R102 – Noel Meek & Mattin – “Homage to Annea Lockwood” Book+CD Recital (Los Angeles)

Recital presents a book and CD homage to the New Zealand-born American composer Annea Lockwood (b. 1939). The unique concept for this album was conceived by artists Noel Meek (New Zealand) and Mattin (Spain), who each share a deep admiration for Lockwood. A longform Skype conversation between the three artists was arranged at the end of 2020. They discussed politics, aesthetics, and Annea’s compositional practice among other things. Noel Meek & Mattin had from the beginning decided that the conversation itself would be used as a score for this album, Homage to Annea Lockwood. “My work is my way of exploring the world” says Lockwood. Each piece on the album reflects her prismatic compositional practice: sound maps, scores that unfold temporally or environmentally, synchronous with nature, and pianos transplanted to exotic locations (often engulfed in flames). Meek & Mattin maintain a playfulness and curiosity of Annea’s sound world; from electronic verbal fizz, a recording of lighting a laptop on fire, hydrophonic diaries from underneath an old oak tree in New Zealand, to a polyphonic choral piece which concludes the album. Homage to Annea Lockwood is housed in a hand-numbered paperback book, which carries a full transcription of the conversation, in this case… the score, along with lush photographic documentation, and ending with a lovely afterword written by Annea Lockwood. Recital is especially happy to be working with Annea again years later, after publishing her 2014 album Ground of Being (R7, CD). What a joy it is to celebrate Annea, and how appropriate it be done through the ritual of music.

Limited edition of 200pc, hand-numbered
Perfect bound Royal book, 60-pages
Glass-mastered CD

Un livre-CD hommage à la compositrice américaine d'origine néo-zélandaise Annea Lockwood, basé sur une longue conversation entre Lockwood, Noel Meek (Nouvelle-Zélande) et Mattin (Pays basque), tous deux fervents admirateurs, portant sur les questions politiques, l'esthétique et la pratique compositionnelle d'Annea Lockwood.

Noel Meek est un musicien improvisateur et compositeur néo-zélandais. Mattin (né en 1977 à Bilbao) est un artiste sonore conceptuel, dont le travail s'oriente autour de l'expérimentation bruitiste et de l'improvisation. Mattin examine les structures sociales et économiques sous-jacentes à la production sonore expérimentale à travers la performance, les enregistrements et l'écriture.

Recitalは、ニュージーランド生まれのアメリカ人作曲家Annea Lockwood(1939年生まれ)へのオマージュを本とCDでお届けします。 このアルバムのユニークなコンセプトは、それぞれロックウッドへの深い憧れを共有するアーティスト、Noel Meek(ニュージーランド)とMattin(スペイン)によって考案されました。2020年末、3人のアーティストによる長時間のスカイプ対談が実現。政治、美学、アンネアの作曲活動についてなど。Noel Meek & Mattinは当初から、この会話そのものをこのアルバム『Homage to Annea Lockwood』のスコアとして使用することを決めていました。

「私の作品は、世界を探求する私の方法です。アルバムに収録された各作品は、彼女のプリズム的な作曲方法を反映しています。サウンド・マップ、時間的または環境的に展開するスコア、自然とシンクロするスコア、エキゾチックな場所に移植されたピアノ(しばしば炎に包まれる)。Meek & Mattinは、アンネアの音世界に遊び心と好奇心を持ち続けています。エレクトロニック・バーバル・フィズから、ラップトップに火をつける録音、ニュージーランドの古いオークの木の下で書かれたハイドロフォニック・ダイアリー、そしてアルバムの最後を飾るポリフォニックな合唱曲まで。

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Noel Meek & Mattin Homage To Annea Lockwood
Annea Lockwood verabschiedete sich in diesem Jahr mit einem beeindruckenden Album von ihrer langjährigen Partnerin Ruth Anderson und Room40 legte mit »The Glass World« das wohl beste Album der neuseeländischen Klangkünstlerin und Komponistin neu auf. Fehlt noch: das Buch. Die Profi-Nerds Noel Meek und Mattin haben im Austausch zwischen NZ und dem Baskenland eine »Homage to Annea Lockwood« vorgelegt, die auf einem langen Interview mit ihr basiert und sogar von einer CD begleitet wird, auf der Kompositionen zu hören sind, die auf der Struktur des Gesprächs basieren. Das ist schließlich sehr, sehr Lockwood.

