The Abstractions | Ars Vivende

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Ars Vivende

by The Abstractions

2003 release, this San Francisco collective continues to explore music in all its forms. post-rock, jazz, electroacoustic improv, & noise. "Ars Vivende takes their art much further than before." --François Couture, All Music Guide
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
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1. The Bitter Undiscoverd Alienated (male) Genius Club The Abstractions
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2. The Tower The Abstractions
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3. Cultivate the Voices in the Wilderness The Abstractions
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4. Your Eyes Taste Like Steel The Abtsractions
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5. Lurch The Abstractions
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6. The Thread The Abstractions
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7. Amerika Not Beautiful The Abstractions
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8. A Furiously Fatal Future The Abstractions
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9. Companions On a Jouney Through a Lost Amerika The Abstractions
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10. After the War The Abstractions
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11. Caress of the Claw The Abstractions
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12. Demon Down The Abstractions
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13. Rain of Bullets The Abstractions
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14. The Hideous Beauty The Abstractions
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15. Armageddon Under Glass The Abstractions
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16. Psychotronix Melodramatix The Abstractions
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17. But Not For Me (gershwin) The Abstractions
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18. Universal Flaw The Abstractions
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19. No More Loans The Abstractions
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20. Peeling Back the Layers of a Dead Foot The Abstractions
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21. Flow Between My Past and My Future The Abstractions
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22. Heart of Midnight The Abstractions
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This is the second release from The Abstractions entitled, Ars Vivende (the art of living). This growing West Coast collective continues to explore music in all its elements foregoing the rules and demolishing walls. Taking elements from a cross section of genres of post-rock, jazz, electroacoustic improv, and noise--making it an authentically intriguing and imaginative listening experience.

The Abstractions, named by musician/poet/author C.J. Reaven Borosque, was formed by Bay Area musicians reedist Rent Romus and guitarist Ernesto Diaz-Infante. Taking elements from a cross section of genres, The Abstractions rip apart and redefine sonic surreal textures and ideas offering a sonic pallet of disturbance. Drawing from an improvisational body of knowledge, the unspoken words transformed to music, history, and social insight make up this unclassifiable experimental music. Featuring musicians Ernesto Diaz-Infante, acoustic guitar/vocals/4-track; Rent Romus, reeds/electronics; Dina Emerson, vocals; Matt Davignon, turntable/sampler; Bob Marsh, vibes/cello/voice; Phillip Everett, drums/percussion; Lance Grabmiller, laptop/processing; C.J. Reaven Borosque, noise predals; Marjorie Sturm, flute/lyrics; Marina Lazzara, elec. guitar; Sandor Finta, vocals (Los Angeles); Alwyn Quebido, elec. guitar; Jesse Quattro, vocals; and Scott Looney, percussion.

Lyrics...

The Bitter Undiscovered Alienated (male) Genius Club

the bitter undiscovered
alienated (male)
genius club

meets tuesdays @ 5:00
finally, it's love and only love
met as the answer
to homicidal despots
who havn't learned to turn
voodoo
tricks in bed like
you do.

there isn't a hardcost realization
that doesn't drive us
to some forgotten memory
you don't pay for
cause the purpose is perpendicular

the liberation of sound & soul
cult of passion
parallel to the shared reality of
squares, diamonds, measurements
piecemeal preparations
undergone
after the infinite war of petty egos
calculating wins & losses
the ineffable treachery of
common law

sonic substitution
drunk
like the Last Great Love
inward idealism
of the perturbed & perverted
hugged & held
for it's consistent vitality

cast out & forward
the last remains of
what is not
corporately controlled.
©2003 Marjorie Sturm


