The Alcohol Seed is proud to present Adrian Dziewanski’s The Trail Loops Back on compact disc, co-published with New York’s Invisible Birds.
A ceaselessly iridescent work by Mr. Dziewanski, full of deep obeisance for the natural world, bird-life, distant melodic disintegrations and the all-encompassing cosmic drone. This world of incomprehension and poetry is mysteriously always rising and falling, something that is suspended, and nearly always invisible. Its forming distance brings the listener to the oblivion of the body and one finds him/herself situated outside of time. Not for the light of heart but always for the pursuers of the light.
“Creation is here and now. So near is man to the creative pageant, so much a part is he of the endless and incredible experiment, that any glimpse he may have will be but the revelation of a moment, a solitary note heard in a symphony thundering through debatable existences of time. Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. It is as impossible to live without reverence as it is without joy.”
– Henry Beston (The Outermost House, 1928)
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Edition of 200
A Common Dust
Mastered by Jeremy Bible
Sleeves printed at oiseaux invisibles and assembled by The Alcohol Seed.
Field recordings from Manning Park, BC (2015), Vancouver, BC (2010-16) & Hawai’i (2012). Guitars and hypnagogic memoranda tunnel loops recorded in Vancouver (2011). All music arranged and mixed by Adrian Dziewanski in Coquitlam, BC, June – October, 2017.
Includes glass mastered CD in handmade timber green sleeves, printed cover photograph by Adrian Dziewanski, and folded insert.
Purchase on Bandcamp.
Deluxe edition of The Trail Loops Back Includes standard edition CD, bonus disc exclusive to this edition featuring the tracks “Convex Reflections” & “Oscillations of Adam”, ‘Roads’ triptych of 8″ x 10″ photographs, haiku poetry chapbook by Adrian Dziewanski and Alcohol Seed sticker (3.5″ x 3.5″). Housed in oversized heavy-card folio with acrylic stencilled cover.
LIMITED TO 15 COPIES
Copies Remaining: 8 (updated as sold)
Purchase on Bandcamp.
The notes for Adrian Dziewanski’s new album The Trail Loops Back make an insightful connection between the Vancouver musician/poet’s work and early ambient compositions.
“Dziewanski utilizes environmental recordings, found sound and prepared instruments as pathways into deep-time sonic meditation. His music harkens to an exquisite stasis that was once the focus of western music’s ambient forefathers and foremothers.”
These two new pieces feature running water, wind, rain, birdsong and much else. But both are a great deal more than a walk through some west coast Canadian forest. Dziewanski doesn’t so much mix his sounds as arrange them, in the process transforming these varied sources into a mesmerizing collage.
Key to all this is his addition of prepared instruments. They serve as a kind of stage on which he can introduce each piece’s other elements. Dziewanski – who also records experimental music under the name Riverkeeper – is above all else a composer.
“A Common Dust” is the more picturesque of the two pieces. Ships and clanging bells in the distance, quietly rushing water, chirping birds are all part of the show. As it progresses, we hear footsteps (presumably Dziewanski’s) padding along that trail mentioned in the album’s title.
“Root Tendrils” is more difficult to sort through. He’s painting a scene, but it’s drenched in fog. Some sounds are generally recognizable, but you’ll struggle to place them specifically. Others are a complete mystery. Again though, Dziewanski delivers an absorbing, pleasing listen.
Dziewanski points to the Japanese aesthetic tradition of wabi-sabi as a core inspiration. That celebration of imperfection and impermanence helps explain this and other recordings he has produced. It also brings to mind Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s fine new recording Glass, which bears some similarities to The Trail Loops Back.
Kevin Press, Badd Press
One of two new releases this month is Adrian Dziewanski‘s The Trail Loops Back from the NY art imprint Invisible Birds pairing up with British Columbia’s equally vibrant The Alcohol Seed. Inside his ninth recording since 2008 you’ll find a nicely styled, handmade lunar-like topographic cover art, glass mastered CD w/ chapbook (edition of 200, w/15 including a bonus CD + prints – all housed in oversize heavy-card folio), and via Bandcamp as well. There are two twenty minute plus tracks here, starting with A Common Dust. Collaged here are layers of bird chirps and calls, watery rushes, manipulated bass tones and other dusty detritus.
