Sabrina Siegel | Grace/Precarious

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Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Avant Garde: Experimental Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Grace/Precarious

by Sabrina Siegel

The debut Pax release from Sabrina Siegel, "Grace/Precarious" is her fifth CD of solo improvised music. An exploration through electric guitar, voice, and cello. An extremely raw, visceral, and unique expression.
Genre: Avant Garde: Free Improvisation
Release Date: 

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1. Yom Kippur
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8:30 $0.99
2. the body moving
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4:08 $0.99
3. after your voice
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1:44 $0.99
4. drop bow down cello
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4:04 $0.99
5. i will trust you
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4:59 $0.99
6. i am the bow
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3:09 $0.99
7. ring
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3:07 $0.99
8. Fire
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1:49 $0.99
9. big electric rose
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9:15 $0.99
10. KAVANAH
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4:41 $0.99
11. heavy pigeon
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12. i killed the chicken
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13. light
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The debut Pax release from Sabrina Siegel, "Grace/Precarious" is her fifth CD of solo improvised music. An exploration through electric guitar, voice, and cello. It involves precarious situations for art making, such as playing the electric guitar and strings with rocks in her hands. Evoking nature and operations of nature, and the partially uncontrollable: as a medium, a musical ear. An extremely raw, visceral, and unique expression, with a natural sense of time and musical structure, one hears this living experiment/"music" of electric guitar and cello sounds like we’ve never heard before.

Artist statement:
"More than executing notes or rhythms or melody, a song or a piece of music to me is a field for being--for direct living, feeling, breathing, and expressing in the moment; for sinking deeply, or flying highly into self/Self; or just maintaining our balance--which may reveal a simple beauty or truth. And like life, one rides the waves of grace and the precarious--in this existence, the better we watch and
listen, the easier and more potent our flight."

Bio:
Sabrina Siegel was raised in New York and later Santa Monica, California. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon and now resides in Eugene, Oregon. Sabrina's multi-disciplinary work includes Photography, Performance, and Video Installation Arts along with a background in classical voice and flute from childhood. Aside from her solo work, she has performed with Eugene Opera, SIECOX, Onomatopoeia, and other experimental ensembles. She explores improvised composition exclusively and has created fifteen CDs of improvised music.


Reviews


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STARTLING MONIKER

I've really been enjoying the highly sensual feel of this album.................
The “Precarious” portion of the title seems apt– this is gingerly-balanced music, seemingly about to fall apart at any time. I’ve really been enjoying the highly sensual feel of this album; it is incredibly easy for the listener to imagine a tactile connection to the sounds recorded here.

Stacey Sewell, furthernoise.org

new dimensions will continually emerge!
Grace/Precarious is the fifth solo recording of improvised compositions from multi-disciplinary artist and musician Sabrina Siegel. Featuring cello, electric guitar and voice, the physicality of playing a musical instrument is the driving force behind Siegel’s improvisations. Each composition draws on the circumstances (physical, spatial, emotional, sensual) of its creation to reach a fine balance of grace and precariousness:

‘In the relationship of grace to the precarious / in the moment unknown, a space for an event of the body, the sprit … / the precipitate of living urges .. Of forces in the timing of nature - in a body and out of the time/space of a sexual surge, a breath, a smile, the handling of a rock, a chair, a bow / what will be envisioned, felt, experienced?’

While Siegel doesn’t elaborate on the exact processes she uses to create Grace/Precarious (there is, for me, a disappointing lack of sleeve notes), in tracks such as Drop Bow Down Cello the percussive and wooden sonic materials tempt the listener to take the title literally. A number of tracks betray not just the body of their creator but also the spaces they were created in, from the lingering resonances in Yom Kippur to the more obvious crackling of the flames in the hearth in Fire.