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Radio plays:

https://kgnu.org/shows/under-the-floorboards/ October 28, 2023, Mark Flanagan


The Best Field Recordings on Bandcamp: September 2023
By Matthew Blackwell · September 29, 2023

Bandcamp hosts an amazing array of field recordings from around the world, made by musicians and sound artists as well as professional field recordists. In this column, we highlight the best sounds recorded outside the studio and released in the last month. This installment features recordings of street festivals in India and weddings in England; a UFO sighting in Texas and a fortress in Oslo; highways humming in Melbourne and laptops burning in Berlin.

After artists Noel Meek and Mattin discovered their mutual admiration of renowned composer and field recordist Annea Lockwood, they decided to craft an homage to her and her work. At the end of 2020, the duo conducted a wide-ranging interview with Lockwood via Skype that was then used as the score for this four-part album. “Das Ding an sich” is a recording of the conversation itself, manipulated into constantly morphing digital noise from which their three voices approach and recede. “Computer Burning” is a 21st century update of Lockwood’s 1968 piece Piano Burning in which an upright piano is set alight; in Meek and Mattin’s version, a laptop was burned outside Funkhaus in Berlin and closely miked to record its pops and crackles. Lockwood is also known for her sound maps of rivers like the Danube, Hudson, and Housatonic. Here, Meek uses hydrophones to record the Ōtākaro River in Ōtautahi (Christchurch), New Zealand, where Lockwood grew up and which was largely abandoned after the 2011 earthquake. Finally, portions of the interview are sung by a small choir in St. Cuthbert’s Church in Ōhinetahi, Horomaka. As Lockwood writes in the liner notes, “This album is a very special gift, and honor, touching on varied aspects of my work but taking off from them in richly surprising directions.”

A Closer Listen, Richard Allen, 24th August 2023

The delightfully snipped Bandcamp description reads, “Homage to Annea Lockwood is housed in a hand …” Having met the artist, we believe that she would be amused by the image. To our (only slight) disappointment, Noel Meek & Mattin‘s loving tribute is instead housed in a hand-numbered paperback book, filled with photos, a transcript of a Skype conversation, and an afterword by Lockwood herself. The interview is embedded podcast-style in the opening track, while Lockwood’s words become song in the closing track. Who better to receive such a tribute? The eternally young sound artist still exudes the exuberance of her younger self, portrayed on the cover. “My work is my way of exploring the world,” she begins, elaborating on this theme over the course of a quarter hour. Meek and Mattin play with her voice, looping and distorting it, in some cases nearly erasing it before it rushes back in on a wave of field recordings, themselves processed and modified. This makes the track an exploration of Lockwood’s own techniques, the soundscape artist become soundscape. At the end of “Das Ding an sich,” Lockwood speaks of setting things on fire, in particular a retired piano, wrapping a microphone in asbestos ( ! ). Mattin responds by setting a computer on fire (recorded by Adam Asnan), which we would guess to Lockwood is even better than a birthday cake. Noel Meek visits an old oak tree in New Zealand to record “Ōtākaro / Where the Children Play.” Could this be the oak from which Lockwood sprouted? Are her fingerprints embedded in the rings? The tonal contrast between these pieces is in one sense like bookends, in another like a cycle. The soft flow of water is a sonic echo of her river works. A motor briefly interrupts the recoding, a reminder of how much the human world has encroached upon the natural world during Lockwood’s lifetime. The title track, a polyphonic choral work, is something Lockwood herself might not have imagined. Her words are transformed into song, a conversation with herself, in love with sound and nature and the realm of possibility. The voices of Olivia Webb, Hannah Everingham, and Emma Johnstone wrap around each other and diverge like – in Lockwood’s words – the eddies of the river that runs beneath the Ōtākaro. Upon hearing the results, Lockwood is overjoyed. This is the first time she has heard the river from below. This seems a serendipitous season for Lockwood, as Forced Exposure has recently restocked many of her seminal albums, including her lauded river map works, while Room40 is set to release Glass World, a remastered version of her 1970 album that focuses on single sounds: bubbles, water jars, spinning discs, on the same day as Homage. The Glass Concert is discussed in the Homage as well. Earlier this year, Ergot Records released Tête-à-tête, a collection of archival and unreleased tracks from Lockwood and her life partner Ruth Anderson, who passed away in 2019 but will forever be remembered as an electronic innovator. Homage honors not only Lockwood, but those who came before her, those who walked beside her, and those who follow her path. Recital’s Sean McCann is to congratulated for overseeing this vital and fascinating project.

