[pe158]Pet The Tiger
Hail The Traveler
[pe156]Philip Gayle
Mammoth Flower
[pe155]Seeded Plain
Badminton, The Volleys
[pe154]Bryan Day & Dereck Higgins
Woven Territories
[pe153]John Krausbauer & David Maranha
[pe152]Evan Lipson
Echo Chamber
[pe151]Guro Skumsnes Moe & Philippe Petit
[pe150]Brasilia Laptop Orchestra
10 yEars aLive
[pe149]Bill Brovold
[pe148]Illusion of Safety & Z'ev
Temporary Presence
[pe145]Pet The Tiger
Gaze Emanations
[pe144]Ashtray Navigations & Anla Courtis
Protozoic Rock Express
[pe143]Alan Sondheim
Future Speed Future
[pe142]Albert / Day / Kreimer
[pe141]Bill Brovold's Stone Soup
Michael Goldberg Variations
[pe140]Michael Gendreau
Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado
[pe139]Hélène Breschand & Elliott Sharp
Chansons du Crépuscule
[pe138]Alan Sondheim / Azure Carter / Luke Damrosch
[pe137]Collision Stories
Those Missing Will Complete Us
[pe136]Ghost In The House
Second Sight
[pe135]Henry Kaiser / Alan Licht
Skip to the Solo
[pe134]Peter Aaron / Brian Chase Duo
[pe133]Alan Sondheim / Azure Carter / Luke Damrosch
[pe131]Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura
[pe130]Ben Bennett / Jack Wright
[pe128]Music For Hard Times
City of Cardboard
[pe127]Tetuzi Akiyama & Anla Courtis
Naranja Songs
[pe126]Massimo Falascone
Variazioni Mumacs
[pe125]Auris + Gino
Fantasy Remover
[pe123]Azure Carter & Alan Sondheim
Avatar Woman
[pe122]Various Artists
The Unscratchable Itch: A Tribute To Little Fyodor
[pe121]Nels Cline / Elliott Sharp
Open The Door
[pe120]Pretty Monsters
[pe119]Cactus Truck
Brand New For China!
[pe118]Belcher / Bivins Double Quartet
[pe117]Normal Love
Survival Tricks
[pe116]Ron Anderson / Robert L. Pepper / David Tamura / Philippe Petit
Closed Encounters of the 4 Minds
[pe115]Philip Gayle
Babanço Total
[pe114]Dino Felipe
Sorta' Bleu
Radio Friendly
[pe111]Little Fyodor
Peace is Boring
[pe110]Courtis / Yamamoto / Yoshimi
Live at Kanadian
[pe109]Bob Marsh
[pe108]Tartar Lamb
60 Metonymies
[pe107]Shelf Life
[pe106]A Tomato a Day
The Moon is Green
[pe105]D + D
[pe104]The Mighty Vitamins
[pe103]Smut / OVO
Split 7"
[pe102]Bill Horist / Marron
[pe101]Richard Trosper
The Ocean
No Sleep till Babylon
Damn It!!
[pe97]Emily Hay / Marcos Fernandes
We Are
[pe96]The Machine Gun TV
Live In Japan
[pe94]Mike Pride
The Ensemble is an Electronic Device
[pe93]Jorge Castro
[pe92]Yagihashi Tsukasa
[pe91]Eftus Spectun
The Tocks Clicking
[pe89]Amy Denio
[pe88]Eric Cook
[pe87] Onid & Isil
Devotional Hymns for the Women of Anu
[pe85]Che Guevara Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band
[pe84]Day / Boardman
One to Seven
[pe83]Knot + Over
Vertonen 9
[pe81]Blue Collar
Lovely Hazel
[pe79]Jesse Krakow
Oceans in the Sun
[pe78]Diaz-Infante / Forsyth / Scherzberg
A Barren Place of Overwhelming Simplicity
[pe76]Khoury / Shearer / Hall
[pe75]Renato Rinaldi
The Time and the Room
[pe74]Masami Kawaguchi
Live in December
[pe72]Watch the Stereo
[pe71]Modern Day Urban Barbarians
The Endless Retreat
[pe70]The Bunny Brains
Holiday Massacre '98
[pe69]Jack Wright & Bob Marsh
Birds in the Hand
[pe68]Free From Disguise
[pe67]Jad Fair & Jason Willett
[pe66]Baker / Baker / Bloor
Terza Rima

