Tony Conrad Collection no. 06)

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Tony Conrad/Gastr del Sol
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain
Gastr del Sol
The Japanese Room at La Pagode
Tony Conrad
May
1995

Table of the Elements
[Copper] TOE-SS-29a
2x 7”singles, 21.75”x29” poster


Tony Conrad Collection no. 07)

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Gastr del Sol
The Japanese Room at La Pagode
Tony Conrad
May
1995

Table of the Elements
[Copper] TOE-SS-29b
7”single, 21.75”x29” poster


Photograph: Bradly Brown
Design: Jeff Hunt
Table of the Elements, 1995


“I went to the Japanese room at La Pagode to see an autobiographical film by a French director. It opened with footage of Cairo during the Gulf War. The director was represented by a milddle-aged Egyptian writer: same glasses. I was still weighing the merits of the Arabic voiceover when, unexpectedly, the film about Cairo ended and a film about the French Director began in earnest.”


“Why May Day? In honor of Maia, Roman ‘good goddess’ of fertility and women’s chastity, worshipped only by women. Love is not a suitable topic for music made by those whose history stinks of their habitual suppression of women. Why May Day? An international workers’ day in celebration of women and men together not as lovers but at labor. The high and low voices in polyphony signify women’s and men’s equity in a society unsoiled by the stain of love. Why ‘May Day!’ as men in distress face death? Love in music is only to yoke woman in opposition to man.“


“I had a dream that I shared a space with every living thing. Huge and waiting in the even light there stood a wall covered with windows and doors variously labeled with animal spoors and marked with names. As soon as I focused it clearly, each ancient door mysteriously became open, and a sound current flowed out all over the infinite plain. Other doors opened from time to time, reverberating the sound everywhere, but differently. And then suddenly there was nothing alive – but nothing had changed, and when I had returned, the sound was still there.”


   Tony Conrad with Gastr del Sol  "Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain" Table of the Elements Yttrium Festival Empty Bottle, Chicago, Illinois November 7, 1996

Tony Conrad with Gastr del Sol
"Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain"
Table of the Elements Yttrium Festival
Empty Bottle, Chicago, Illinois
November 7, 1996

Available in limited quantities, this split Gastr del Sol/Tony Conrad record was originally released in 1995. The Gastr side features one of their earliest efforts at intensive multi-track recording; instrumental passages segue through the faint murmur of a thousand voices. Conrad’s contribution is excerpted from an unreleased version of Early Minimalism: May 1965, recorded at Steve Albini’s studio with Jim O'Rourke and Bob Weston (Shellac). The packaging is, arguably, the most lavish of any Table of the Elements release: the sleeve unfurls into a 21” x 29" poster, displaying texts by the artists in metallic plum and copper inks.

The first 500 copies contained a second record, featuring an excerpt from an unreleased recording of Tony Conrad’s Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain (1971): Tony Conrad, violins; Jim O'Rourke, Long String Device; David Grubbs, bass. Recorded at Jim’s Steam Room studio, 1995.


  Photograph:   Bradly Brown     Design:   Jeff Hunt     Table of the Elements, 1995

Photograph: Bradly Brown
Design: Jeff Hunt
Table of the Elements, 1995


“Gastr del Sol’s musical universe is filled with juxtapositions; for years Grubbs and O'Rourke have constantly futzed with the musical boundaries of the hybrid genre of “innovation,” one they seem to spontaneously reinvent. “
Artforum


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