Bad Alchemy Magazine Resonanz auf R102

NOEL MEEK & MATTIN Homage to Annea Lockwood (Recital, R102, Book+CD): Annea Lockwood, 1939 in Christchurch geboren, von 1961 an in London und bei den Darmstädter Ferienkursen mit Cage und Fluxus angefixt und in die damals angesagte Neutönerei initiiert, ist, seit 1973 in New York, zu einer der feministischen Ikonen der Avantgarde geworden. Durch die Wiederveröffentlichung von 'Tiger Balm' (1970), ihrer Musique concrète aus Raubkatzen-, Glocken- und Orgasmusklängen, sowie 'Becoming Air' (2018), stupent gespielt von Nate Wooley, und 'Into the Vanishing Point' (2019), eine grollend anschwellende, elegisch plonkende Klage über das insektoide Artensterben, performt mit Mikroperkussion und Piano von Yarn/Wire, jeweils auf Black Truffle, ist ihr Name bei Hipstern angekommen. Meek, Spielgefährte von Neil Campbell, Lasse Marhaug, Richard Youngs, Bruce Russell, Jim Denley und wie Lockwood Neuseeländer, ehrt sie mit 'Ōtākaro / Where the Children Play' und Fieldrecordings vom trauerweidenbeschatteten Ufer des Ōtākaro River in der 2011 vom Erdbeben ruinierten Red Zone bei Ōtautahi [Christchurch]. Das spielt, rauschend und glucksend, auf ihre Soundmaps des Hudson Rivers (1982) und der Donau (2005) an, so wie 'Homage...' mit feierlich verwobenen Interviewzeilen, dreistimmig angestimmt in der St. Cuthbert's Church, in der Meek geheiratet hat, auf 'Malolo' für drei Frauenstimmen (1983). Beides ist durch Schwarzweißfotografie eingefangen, so wie auch Mattins 'Computer Burning' als knisterndes, flackerndes Update von Lockwoods 'Piano Burning' (1967). 'Das Ding an sich' ist gleich zu Beginn jedoch das Skype-Interview, das Meek & Mattin im Okt. 2020 mit Lockwood führten und Mattins Mix davon, der sich, durch 'Tiger Balm' unverwundbar, alle bruitistischen Freiheiten nimmt. Aber man kann ja lesen, wie Lockwood sich entlang von 'In Our Name' (2009 - mit Gedichten von Gefangenen in Guantánamo, performt von Thomas Buckner), von 'Delta Run' (1982 - ihr Gespräch mit einem an Kehlkopfkrebs Sterbenden im Hospiz als Auseinandersetzung mit dem Tod ihrer Mutter), 'Jitterbug' (2007 - mit Steinmaserungen als Graphic Score), 'Wild Energy' (2016 - mit geo- und astrophysikalischen und Radiowellen etc.) bekennt als eine, die die Welt zugleich in ihren menschlichen, animalischen und elementaren Manifestationen erforscht. Weil sie die Stimme der Lebenden, des Wassers, sogar der Steine immer besser verstehen will, um die Sache selbst zu spüren, die Dinge als solche. Angerührt vom Tod ihrer Lebensgefährtin, der Komponistin Ruth Anderson im Nov. 2019 als existenzieller Erfahrung und vom Rassismus in den USA und der Klimakatastrophe als 'sozialen Dissonanzen', wie sie Mattin als bei Ray Brassier promovierten Künstler-Philosophen umtreiben, wenn er gegen 'subsumption' (Unterordnung), 'commodification' (Zur-Ware-Machen), 'alienation' (Entfremdung) und 'identity' die neomarxistische Vorstellung einer 'collectivity beyond identity' setzt und einen anderen Universalismus als den des Geldes. [BA 121 rbd]