Bill Brovold's Stone Soup - Michael Goldberg Variations
CD (Hudson Valley, NY)

Bill Brovold with
-Mark Ormerod
-Scott Burland
-Rhys Chatham
-Fred Lonberg-Holm
-Leonardo ProtoPeople
-Keith Moline
-Frank Schultz
-Nick Didkovsky
-Frank Pahl
-Karen Haglof
-Beth Wilusz/Erik Gustafson
-Mark Ormerod

All sections composed, recorded and mixed by the various players.

(Disaster Amnesiac) Along with some really fine discs of new music, a recent package from Public Eyesore contained a promo sheet announcing the label's 20th anniversary. Great job Bryan! The music that you've been documenting for the last two decades is always so compelling and groovy. Kudos! Disaster Amnesiac is breaking with habit by starting off the reviews out of sequence, having delved immediately into Bill Brovold's Stone Soup's Michael Goldberg Variations, a disc of music that is generally quite introspective and quiet. Bill Brovold, per the liner note, utilized the input of artists Michael Goldberg in creating a piece of music that is Minimalist without being meandering or even repetitive. A four or five note motif is played on an acoustic guitar, around and along and beside which various guests are heard adding their own musical additions. Guitarist Mark Ormerod goes first, finger picking some lovely guitar lines, notable for their at times fret buzzed tension. What sounds like an amp being hit for subtle feedback and viola-like theremin sounds from Scott Burland come next. Disaster Amnesiac is fascinated by the very unique sounds Burland coaxes from his theremin; the instrument really is developing by leaps and bounds, and Scott pretty clearly is on the forefront of that. Bill's former band leader Rhys Chatham appears next with cool flute sounds wordless vocalizations that evoke very primal feelings as they wrap around Brovold's continuing guitar float. Really sweet e-bow riffs on electric guitar, too. Things seem to get back to the aesthetics of the first track as Fred Lonberg-Holm uses cello with implements in order to get shorter percussive attacks followed by long drone bow sounds. This track feels like it go on for a great deal longer, but, in keeping with the overall mission of Variations, it fades into Leonardo ProtoPeople's synth pops and crackles as they fuzz and distort, pointillist additions to the guitar that has transformed into a sumptuous current. Kieth Moline seems to have added both audio processing and guitar to his version of the piece: the repeated guitar riff rings more, colored by buzzing strings and hollow echoes. The track feels like a natural half way point as it up the energy with its other worldly dynamic flashes. Stone Soup settles back down into an easier boil with Frank Schultz's lap steel bends and turns. The instrument surely brings out a bit more of rural, Western U.S. feel as its Schultz's lines emerge over and atop the motif, cooling it off from its previous interactions and setting up the second half of this disc. Guitarist Nick Didkovsky treats his sounds with great psychedelic tape delay flashes that circle somewhat beneath the Goldberg Variations riff. These allow the buzzing of its strings to be highlighted. It's as if Nick wanted to frame it, rather than add, and even as his playing gathers intensity, it remains settled in a "support" role. Quite an astute aesthetic move. Tracks 9 and 10 segue right into each other, with the former featuring Toy Pop artist Frank Pahl, who adds chiming percussive hits from what sounds like a plastic toy piano. The latter has Karen Haglof spinning out sweet six string Psychedelic, and Disaster Amnesiac is moved to hear echoes of Golden Gate Park 1968. NEVER a bad feeling as far as I'm concerned! This track rolls like sublime fog careening down into the Western Addition. The paired guitar sounds of Beth Wilusz and Erik Gustafson flutter ghostly on Michael Goldberg Variations' penultimate track, ascending and descending subtly around the now transformed central riff, which takes center stage and holds it right on through to disc's end, a second feature for Mark Ormerod. This short piece has small, two note riff, somewhat higher notes giving a last counterpoint. A quick fade, and its work is done. Disaster Amnesiac's initial experience with Bill Brovold's Stone Soup had me listening to it on a San Pablo Bay cold Saturday, ducking in and out of its sonics as I watched marine layer mixing with ash from horrible fires a couple of hundred miles north of my residence. Michael Goldberg Variations provided the perfect soundtrack for this bittersweet experience, with its pensive modes. It features music that most certainly could be utilized either as good background or for more foreground intensive listening. Either way, Brovold and Co. have clearly done their job. Enclosed within a lovely hand printed and colored cover, this disc just exudes effort and integrity. No surprise, seeing as that it's out on Public Eyesore! - Mark Pino

