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Transcriptions (kk019)

by Stephan Mathieu + Taylor Deupree

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Nocturne 04:22
Largo 03:33
Solitude 05:40
Remain 06:00
Andante 06:11
Genius 05:24
White Heaven 12:03


Text by Will Long (Celer)

'Transcriptions', a collaborative work by Stephan Mathieu and Taylor Deupree, contains 8 tracks of music that is both historic, decayed, angelic and revolving, while also existing in warmth, purity, and transcendence through acoustic instruments, and vintage synthesizer.

Delving deeply into the history of the earliest recording methods through mechanical phonographs, Stephan Mathieu created a method using wax-cylinders, the predecessor of records, as well as 78s, which have a larger frequency range, to create his music through playback of these pieces of musical history. With a setup consisting of playing the cylinders through two portable gramophones, and then sending them directly into the computer by microphone, Mathieu was able to record the sounds, and perform software processing in realtime, rendering a resulting flow of deteriorated angelic elegance, decomposed beauty, and reborn awakenings.

From this result, Taylor Deupree worked with the recordings, adding acoustic instruments and vintage synthesizer; adding-to, while still maintaining the physicality of the 78s, opening the range of the tracks through unalloyed analog contributions. Upon first listening, it might be thought that the contributions of Taylor Deupree were merely additions to original material, but when listening further, once the music has breathed openly, it can be heard actually how much the cylinder recordings of Stephan Mathieu shape the open pathways of Deupree's acoustics, allowing for a breadth of incredible range. Not merely a compliment, but a modern counterpart.

Through nearly 48 minutes of music, self-described as warm and enveloping, these sounds represent the pivotal movements of the unique, the saturated, and the exploratory, all colliding in what may be sometimes a wave of revolving fuzz, swirling melodies of the supernatural and the human, the delicate echoes of single revolutions, and gentle plucks of the guitar. It is both a conversation, and a translation of both sides. Transcription, after all, means notating the unnotated.

The result of the century-apart sources combined with the methodology and talent of these two leading experimentalists creates an immutable, impressing magnetism, while still balancing so gently on the vibrations of the decayed, and the frail humanity of the past.


本作は、両者それぞれの独と米のスタジオで2007年夏〜2008年秋にかけて制作されたもの。当初はステファンのソロアルバムとしてリリースする予定だったが、さらなる奥行きを求めたステファンがテイラーに声をかけ実現したコラボレーション。アルバムのテーマとなっているのは、ステファンが趣味で所有している古いワックス・シリンダーや78rpmの音源で、今作の所々にもなつかしい趣きの、主に1900年〜1910年代の音源がアナログ感たっぷりに聴こえてくる。ワックス・シリンダーとはアナログレコードの元祖となるもので、1887年に発明された128rpmで走るシリンダー状のレコード。また78rpmのアナログ盤も、その頃に発明されたセラックを原料とした円形状のレコードで、現在のアナログレコードの原型となるものである。いずれもグラモフォン(或はフォノグラフ=現在で言うアナログ・プレイヤー)と呼ばれる機械で再生されるものだが、ステファンは実際に78rpmをまるでバンド録音のように2つのポータブルのグラモフォン機で再生/マイク録音し、リアルタイム加工を施しラップトップに録音。(なおワックス・シリンダーのほうは、再生機を保有していないため知人に音源を録音してもらう。)ただし録音された音源はレコードの特性上700Hz-4000Mhz間の周波性でしか再生されないので、より「作品」らしく機能させるためにテイラーに曲を託す。テイラーは必要な音場を稼ぐために時には大胆にEQをかけアコースティックギターやアナログシンセを入れてミックス、ステファンもピアノなどを足して加工をくり返し完成させた。その結果は、ステファン自身が「2つの声が混じり合い、1つの歌を歌えた」というくらい納得の完成度の高いコラボレーションとなる。 ちなみにジャケットの写真はステファン撮影による78rpm盤の表面である。


released January 25, 2009

Stephan Mathieu. 78rpm Records and Wax Cylinders, Piano, Processing
Taylor Deupree. Guitar, Synthesizers, Processing

Produced between Summer 2007 and fall 2008 in Schafbrucke and Pound Ridge, New York
Published by Touch Music (MCPS), 12k music (ASCAP)

Mastered by Henner Dondorf at Andromeda Studio
Photography by Stephan Mathieu "Vocalion #03051"
Artwork design by mondii

Catalogue# KK019



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