Full of quietude and raw atmosphere, the field recordings of stormy drips and wind re-conjures the fierce natural world skillfully and with a clear sense of rearranging the in-situ. In essence Dziewanski conducts and reconstructs Mother Nature’s vast phenomena with artistic disposition. It’s fascinating to hear scores of crickets as if contained in a cyclone while simultaneously the sea heads for low tide. A beautiful and complex bawl, roaring quietly from fore to background. The pitch is bloated and resistant in moments, but always effortless, ending with a bass tone and some light strings.
On Root Tendrils we enter into a gray area of dark ambient noir, with only a few twitchy mechanisms barely revealing themselves. The soft crackling rustle of leaves offers a nice minimal percussive element, as does what sounds as though its a running stream, intermingling the spirit of nature, you can immediately imagine being transported there. Now, mind you its not all just an outdoor journey as Dziewanski has incorporated a pulsating saucer like drone that glows and fades over the course here, it’s warm in its repose. Still, yet, there’s a vanishing train chime which is the first sign of the manmade here. And as you are in the final third of this album there becomes a variance of actions: seething breaths, puddle splashing and a touch of tin. If you have ever camped in the wild, some of this will make sense if you listen carefully enough, though none of this energy would likely be transposed in such a synchronized way. I’m lost in the forest, with the faded distant din of a factory pounding away, and with momentary animus, the situation seems radically situated between a changing ecosphere and the discordant day to day. The effect is a bit of an ethereal wake-up call….ya hear that?
TJ Norris, Toneshift
Should you ever have occasion to visit Vancouver, British Columbia make sure you include Stanley Park on your itinerary. Why’s this? Because there is a trail which cuts through the heart of it this release could easily form the soundtrack to. As you make your way deeper and deeper into the forest, the drones and natural found sounds Adrian employs depict it with an astonishing detail. Feel like that’s too much to put forth? Stay at home then and allow this album to transport you to this environment only don’t stray too far from the asphalt; the further into the trees you go the less likely it is that you’ll be finding your way back out again.
Murmurs of wildlife, the trickle of a stream which you can hear but not quite make out; above us we see the heaving branches as they sway to and fro during a rainstorm; this is only the first piece, for the second we’re taken out of these murky surroundings and brought into a golden burst of late afternoon sunlight. Indeed, I can easily place myself at the opposite end, looking out upon a massive harbor crammed to the shoreline by freighters. The breeze blows gently and I’m sitting on a bench watching the world go by without a cloud visible in the piercing azure sky.
A bit further down the embankment one can make out the approach of dusk as the reeds are rustled by the onset of evening, all the while Adrian’s masterful compositions imbue one’s consciousness with a sense of mystery; though the rest of the world is a minefield of noise and anger here we find only tranquility and a pursuit of solitude.
The air hangs heavily here, with the weight of memory anchoring it to the firmament of three dimensions so many of us cling to either unable or unwilling to let go of. Seeing beyond what is plainly visible is quite clearly what the objective is here, moving into the realms of cunning shadow play and transcendent inquisition; Adrian’s work isn’t for the mild mannered or those who require an end point in order to make smug conclusions, the emphasis is on the journey and how it affects you; unending vistas, limitless plateaus… time itself breaks down.
Coming away from what is contained on here, I can certainly piece together a narrative of sorts but each time I play this that narrative shifts. What was once plainly obvious becomes obscured if not outright overgrown by all of the connective threads intersecting and then dispersing towards vanishing points which are anything but static. This is a constantly evolving pair of compositions and that constant itself becomes subsumed by Dziewanski’s own penchant for popping in and out of the field recordings he bases ‘The Trail Loops Back’, peppering the proceedings with bits and pieces of what could almost be called harmonics.
Peter Marks, Santa Sangre