(Avant Music News) Guitarist Bill Brovold’s Michael Goldberg Variations [PE 142] answers the challenge Brovold’s friend Goldberg posed to him in the early 2000s: could Brovold create a minimalist work that wouldn’t be repetitive and “meandering?” Brovold’s response is this set of eleven duets and one trio. The variations in question are variations based on the very minimal, basic material of two notes a fourth apart. They serve as theme, framework and foundation: sometimes as a simple melody or melodic fragment, sometimes as an ostinato or quasi-arpeggio, sometimes as a harmonic guide. Each of the twelve variations introduces changes of texture, instrumentation, arrangement, and so forth, giving each individual piece its own character while at the same time binding them all with a common, recognizable likeness. - Daniel Barbiero

(Chattanooga Pulse) Bach’s famous composition “The Goldberg Variations”—written for harpsichord but often performed on piano—features a melody with 30 variations that demonstrate the possibilities of the keyboard, challenge the performer’s required virtuosity and bears a cleverness and sophistication that has intrigued listeners for centuries. With a titular nod to Bach’s work, Bill Brovold presents The Michael Goldberg Variations, named after a friend whose “heartfelt comments and wisdom”—while sometimes stinging—were influential and treasured. The album was spurred by a suggestion from Goldberg to make a minimalist piece that wasn’t as “repetitive and meandering” as the minimalism that he was encountering, and Brovold supplied a bare acoustic guitar track—featuring a rattling three-note pattern that occasionally ends on a 4th note—to collaborators to embellish with their own methods for their own individual tracks. Taking the moniker “Bill Brovold’s Stone Soup” for the collective, the “stone soup” folk tale is brought to mind, where contributors add food scraps to a cauldron containing just water and a stone. Like the soup, what’s interesting isn’t the stone—in this case, Brovold’s absurdly simple note pattern—but how others are inspired and what they bring to the table. For the most part, the album has a softness and calmness, as if the players are walking on eggshells, perhaps either to not draw too much attention away from the main theme or to adhere to an unspoken yet loose and amorphous minimalist theme. Most collaborators leave Brovold’s guitar untreated; however, Keith Moline adds a processing effect to the sample, and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm—who provides his own long tones—overlays Brovold’s guitar string buzz to cause gentle provocation. Both members of Atlanta’s Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel contribute, with Scott Burland adding his pure, drifting and echoing theremin tones and Frank Schultz providing diving lap steel notes. Rhys Chatham’s voice and flute additions suggest some kind of spiritual ritual, while the warm drones and ringing keyboard notes from Frank Pahl evoke tenderness. Karen Haglof’s placid electric guitar wandering has a hint of psych-rock, while the faint electronics of Beth Wilusz and Erik Gustafson seem to have a delicate translucence. As a whole, it’s perhaps like an aural glider, entering the windows of a building or flying through a forest, being lifted by diverse breezes. - Ernie Paik

