Friday, September 19, 2014

GASP Records releases Neil Leonard "Mil Maneras" - EP featuring Oren Fader performing works for guitar and electronics

"Mr. Leonard creates a haunting, rhythmic, chantlike score, secular spiritual music for a New World. After leaving the gallery I kept hearing it, with delight, in my head, on the street, all afternoon."
Holland Cotter, New York Times, October 2013

GASP Records announces the release of Mil Maneras by composer/electronic musician Neil Leonard. This extraordinary EP features hypnotic grooves, ethereal electronic sounds and performances by virtuoso guitarist Oren Fader. The music draws on Leonard’s association with top-shelf artists including Marshall Allen, Joanne Brackeen, Don Byron, Richard Devine, Bill Frisell, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Phill Niblock, Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner and Evan Ziporyn.

Mil Maneras showcases the work that Leonard developed when he broke with musical convention and began collaborating with visual artists thirty years ago. These pieces are known widely through exhibitions and performances at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum and Venice Biennale.

The title track Mil Maneras was created for a mixed media installation with artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons for the Dak’Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art where the sound was heard in an abandon textile factory. “The atmospheric beginning has no rhythm, melody or harmony, just clouds of ethereal sound that evoke the ghosts for workers past. The groove that follows alludes to the perpetual rhythm of the factory full of machines pulling in threads and spinning out fabric displaying striking Senegalese designs.”

Interiority is a highly evocative miniature suite created for a permanent installation on an Italian mountaintop. The work comprises a nocturnal experience in which visitors encounter a constellation of orbs that display video imagery, project electronic sound and reveal illuminated inscriptions. “The sound is inspired by paintings in the Etruscan necropolis in Tarquinia where frescos depict the afterlife as a vibrant and seductive continuation of our present existence. I created subtle and varied sonic textures to maintain the allure for the local population who will experience the piece for years to come."

Mil Maneras concludes with the blast-furnace strength performance by Oren Fader on Vitrales. “The piece combines the montunos and drumming of timba bands that I heard in Cuba with extended approaches to jazz composition introduced to me by George Russell. Parts of the piece were drafted using computer programs that I designed but the final version was made by hand, often with the guitar in my lap to feel how fingers dance.” Vitrales creates a mosaic of unique rhythms, intricate counterpoint and shimmering harmonies to create a new music for 21st Century listeners.