the meaning of the word friend took a serious blow when the social networking site myspace decided to call contacts made there ‘friends’, irrespective of whether the contact in question is indeed your best mate from school or a highly successful chart act – let’s say coldplay – with over half a million similar acquaintances. [ parvoart ] recordings, with just 700 contacts at the time of writing, has a hard time maintaining any meaningful relationship with any more than fraction of them, which has sort of bothered us (along with the associated devaluation of the language and meaning of words) . it bothered us enough to think about how to buck the trend, make the term mean something again, if only in a small, i.e. typically parvoart, sway. [ parvo ] art is the result. [ parvo ] art (latin for small art, in german kleinkunst) is [ parvoart ]’s first compilation, and features – as you might have guessed by now – friends on the [ parvoart ] myspace page whose music we also ‘discovered’ there. as our seventh release, it seemed a good idea to feature seven artists, each with just under three and half minutes playing time. the ‘small’ concept can refer to the amount of time given to the artists, their sound, the number of instruments / textures used or any combination thereof.
whereas the first batch of releases from [ parvoart ] only featured artists from wismar, germany. it is a great pleasure to showcase both new and established talent from the microsound / lowercase / ambient scene from the US, UK, japan, france, germany, poland, italy and (indirectly) switzerland and ireland (more on that later).
german artist porzellan sets the tone for the release and the label perfectly with vopar tar (spot the anagram of an anagram!) with an ear for minimal, unfolding melodies that recalls both mr part himself and drone artists stars of the lid. this contrasts to great effect with the next track, an extract from a new extended work, prosa by american sound artist tomas phillips and japanese counterpart marihiko hara. between several pauses that reveal the acoustics of the room the piece was recorded in, stark yet beautiful piano phrasings simultaneously evoke both webern and ryuichi sakamoto as a fragile koto adds distinctive colour and counterpoint. the intimacy of this track fades into an expanse of minimal, shapeshifting, seemingly endless drone – from the gold mines – from french guitarist rim, which in turn paves the way perfectly for pole krzysztof orluk to unfurl over the next three and a half minutes his own particular brand of sculpted, distorted but soothing drone, intriguing entitled blind man. again a shift in dynamic emphasis follows with [ parvoart ] recordings ‘boss’ duncan ó ceallaigh, and a track – re-fit – that uses as its sole sound source «pas(s)t» by swiss artist steinbrüchel to create a radical reworking that effectively melds both artist’s signature aesthetics. the track ends sucked into itself, once again immersing the listener into silence – well, near silence, the realm of italian lowercase artist shinkei. his contribution is truly minimal in every sense – a triptych of one-minute miniatures under the title joriki: highly processed, discreet yet organic almost insect-like chirps; subtle, possibly radio or turntable-based drones finally give way a field recording made in a japanese garden. as the sound of feet on gravel, birdsong and wind chimes fade once again to silence, the scene is set for the final contribution: the boats. their track, george herbert leigh mallory – their first as a trio with new member danny – is both a summation of all that has gone before it – warm, fragile noise and live instrumentation (here in the form of a sublime violin melody) – and more, for it is also the sole track to use beats – subtle, subdued beats, but beats none the less. in this context their track feels almost like a pop moment, it’s warmth serving to highlight and contrast its backstory – a nostalgic, melancholy homage to the climber who tragically died just short of reaching the summit of mount everest in 1924, and thus an appropriate end to the compilation with it’s snow covered imagery.
[ parvoart ] recordings is very grateful to all the artists for their contributions. nothing here can be in any way described as ‘filler’ or ‘off-cuts’, making [ parvo ] art in our humble opinion a very special and collectible compilation.
the artists (click their names for links to their homepages)
porzellan – german baroque violinist and passionate minimalist in all its forms (architecture, music, art, …). defines his work as “a minimalist variable structure which can accommodate the wealth of a melody, and translate or improve their emotional intensity.” releases on abyssa, duckbay and slow-flow.
tomas phillips – US composer, novelist and teacher, whose sound work focuses on improvisational performance and minimalist through-composition and creating music for installations and collaborations in dance and theatre. releases on line, koyuki, non visual objects, and/OAR, trente oiseaux, petit sono.
marihiko hara – based in kyoto japan, he composes “sound-based works that take a look at scenes inside/outside of himself, reflecting on the strength of silence and the relation between sound and us”. releases on u-cover, zymogen, cotton goods and leeraum.
rim – an ambient, guitar-only, beat-unfriendly project based in vannes, france. has soundtracked two films by canadian pascal payant. releases on heldernacht, soundtransit
krzysztof orluk – experimental musician based in poland. “everything is sunk in noises and overdrives that gives my music the delicate taste of minimalism and subtlety”. releases on etalabel, databloem.
duncan ó ceallaigh – the scots-irish, wismar germany based musician and photographer specializing in the quiet, contemplative yet challenging music in various genres. runs the [ parvoart ] label. releases on [ parvoart ], u-cover.
steinbrüchel musician and graphic designer based in zurich, switzerland, winner of the max brand award for electronic music. releases on low point, line, room40, domizil, binemusic, non visual objects, and/OAR, 12k, koyuki, slaapwel, atak, synchron.
shinkei – the tuscan sound artist likes “to play with the perception of sound, moving on the edge of audibility, exploring the empty spaces between sounds“. runs the koyuki label releases on koyuki, white line editions, non visual objects.
the boats – wethersby, UK based duo (now trio) including former members of hood. “creators of objects of desire for followers of skewed laptop folk and bedroom pop everywhere” (boomkat.com). run the moteer, mobeer and our small ideas labels. releases on moteer, flau, our small ideas.
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