Cultivate The Voices In The Wilderness

cultivate the voices in the wilderness
perceive a universal truth
feel feeble and corrupt
secrete the prospects of democracy

chisel tall green forests
cast rolling yellow hills
dispose of individual liberty
take care of worldly philosophers and anarchists

kneel to unorthodox
visions of the mind
bow to profound insights
crawl toward unraveling
arrange ideas shaped

silence freedom
stifle words and images
muzzle the inner light of
the human spirit
hush the sweetness of tone

cultivate the voices in the wilderness
©2003 Ernesto Diaz-Infante


The Thread

Through all of my living nightmares
and waking daydreams
there is a thread
that won't break
no matter how hard i pull it

the tension on the thread
is always changing
and i measure my day by it

daring to watch myself
awaken
i watch myself awaken
uplift a candle
that has fallen
was forgotten before sleep.

then as if searching for the door
in a pitch black room
i am lost
can not be located
how to get back to my body
when all i can hear
is my breathe
(breathe)

no salvation from the corporation
the supermarkets scare me
they are a signal
bags and boxes
tubes and testers
trial and error

what do they do without their want?
what do they do without their want?

streets filled with snakes
that all go to the theatres
but i have no tickets
to timely events
so i wander
and wonder
about my movie

each sequence is a seance
that seeks no other moment
waving my days into margins
where i'm no longer asked my opinion

but the conversations
that i have with myself
i am confident others can hear
the conversations that i have with myself
i am confident others can hear
making them awkward in my presence

so i get up & enter
the drama
that drifts me back to that place

i get up and enter
the drama
that drifts me back to that place
where no one is watching

no longer a solution
only fleeting states of satisfaction
where only the insane are smiling

and the ecstasy is slippery.
©2003 Marjorie Sturm



No More Loans

the banks are on fire
the basement has been flooded
barbed wire holds me back
the interiors everywhere
have vanished into envelopes
pushing angst

the money lenders loathe their positions
as the paranoid priests
of the society fastly falling

the stifling silence
slips into public discourse
on celebrities
some get suckered
that there is a way
to get off easy

now the witches are watching
the banks are on fire
along with the billboards
big banker watchdog
no longer pacing panting pathetically
sitting staring at six screens
of numbing numbers
that hide children's teeth and eyeglasses
the strewn artifacts of the afterwar debris

the avalanche is inevitable
which paradigm will proliferate
the forgotten place
of no plastics and compulsory posing

watch the banks burning.
©2003 Marjorie Sturm

BIOS:

Born in Salinas, California, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, is Chicano (of Mexican descent). He received his MFA in Music Composition from California Institute of the Arts (studied with Wadada Leo Smith and Stephen L. Mosko) and has created musical compositions that span a broad perspective: transcendental piano, noise, avant-garde guitar, field recordings, lo-fi four-track manipulations, and experimental song. ED-I has performed throughout Europe and the United States, and his music has been broadcasted internationally. He has recorded more than 15 CDs of music and collaborated with numerous musicans. In 2000, his composition, I/O (for chamber ensemble), was performed by the California EAR Unit. He has been awarded residencies at the Centre International de Recherche Musicale (CIRM) in Nice, France, The Millay Colony for the Arts, Villa Montalvo, The Ucross Foundation, among others. He runs Pax Recordings record label which is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and contagion of music from the margins of our culture and psyches. He lives in San Francisco with the filmmaker/video artist Marjorie Sturm and their son and daughter.