(Chronogram) On Stone Soup, Ulster Park avant-folk notable Bill Brovold plays an arpeggio on a rattling guitar—prepared in the John Cage fashion—over and over through 13 tracks. It's a neutral D-A-D across a low octave, and it is the song. The spartan pattern is played without academic exactitude: earthy, broken, with stray rattles and flams making it seem that a rural blues may be impending, or that a Nick Drake tune skipped right after measure one. Each track features a different partner who engages in textural ways with Brovold's monotune, a series of minimalist dialectics. Mark Ormerod leads it toward irressolute, luminous folk. Scott Burland imports an alien, legato melody that evokes both L. Shankar and sirens. Rhys Chatham fills the ample open space with vocalic drones and winged flutes. Leonardo ProtoPeople delivers the first real disjunction with his asynchronous beats and samples. Steady state and continual change: Brovold holds at center, but not so fiercely, just a guy with an old guitar. - John Burdick

(Kathodik) Originale menestrello agli albori degli ’80 del circuito No Wave & Avant, il chitarrista e multistrumentista Bill Brovold è una figura alquanto eclettica, cui piace giocare liberamente con l’arte in tutti i suoi rivoli: dalla pittura alla scultura, dalla composizione all’improvvisazione, passando il suo tempo libero nello studio newyorkese ad inventare enigmatici strumenti autocostruiti, e insegnando arte e free-music ai giovani allievi di una scuola pubblica della grande mela. Una mente così libertaria non può che svelarci un curriculum musicale di tutto rispetto in materia d’indipendenza: basta scoprire che a suo tempo intratteneva rapporti con l’ensemble di Rhys Chatham, tirava su band indipendenti, Larval e Strange Farm per citarne alcune, dove hanno militato anche pivellini del calibro di Billy Ficca (i Television dicono qualcosa?). In tempi recenti, dopo aver dato alle stampe un album dal sapore folk-roots in compagnia di Jamie Saft, “Serenity Knolls”, discretamente accolto dalla critica specializzata, Brovold se ne esce fuori con questa trovata dal tocco più minimal che, dalla scelta del titolo, sembra fare l’occhiolino alle celeberrime variazioni di Bach. In questo caso il protagonista del titolo è Michael Goldberg, un’artista visuale, uno spirito libero che ha contribuito per anni con la sua arte ad ispirare quella di Bill. Ad egli dedica quindi una lunga suite suddivisa in 12 frammenti, ognuno dei quali rappresenta una variazione, e viene suonata a turno dai membri dello Stone Soup, il collettivo piuttosto folto di musicisti coinvolto per l’occasione. A comparire nella scaletta dodici performer tra cui brillano i nomi del compianto Rhys Chatham, quello del violoncellista Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mark Ormerod (ad apertura e chiusura), Scott Burland, Frank Pahl e molti altri. Brovold in piena trance minimalista ed estatica abbraccia la chitarra, elaborando una base di note alquanto spartana che ripete per ogni brano in maniera quasi identica, giocando sulla costruzione armonica lenta e combinata di tre, massimo quattro note dalla consistenza velata, acquarellata, poco percettibile. A venirne fuori è una sottile litania di suoni ipoteticamente partoriti di notte al cospetto di uno scenografia desertica dove, secondo i rispettivi istinti, ogni ospite improvvisa sopra, creando così una determinata variazione dello stesso tema armonico. Suoni dall’indole quieta, quasi soporifera si manifestano soprattutto nella parte iniziale, lasciando il passo, solo raramente, a sporadiche parentesi più rumorose sciorinate verso il prosieguo. Un climax in generale rilassante e bluesy che non dispiacerebbe ai fan di Loren Mazzacane Connors, ma anche agli estimatori della scuderia di Montreal, Constellations. - Sergio Eletto