Disk Union Blog, 15th September 2023, Japan

ニュージーランド出身、60年代よりイングランドへ移住し王立音楽大学にて作曲を学び、60年代当時の実験音楽シーンでも伝説的な評価を得ていた西海岸のアート雑誌『SOURCE : MUSIC OF THE AVANT GARDE』でも大きく特集が組まれ、エム・レコードからも初期作品集が発掘された女流作家、ANNEA LOCKWOOD。 本作は彼女に深い憧れを持つアーティスト、NOEL MEEKとMATTINによって考案され、2020年末、本人とのスカイプでの対談が実現。彼らは政治、美学、作曲活動について話し合いました。この会話そのものをアルバムで使用し、ANNEAの多彩な音世界とミックスしたオマージュ的作品となっています。 写真資料とANNEA LOCKWOODによるあとがきを収録したペーパーバック付属。

Number 1407
Week 42

In Vital Weekly 1387, I reviewed a record by Ruth Anderson and Annea Lockwood. I admitted that even though I had known the name of Lockwood for a long time, I also didn't hear much of her music. I can speculate why that is, but what's the purpose there? Unlike Noel Meek and Mattin, I am not a devoted fan. Martin regularly features in these pages with his conceptual approaches to music. Noel Meel "is a Pakeha musician, composer and video artist based in Otautahi, Aotearoa" (I had to look that up, but Pakeha is "a white New Zealander as opposed to a Maori person"; Otautahi is also known as Christchurch, and "Aotearoa is the contemporary M?ori-language name for New Zealand"). According to the booklet, Lockwood is a New Zealand-born composer (1939) and has a "lifelong fascination with the visceral effects of sound in our environments and through our bodies, " resulting in concerts, installations and performance art. This project started during the lockdown when Meek and Mattin concluded that they both deeply admired Lockwood and wanted to make this happen to her and her work. They had a Skype conversation with her, which they transcribed "and used it as a score for the realisation of this record". In the first piece, we hear the voices of all three; this is an excerpt of the Skype conversation. Quickly into the work, the voices start to fade and erode, with lots of filtering going on, making the speech impossible to follow, but off and on, they return, like ghosts appearing out of a mist. Towards the end, there is talk about a performance piece Lockwood did, which involved recording a burning piano. Then we get to the second piece, 'Computer Burning', in which Mattin sets fire to an old laptop and offers fifteen minutes, maybe using microphones inside the computer (as per the original piano recording). It's very conceptual, a bit noisy, but most enjoyable. Noel Meek is responsible for the last two pieces. First, there is 'Otakaro/Where The Children Play', a recording from Christchurch, where the M?ori didn't permanently live, as it was a swamp land. Following the 2011 quake, the ground around the Otakaro River, called the Red Zone, is now deserted, and there is a Stalker-like atmosphere, says Meek. He recorded sounds from below the water's surface, which is a reminder of Lockwood's best-known piece, 'Soundmap of The Hudson River'. The final report is 'Homage To Annea Lockwood', which uses three voices singing in the church where Meek married earlier this year. This is the most conventional music piece on this release, even when I am unsure what the text is about. I guess (!) that this deals with the Fluxus side of Lockwood's work. It tops an interestingly varied and highly informative release; the booklet details a bit of Lockwood, and I should spend more time with her work. (FdW)

Boomkat (Manchester)

New Zealand's Noel Meek and veteran Spanish sound artist Mattin craft this smart tribute to the legendary Annea Lockwood from a long-form Skype conversation, that's peppered across mischievous tracks that re-examine her most memorable moments. If you're going to make a tribute to a composer as important and singular as Annea Lockwood, you'd better find a novel way of approaching it. Thankfully, Meek and Mattin know exactly what they're getting themselves into, using a lengthy three-way chat with the New Zealand-born artist to form the backbone of the record, and fleshing it out with smart pieces that act as a commentary on her compositional practice. So opening track 'Das Ding an sich' establishes the form with vocal snippets from the interview cut, manipulated and juxtaposed with garbled laptop noises, and 'Computer Burning' is a digital age take on Lockwood's infamous 1968 composition 'Piano Burning'. Instead of hearing a piano dying as flames engulf its wooden frame and steel strings, we hear the plastic and metal of a laptop pop and bubble and spit for 15 minutes. Lockwood's interest in sound maps and environmental sound is touched on with 'Otakaro / Where the Children Play', a "hydrophonic diary" recorded at the Ōtākaro river that runs through Christchurch, where Lockwood was born. And the final track 'Homage to Annea Lockwood (2021-22)' is a moving polyphonic choral piece. It's a touching and fittingly whimsical tribute to one of experimental music's true originals. Recommended.