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Michael Pisaro: stem​-​flower​-​root

by Pleasure Of The Text Records

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  • PREORDER: Tisser Tissu Editions 002

    This limited edition download and chapbook set features the first composition released from Nate Wooley's For/With commissioning series and festival. Written specifically for Wooley, Michael Pisaro-Liu has built a lush and natural bed of sinetones upon which the trumpet blends and emphasizes spectral colors through the use of different mutings before taking off in some of Pisaro-Liu's most intimate and lyrical writing to date. The trumpet returns at the end to add gravity to the sinetones, bringing the piece to a quietly exultant end.

    This download release comes with a beautiful, small book featuring the trumpet score for stem-flower-root, photos from sculptor Jessica Slaven, a half-aphoristic essay by Wooley about stems, flowers, and roots, an insightful piece of writing by Pisaro-Liu on D'arcy Thompson's influence on the piece, and a conversation between performer and composer. The book is designed by Lasse Marhaug in TTE's classic minimalist design and is the first to feature works from the For/With Festival (Christian Wolff's For Trumpet Player, TTE003, is slated for 2022.)

    The For/With Festival occurred in three iterations, from 2017-2019, at Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room space. Initially conceived as a commissioning series, the concerts were an outlet for Nate Wooley’s project of commissioning, performing, and documenting pieces for solo trumpet by composers that may not have seen the instrument as a viable or interesting outlet for their musical voices. The first festival, in 2017, included solo premieres of works by Christian Wolff (For Trumpet Player upcoming release as TTE003) and Michael Pisaro-Liu (stem-flower-root TTE002), as well as works by Ash Fure and Annea Lockwood. In 2018, the premieres consisted of works made in direct collaboration with Wadada Leo Smith (Red Autumn Gold upcoming release TBA) and Annea Lockwood (Becoming Air 2021 release on Black Truffle Records) as well as ensemble works by Annea Lockwood, Ash Fure, and Catherine Lamb. 2019, the last year of the For/With Festival included premieres of work for trumpet by Sarah Hennies (monologue TBA) and Eva-Maria Houben (chanting ballads TBA) as well as works by Katherine Young and Ryoko Akama. Although the festival had reached its end before the COVID quarantine, work continues on new commissions by Katherine Young and Catherine Lamb in hopes of creating an alternate literature for the future of solo trumpet.

    Each Tisser Tissu Editions recording will be accompanied with beautifully designed books including information and context intended to help unspool and reconstruct the meaning of the music in the same way the reader unravels and reweaves a text. In some cases, these accompanying features will clarify: composers and performers talking directly about their work. In others they will only give a vague contextualization or will exist to purposely frustrate understanding. All of these elements are intended to goad the audience into reflection and personal study, with the best possible result being a return to the work as a way of invitingnew and individual threads into the overall fabric.

    About Nate Wooley
    Nate Wooley (b.1974) was born in Clatskanie, Oregon and began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. He made his debut as soloist with the New York Philharmonic at the opening series of their 2019 season. Considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language.

    Wooley moved to New York in 2001 and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Annea Lockwood, Ken Vandermark, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada. He has premiered works for trumpet by Christian Wolff, Michael Pisaro, Annea Lockwood, Ash Fure, Wadada Leo Smith, Sarah Hennies and Eva-Maria Houben.

    In recent years, he has built a reputation as a composer of music epic in scope and social in design. His series of solo works based on the International Phonetic Alphabet, The Complete Syllables Music, was compared to the literary work of Georges Perec and hailed as “revolutionary solo repertoire” by All About Jazz. At the other end of the spectrum, his decade-long Seven Storey Mountain cycle has encompassed almost 50 different performers, the most recent version consisting of a 32-person ensemble. This iteration, Seven Storey Mountain VI, “expresses communality, with all of its potential for the profound and the spiritual,” according to Pitchfork. SSMVI appeared on many year-end lists, including as record of the year in El Intruso’s International Critics List and critic Peter Margasak’s personal list.

    Another branch of Wooley’s compositional work is his commitment to the concept of Mutual Aid Music, beginning with the quartet work Battle Pieces, commissioned by Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation in 2014, and including a short-lived, but powerful compositional set entitled knknighgh in homage to poet Aram Saroyan. MAM has since matured into a full chamber ensemble work for double quartet and has been expanded through collaborative work with Annea Lockwood (Becoming Air, release on Black Truffle Records 2021), choreographers Kim Brandt, Jen Mesch, and Anna Sperber, and with commissions by TILT Brass, Loadbang Ensemble, and Dither Quartet.

    Wooley received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award in 2016. He was the recipient of the Instant Award for Improvised Music and the Spencer Glendon First Principles Prize in 2020.

    He is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal Sound American both of which are dedicated to broadening the definition of American music through their online presence and the physical distribution of music through Sound American Records. He also runs Pleasure of the Text which releases music by composers of experimental music at the beginnings of their careers in rough and ready mediums. Learn more at www.natewooley.com.

    About Michael Pisaro-Liu
    Michael Pisaro-Liu (born 1961 in Buffalo, New York) is a guitarist and com- poser and a longtime member of the Wandelweiser collective. While, like other members of Wandelweiser, Pisaro-Liu is known for pieces of long duration with periods of silence, in the past fifteen years his work has branched out in many directions, including work with field recording, electronics, improvisation and large ensembles of very different kinds of instrumental constitution.

    Pisaro-Liu has a long-standing collaboration with percussionist Greg Stuart, with over thirty collaborations (pieces and recordings) to date, including their 3-disc set, Continuum Unbound from 2014 and Umbra & Penumbra for amplified percussion and orchestra premiered by the La Jolla Symphony in February, 2020. Recordings of his work have been released by Edition Wandelweiser Records, erstwhile records, New World Records, Hubro, Potlatch, another timbre, meena/ftarri, Senufo Editions, Intonema, winds measure, HEM Berlin and on Pisaro’s own imprint, Gravity Wave. His work is regularly performed throughout the US, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.

    Pisaro-Liu teaches composition and experimental music at the California Institute of the Arts. Much of his recent work has been in mixed-media collaborations with his wife, the artist and filmmaker, Cherlyn Hsing Hsin Pisaro-Liu. Learn more at www.michaelpisaro-liu.com.

    Recorded May 30, 2019 at Oktaven studios
    Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Ryan Streber

    Includes unlimited streaming of Michael Pisaro: stem-flower-root via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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This digital release comes with a download of the audio and a pdf of the chapbook. The chapbook and digital release comes with the physical copy of the bound chapbook plus the download of the music.


released December 10, 2021


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Pleasure Of The Text Records Brooklyn, New York

Pleasure of the Text Records was started in 2013 by Nate Wooley. In its spottily moribund existence it has released some of the most interesting improvised and electro-acoustic music within a confined space and time.

Tisser Tissu Editions began in 2019 as a way of digitally releasing music with text and art as a means of contextualizing and promoting experimental work.
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