Rent Romus is a force spanning over seventeen years of creative improvised music. The current director and producer of Edgetone Records, the SIMM Music Series at the Studio 6 Musicians Union Hall, co-producer for the Luggage Store Series in San Francisco, Romus has introduced countless musicians from the world over and multimedia events to the San Francisco Bay Area culture and throughout parts of the world. During the mid 80's, Romus enhanced his studies at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University, where he was blessed with the wisdom and guidance from Stan Getz, guitarist Bruce Forman, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Martin, and drummer Eddie Moore. In 1984 at the age of 16, Romus re-organized directed NAYJE (the North Area Youth Jazz Ensemble), a seventeen piece big band featuring some of the best young high school and college bay area musicians at the time. In the fall of 1986, while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz, he formed the group Jazz On The Line which became the focus for his compositions and productions. JOTL was an acoustic jazz sextet that fused jazz, blues, gospel, and hip-hop into original compositions. Romus produced three albums for this group including his critically acclaimed CD Jazz On the Line with Chico Freeman, In The Moment on Edgetone Records soon to be reissued. Mid span the group changed it's name to 2AM, and was considered one of the founding bands of the acid jazz scene popular in the early nineties parallel to Charlie Hunter and the like. In 1993 seeking a more expanded format to explore, Romus formed the modern music group RKZtet, which featured ex-ESP recording artist and drum master James Zitro and former Sun Ra Arkestra cellist Kash Killion, both noted for their contribution to the development of thenew jazz of the sixties. Later in 1994 Romus renamed the group, The Lords of Outland, and brought in soon to be film music composer Vytas Nagisetty (Brock Lee) on bass, Andrew Borger (currently drummer for Tom Waits) and Jason Olaine (Jay O), (currenlty AR director for Verve RecordsUniversal) on trumpet. The Lords of Outland recorded their first album You'll Never Be The Same, Jazzheads Records JH9493 in 1995, and were featured on the then fledgeling BET Channel National Network Show, Jazz Central as part of the Jazz Discovery program. That same year Romus self-produced his first overseas national tour of Denmark which featured many of Copenhagen's young improvisers discovering such musicians as pianist/trumpet player Jonas Muuller who has recently moved the S.F. Bay Area, and drummer Stefan Pasborg. In 1996 Romus returned to Denmark for his second tour with Jonas as the Rent Romus Sound Cirkus. The group also inlcuded San Francisco basists George Cremanchi and saxophonist Alex Weiss. After returning to the U.S. they continued on to the Bay Area to finish the tour. During that year he also assisted bluesman Paris Slim produce his first major American release with guitarist Joe Lewis Walker and Sonny Rhodes. In 1997 Romus had the honor of recording with tenor sax master John Tchicai. Tchicai is best known for his work with the NY Art Quartet, NY Ear and Eye Control, and his recordings with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. The CD of this recording, Adapt...or DIE! was released at the end of 1997. In 1998 Romus released Blood Motions featuring his young Danish proteacute;geacute;s Stefan Pasborg and bassist Jonas Westergaard. In 2001 Romus re-opened his avant, free music lable Edgetone Records, where his current release can be found, interweaving science fiction, horror literature, improvisation, Finno-Ugric music traditions, and the inspiration of Albert Ayler.


Reviews


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François Couture, All Music Guide

...And Ars Vivende takes their art much further than before.
Much better is The Abstractions' follow-up to Sonic Conspiracy: more daring, more complex, more puzzling in every way. The group remains in a state of flux throughout the 22 tracks. The nucleus consists of guitarist /singer Ernesto Diaz-Infante, saxophonist Rent Romus, violinist Bob Marsh, singer/moaner/screamer Jesse Quattro, and drummer Phillip Everett replacing original member Scott R. Looney. But all these musicians are not involved in every piece, and there's plenty of extras appearing, such as singer Diana Emerson interlocking her voice with Quattro's in seven cuts, Sandor Finta doing the same in six more, along with guitarist Alwyn Quebido contributing to eight of them. Diaz-Infante, professional chameleon man, draws from all of his strings on Ars Vivende, providing field recordings, odd noises (from cassettes and records), playing guitars and violin, and singing in his undecipherable murmur. But where his eponymous solo album for Pax Recordings from a few months earlier drifted into a certain sedated post-psychedelic/outsider mood, Ars Vivende is kept very much alive by Everett (an inventive banger), Romus' scorching lines, and Quattro's many calls to arms. The music of The Abstractions, despite its level of, hem, abstraction, irradiates a strong sense of urgency. Titles like "Amerika Not Beautiful," "A Furiously Fatal Future," and "After the WAR" can only refer to the United States' war against Iraq (or "attack on Iraq," depending on which side of the fence you choose to stand). Where American experimental rock groups from the same period, like Sunburned Hand of the Man, Jackie-O Motherfucker, and No-Neck Blues Band, stretch out into long improvised jams, The Abstractions keep things short, focused, and thus all the more disturbingly brutal without having to exaggerate the level of decibels. And Ars Vivende takes their art much further than before.