In Memoriam Elisha Blakeman & Tabitha Babbitt [5:20] Guitar Mechanical [11:38] Stone North [26:10]
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Retail Price: $12 US / $15 International
In Memoriam Elisha Blakeman & Tabitha Babbitt (1989 – 92)
Ed Osborn & Brenda Hutchinson | electric skis
Guitar Mechanical (1992)
Ed Osborn | guitar & pickups
Stone North (2009)
Ed Osborn | flat guitar & processing
Mastered by Keith Souza & Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets, Pawtucket RI
Estuary Ltd. is proud to present Stone North, internationally-renowned sound artist Ed Osborn’s first full-length album since 1989. For this album, Osborn — whose work is included in the permanent collection of SFMOMA and has been presented at ZKM (Karlsruhe, DE), Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), the Sonic Arts Research Centre (Belfast, NI) and the singuhr-hörgalerie (Berlin, DE) — has culled together a collection of recordings made over twenty years of artistic practice. The works presented here include live recordings made using modified electric guitar, bowed “electric skis” and real-time processing. These recordings feature an idiosyncratic sound palette attained through extended technique and physical feedback with custom instruments, culminating in works that encourage deep and detailed listening. Stone North is the product of careful interaction with chaotic systems by a true master of his craft, resulting in a unique collection of recorded works that are both challenging and exhilarating. Mastered by Keith Souza and Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets, Stone North is available in a in a letterpress printed / hand numbered edition of 300 carefully crafted releases featuring photography by the artist taken during a residency in the arctic circle.
In Memoriam Elisha Blakeman & Tabitha Babbitt (1992)
Elisha D’Alembert Blakeman and Tabitha Babbitt were members of the Shaker communities in New Lebanon, New York, and Harvard Massachusetts, respectively. Blakeman invented, among other things, a single-stringed tabletop instrument called the “piano violin,” which he patented in 1871. He used the instrument to proselytize and draw people in to the Shaker community. However, he ran into resistance in this activity from the elders in his community, who discouraged him from continuing. After much deliberation, Blakeman opted for life in the wide world with his instrument over the prospect of life in the peaceful community of New Lebanon without it. Babbitt, an equally creative soul, made her contribution to the industrial revolution with the invention of the circular saw in 1810. In this piece, a pair of electric skis (monochords built from skis) are laid flat and bowed using another pair of skis. In Memoriam Elisha Blakeman & Tabitha Babbit was performed live in the studio by Ed Osborn and Brenda Hutchinson on electric skis.
Guitar Mechanical (1989-92)
In Guitar Mechanical, the function of a guitar pickup is doubled by making it the element that excites the strings as well as the device that transduces their vibrations. The pickups used here are encased in smooth, cylindrical metal containers so that they can serve as slides as well. The guitar is laid flat and played from above by holding one pickup in each hand. Complete stereo separation between the pickups is maintained throughout the piece. In other words, it is a piece in which pickups are picked up.
Stone North (2009) Stone North is a piece for live electronics and tabletop guitar in which tones generated from the guitar using an EBow and slide are processed and delayed to build a shifting bed of sound that slowly evolves over time. Close attention is paid to the texture and contours of these sounds, so that a distinct audio microworld is moved through in each section of the piece. By using extended techniques on the guitar in combination with the sound processing, a personal and idiosyncratic sound palette is produced, one that encourages deep and detailed listening. The piece was recorded in one take of a live performance, with no editing and only minimal volume adjustments made to the recording.