The compositional processes and instruments Siegel uses are varied enough to sustain interest throughout the thirteen tracks, yet still give a sense of cohesion. Siegel’s vocals feature on over half the tracks, sometimes as a faint and childlike whisper, sometimes singing a rich harmony and at other times ear-piercingly operatic or slightly hysterical. Instrumental sonorities tend to be jagged or sharply visceral, exploiting in full Siegel’s physical relationship to the instrument, making conventional playing styles of bowing or plucking all the more powerful when they are heard.. The final track, Light comes closest to conventional musical models with its strumming and singing, but hardly crosses into comfortable singer-songwriter territory, while ‘big electric rose’ mixes gentle, petal-like vocals with thorny jagged strings, as Siegel scratches around in the pegbox of her instrument for inspiration. The opening track, Yom Kippur, features the granular scraping of rock on electric guitar, wearing away the surface to leave moments of near-violent clarity, the aural equivalent of another of Siegel’s projects - leaving photographic negatives outside for four years to let nature take its course to reveal a new beauty. It seems likely a similar phenomena will occur with this Grace/Precarious: instead of merely sounding worn down with repeated listening, new dimensions will continually emerge.

Review by Stacey Sewell

Vital Weekly

. ....It makes this quite a remarkable release of improvised music.
Normally releases by Pax Records land on the desk of Dolf Mulder, but for
whatever
reason this arrived at HQ, and was investigated by fresh ears. Sabrina
Siegel is,
despite her appearance on fifteen CDs a new name to me. She lives in
Eugene, Oregon
and she plays guitar and cello, although her background is classical voice
and
flute. Her pieces are from the field of improvised music, but she
certainly has her
own edge to it. She plays 'situations' rather than 'pieces'. Placing a
bunch of
rocks on the strings and then slowly move the guitar - that sort of thing.
However
the outcome is much more musical, and much less 'fluxus' than my inapt
description
may sound. Sometimes she does play a real song like thing, with singing
and all
that, but oddly enough I must admit that these pieces work less for me. I
prefer the
more abstract sound exploring she does. Sat in a room with a wooden floor,
the
ambience is of equal importance as the actual playing is. Quite intense
music, with
a lo
t of
things happening, yet at the same time it seems a lot less that is going
on. In
these pieces tension is felt, between the player, the instrument and the
environment
in which things happen. It makes this quite a remarkable release of
improvised
music.

Stacey Sewell, FurtherNoise

New dimensions will continually emerge...
Grace/Precarious is the fifth solo recording of improvised compositions from multi-disciplinary artist and musician Sabrina Siegel. Featuring cello, electric guitar and voice, the physicality of playing a musical instrument is the driving force behind Siegel’s improvisations. Each composition draws on the circumstances (physical, spatial, emotional, sensual) of its creation to reach a fine balance of grace and precariousness:

‘In the relationship of grace to the precarious / in the moment unknown, a space for an event of the body, the sprit … / the precipitate of living urges .. Of forces in the timing of nature - in a body and out of the time/space of a sexual surge, a breath, a smile, the handling of a rock, a chair, a bow / what will be envisioned, felt, experienced?’

While Siegel doesn’t elaborate on the exact processes she uses to create Grace/Precarious (there is, for me, a disappointing lack of sleeve notes), in tracks such as Drop Bow Down Cello the percussive and wooden sonic materials tempt the listener to take the title literally. A number of tracks betray not just the body of their creator but also the spaces they were created in, from the lingering resonances in Yom Kippur to the more obvious crackling of the flames in the hearth in Fire.

The compositional processes and instruments Siegel uses are varied enough to sustain interest throughout the thirteen tracks, yet still give a sense of cohesion. Siegel’s vocals feature on over half the tracks, sometimes as a faint and childlike whisper, sometimes singing a rich harmony and at other times ear-piercingly operatic or slightly hysterical. Instrumental sonorities tend to be jagged or sharply visceral, exploiting in full Siegel’s physical relationship to the instrument, making conventional playing styles of bowing or plucking all the more powerful when they are heard.. The final track, Light comes closest to conventional musical models with its strumming and singing, but hardly crosses into comfortable singer-songwriter territory, while ‘big electric rose’ mixes gentle, petal-like vocals with thorny jagged strings, as Siegel scratches around in the pegbox of her instrument for inspiration. The opening track, Yom Kippur, features the granular scraping of rock on electric guitar, wearing away the surface to leave moments of near-violent clarity, the aural equivalent of another of Siegel’s projects - leaving photographic negatives outside for four years to let nature take its course to reveal a new beauty. It seems likely a similar phenomena will occur with this Grace/Precarious: instead of merely sounding worn down with repeated listening, new dimensions will continually emerge.

Review by Stacey Sewell