kind words for sarah j ritch and sky thing!

from recent music heroes:

Sarah J Ritch`s 5-track issue is a crossover album which is managed in a way to lead it up to the consolidation of modern and traditional, doleful cello music and experimental, at times even aggressive electronic or electro-acoustic processings which wake you up from a lethargic state of mind. These minimally treated vibrating impulses are spectacular, filled in with divergent power and intensiveness, however, ultimately ready to ascend or descend into remote, abstract universes.


and an older one from avant music news:

With Garbage Strike, sound artist John Collins McCormick – working under the name Sky Thing – creates a sonic portrait of post-industrial wastelands. McCormick uses a varied collection of sounds produced by electronics, objects, turntables, industrial detritus, field recordings, and conventional instruments. The five resulting tracks are studies in themes and variations for drones. Blast Place, for example, combines the sounds of friction with what appears to be rocks tumbling in a cylinder; Sheerest (CWTKK) follows with hissing, rattling high frequencies punctuated by the creak of a door on its hinges and the footsteps of a person entering (or leaving) the room. Things a Cat Can Do to a Fence, by contrast, is the sound of motors running down—an actual or quasi field recording of dying factories. All in all, a thoughtful take on a given moment in time.


more kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

this time the kindness comes from the acts of silence blog:

Ritch is a classically trained cellist so her attraction to drones is quite understandable. String Theory is part drone and part contemporary classical.* The album starts out with a short drone piece, “Celli”, which cements in my mind that the cello is the original drone creator. The second track, “400g Live” is a Ritch composition for violin and cello – though the cello is so good at drones, I sometimes wonder if it is not a laptop process these sounds. Carmel Raz plays the violin on this track. The third track is the aforemention drone piece, “16 Days”. With “Sonata de Kinor – 1st Movement”, Aurelien Pederzoli plays violin to Ritch’s cello. This would be the contemporary classical piece which I found to be alive and colorful. The last track is an interesting construction given by it’s title, “Duo for Solo Cello”. This work is filled with wonderful drones and noises. An exquisite way to end the album.

read the whole thing here

more kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

hey everyone, sarah j ritch just got an awesome review from time out chicago in which she receives four stars! (out of five, yo!)

The five tracks on String Theory offer a brief overview into Ritch’s development as a composer and skillful manipulator of electronics and cello. Aside from the notated tonal music of Sonata de Kinor and the violin on “400g live,” played by Carmel Raz and captured at an Israeli festival, the three other tracks on the album are played by the composer herself. The free-form noise of the 14-minute Duo for Solo Cello explores the properties of strings, transforming an acoustic instrument into the crackling static of a Tesla coil. The epic “16 Days” constructs an astral starscape of eerie drones. String Theory beautifully captures the ongoing bloom of one of Chicago’s most daring young composers.

read the whole thing here.

kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

the kindness comes from touching extremes.

One’s got to love someone whose family name’s pronunciation sounds like a truncated version of your own. Seriously, this is one of the many “first meetings” reported on these pages, in this circumstance with a cellist and composer who’s also a rare case of academically trained yet open-minded musician (punk is a part of her DNA) and human being (check her thoughts here) but, for some reason or another, hasn’t broken the ice of an inadequate visibility to date. String Theory should definitely help in achieving the goal thanks to its brilliantly multifaceted restraint. On the one hand, Ritch wanders across the galaxy of spectral-motionlessness-cum-throbbing-pulse, remaining there for long moments of magnetic sine wave-induced stasis (“16 Days”). On the other, the classic expertise of this inquiring mind emerges in “Sonata De Kinor – 1st Movement”, a soloist piece replete with echoes from a past age without romantic saccharine. In the middle of silence stands “Duo For Solo Cello”: “delicately strong” music halfway through timbral x-ray and very essential study of melodic collapse, confirming the validity of this woman’s talent which you’re strongly urged to further authenticate by downloading the album (it’s free!) and telling me that I was right (as always, haha).

pan y rosas release string theory by sarah j ritch

the newness for the advent of springtime in the northern hemisphere comes from chicago composer and improviser sarah j ritch. her interest in classical composition arose from both her studies in piano and cello as well as explorations of the guitar and bass in punk and metal bands in las vegas between 1996 and 2003. she eventually landed in chicago and earned a bachelor of music from roosevelt university and a post-baccalaureate certificate in sound from the school of the art institute of chicago.

on her debut album, string theory, sarah displays her interest in both improvised noise and notated tonal music as she explores the acoustic structures of strings and sines. over the course of the album electronically treated cello gives way to droning and pizzicato violin; a pure drone at the center resolves itself with a rising and falling violin sonata; and a cello converses with itself in woodtones. get it here!