(Vital Weekly) Recently I reviewed a cassette release by Brovold for Eh? Tapes: ‘Superstar; a collection of 11 songs performed by an 11-piece ensemble. Now Brovold surprises us with something completely different for the Eh? Tapes related Public Eyesore-label. He started his career in the 80s in New York City, where he worked with Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca and Jamie Saft. In the 90s he operated from Detroit with avant-rock group Larval. They released several albums for Knitting Factory, Avant and Cuneiform. His newest statement is related to the past. Michael Goldberg is an old friend, who influenced Brovold back in the 80s, when he was doing mainly visual work. Early 2000s they discussed minimalism, and Goldberg asked him if he “could make a minimalistic piece that wasn’t as repetitive and ‘meandering’ as what he was listening to” at that moment.” This remark planted a seed and eventually led Brovold composing a very basic and minimalistic pattern. This pattern, played by him on guitar, is the backbone in all 12 works on this cd. He invited 12 musicians to make their contributions, resulting in a diverse sequence of duets. We hear him with Mark Ormerod, Scott Burland, Rhys Chatham, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Leonardo Protopeople, Keith Moliné, Frank Schultz, Nick Didkovsky, Frank Pahl, Karen Haglof, Beth Wilusz/Erik Gustafson. In all its simplicity the motive played by Brovold defines in general the scope and shape of the contributions. Most of them move on in a quiet and meditative way and circle around four minutes, using a diversity of instruments and techniques: acoustic and electric guitar, voice, cello, etc. And all have Brovold’s theme in a prominent position. Surprisingly with the individual participation of so many different musicians, they duets make up a coherent whole of pieces of equal quality and it is a very satisfying and inspiring project. - Dolf Mulder

(Sound Projector) Recently heard Bill Brovold on the cassette Superstar, from the Eh? Audio Repository label, a hugely enjoyable tape of guitar melodies and instrumental genius where Brovold played everything he could get his hands on with gusto and elan. The CDR we have today is, conversely, a collaborative effort – Brovold teams up with 12 other musicians for a series of duos, calling the collective Bill Brovold’s Stone Soup – and it is very subdued and minimal, quite some way from the lively fun-loving sparkiness of Superstar. Michael Goldberg Variations (PUBLIC EYESORE RECORDS PE141) is however a collection of great beauty and serenity, and the music exudes a certain calm and peace that is rare. Apparently, a large amount of the aesthetic and artistic inspiration came to Brovold not from the world of music, but from his painter friend Michael Goldberg. He goes back a long way with Goldberg and counts him as an important influence on both his visual art and his music. Goldberg it was who wondered out loud if Bill could make minimalist music that wasn’t “repetitive and meandering” – evidently he’d had a surfeit of La Monte Young – and this album represents the response. Performed mostly with guitar (acoustic) but also with other stringed instruments, recorders or flutes, vocal chants and percussion, the album showcases the talents of Mark Ormerod, Scott Burland, Rhys Chatham. Fred Lonberg-Holm, and many others; one would love to know more about the collaborative process by which these understated and highly simpatico pieces came into being, as they seem so perfectly-formed, and incredibly natural too. Brovold evidently has a lightness of touch that makes “official” minimalist composition seem positively heavy-handed in comparison. I might add that since all 12 pieces are set in the same key, and feature the same simple three-note figure played on a guitar, it’s possible to read this as a single work divided into 12 parts, a suite, or variations on a theme – hence the title. A real gem of beautiful, clear and simple music; please do try and seek out a copy. - Ed Pinsent

(Babysue) This release is an excellent example of why we admire and appreciate the always perplexing and unusual Public Eyesore label. Whereas so many other labels release things hoping they'll score big financially in the long run, the folks at this increasingly strange label seem to be intent on supporting artists they truly believe in. Although his name is not widely known, in certain circles Bill Brovold is a well-respected artist. Bill began playing music way back in the 1970s and is probably best known as a member of the groups Rhys Chatham Ensemble and Larval. Michael Goldberg Variations is a very personal project, and a tribute to Brovold's lifelong friend Michael Goldberg. The strange compositions on this album are underground minimalist instrumentals that can either provide audio entertainment or be used to set the mood or tone of an environment. Interestingly, each track is named for the artist/musician who played on that particular cut. We particularly like the fact that Brovold himself individually hand printed and colored the cool cardboard sleeves for this release. Subtle, compelling tracks include "Mark Ormerod," "Rhys Chatham," "Nick Didkovsky," and "Beth Wilusz/Erik Gustafson." - Don Seven

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