hwaet (with Vanessa Rossetto).
Visit Mr. Flato at



Other exciting experimental music CDR albums available from KSE:


NEW FOR 2015: KSE #294, FOSSILS, “For Brian Ruryk” (a joint release with Middle James Co., KSE has only 22 copies of this)

derek 2015

NEW FOR 2015: KSE #292, DEREK ROGERS, “Depth/Detail of Processing”


NEW FOR 2015: KSE #300 (CDR), FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE, “The Florida Nocturne Poems” (poetry and music album), cover art by MP Landis


remaining copies of new releases from 2014:

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


$8 US postpaid                       $11.50 outside of US postpaid


paypal funds to      django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

and also please include a note with your order stating your mailing name/address and what albums you are ordering….Paypal does not always provide that….MANY THANKS for your ongoing support….



Steve’s other new album, SALON DE FLATO, available from the excellent COPY FOR YOUR RECORDS label, which has done releases from other KSE artists such as Massimo Magee and Marcus Rubio….an essential label! Here’s the ordering link for that album:





As always, thank you for your support of independent artists and independent arts collectives such as KSE….

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