Claire Rousay

(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Friends (2019), 6.5/10
Both (2020), 6.5/10
A Softer Focus (2021), 6/10
17 Roles (2021), 6.5/10 (mini)
Ilysm (2021), 5/10 (mini)
Twin Bed (2021), 5/10 (EP)
Everything Perfect is Already Here (2022), 6/10

Hyper-prolific San Antonio-based queer percussionist Claire Rousay, who suffered (quote) "from pretty extreme bouts of depression and anxiety", and was influenced by deep listening and free improvisation, recorded several cassettes of improvised drum solos: Aerophobia (Astral Spirits, 2019), including the Z'ev-ian Tribute to the Spot for found metallic object but mostly chaotic drum solos, It Is Just So Much More Difficult (Falt, 2019), mainly devoted to the 19-minute So Much More Difficult, where the drum solo moves towards the free-form chamber music of the 1960s, the four of Several Erasures (Already Dead, 2019), a much more including the barely audible, subliminal Clocked and the low-energy exploration of Several Erasures, and the three live home recordings of Rehearsal / Improvisations (2019).

The two lengthy pieces of Friends (Never Anything, 2019) signaled both an arrival and a departure. In the 17-minute For Theo Erik Meghan Alex the percussive sounds intone a poem of electroacoustic musique concrete, and the 15-minute For Marcus Michaela Samantha Jen echoes the sound of decomposing bodies amid industrial pulsations and field recordings, and end with a hissing drone. The chaotic drum solo has become a collage of aural metaphors.

A Heavenly Touch (Already Dead, 2020) contains eight shorter pieces.

It Was Always Worth It (Longform, 2020) contains the 20-minute It Was Always Worth It. It begins with a cryptic drone and a spoken-word section. A mayhem of drones and dissonance evoke a sense of horror, but are followed by field recordings of ordinary life that deescalate the tension. Gloomy drones and another spoken-word section close the piece. The piece contains haunting sections. Unfortunately it also contains several disposable minutes.

I'll Give You All Of My Love (Anahuac, 2020) is another tape containing two lengthy pieces.

She also engaged in countless collaborations.

Her first LP, Both (Second Editions, 2020), containing two lengthy pieces, crowned her progress towards an original form of ambient musique concrete. Library is no more than a slow crescendo of dense, wind-like, buzzing, but its elegance and cohesion mark a quantum step forward. Two Things toys with field recordings in a more casual and childish way.

A Softer Focus (American Dream, 2021) was a collaboration with San Antonio-based visual artist Dani Toral structured in six pieces that bleed into each other, de facto one long composition; five graceful lessons on how to combine drones with field recordings (particularly the mutating drone of Peak Chroma and the aquatic Diluted Dreams) plus a brief closer for piano, violin and manipulated tape.

The 24-minute piece of the cassette 17 Roles (Shelter Press, 2021) begins as a subdued collage of ordinary sounds but is soon hijacked by the braided drone produced by a harp and a violin. This decays into a Harold Budd-ian calm of humble, feathery piano tones. These in turn yield to field recordings of ordinary life and a simple piano refrain.

The 20-minute piece of the mini-album Ilysm (Takuroku, 2021) is ten minutes of doodling followed by ten minutes of droning over a child's voice.

She played drums, field recording, guitar, piano, synth and voice on the EP Twin Bed (Mended Dreams, 2021), a confused work.

A Collection compiles some early free improvisations.

Everything Perfect is Already Here (2022) contains two 15-minute free-form compositions that mix her field recordings with the electroacoustic instruments of Alex Cunningham (violin), Mari Maurice (electronics and violin), Marilu Donovan (harp) and Theodore Schafer (piano): It Feels Foolish to Care, a flow of slow and sparse sounds that transitions to angelic drones, and the less cohesive Everything Perfect is Already Here.

(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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