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Ballads Limited Vinyl LP

by Ashley Bellouin

Release Date: 11 November 2016

Format: LP Vinyl

Label: Drawing Room Records


Ashley Bellouin Ballads Limited Vinyl LP

Ashley Bellouin's work explores the merging of sound art, electro-acoustic composition, and instrument building. She focuses on the studies of sonology, psychoacoustics, and the interaction between sound and architecture. Her compositions emphasize and exploit the sonic potential contained within a single musical gesture, regularly using electronics to develop latent qualities. Spatialization, beat frequencies, auditory illusions, and microtonal tunings are frequent compositional tools. Bellouin holds an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media from Mills College, from where her accolades include the Frog Peak Collective Experimental Music Award for most outstanding thesis. Since 2012 Bellouin has collaborated with musician Ben Bracken on both musical compositions and instrument building. Their piece "After Image" is included in the double LP/DVD compilation Gravity Spells: Bay Area New Music and Expanded Cinema Art, released in 2014 by Bimodal Press. Other current and past collaborators include musician Sarah Davachi, filmmakers Paul Clipson and Kerry Laitala, and visual artists Rick Bahto, Chris Duncan, and Chris Fraser. Professionally, Bellouin has worked for synth pioneers, the late Don Buchla, as his assistant in research and development, and Dave Smith, as a technician at Dave Smith Instruments. She currently serves as Visiting Faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and resides in Oakland, CA. Potent music will always free the body to move into some great state of harmony (physical, mystical, or dreamlike variant). These fantastic crossings provide the human experience natural intoxicants to feel a wonderful freedom that is often unfounded otherwise. Some might even propose that this is music's sole and noble purpose. Composed or not, the music of Ashley Bellouin is a most pleasing blessing to this new century's blueprint for perfect harmonization, and it's splendor is a must hear for true experience. With her debut album, Ballads, Bellouin presents the listener with two sidelong tracks, "Bourdon" and "Hummen," that slowly evolve over their respective journeys. Both pieces focus on the acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena that arise from microtonal tuning variations, and they invite the audience to enter into a heightened state of listening where small details become the primary focus. Each track unfolds into an intricate auditory journey, suggesting subtle alterations to the perception of linear time. As the pieces progress, select tones emerge and transform the sound by revealing hidden overtones. The negative spaces between closely paired pitches alter and create complex tonal structures and shifting rhythmic patterns. Bellouin composed, performed, recorded, and mixed the album between the period of 2012 and 2015 with Ben Bracken and Teddy Rankin-Parker joining on electric guitar and cello, respectively. "Hummen" features Bellouin's hand built glass armonica, custom electronics, harmonium, electric guitar, and aluminum rods. "Bourdon" features the Sequential Prophet 6 (which Bellouin was involved in making while working at Dave Smith Instruments), custom electronics, harmonium, cello, and electric guitar.

Featured Tracks:
1. Bourden
2. Hummen