I once read a quote from Paul Klee, “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.” I took it to mean that a true artist made you see in a new way, one that hadn’t occurred until you encountered their work. One aspect of David Toop’s artistry lies in writing about music and sound in a way that changes the way you hear. It is not an exaggeration to say that reading his books Haunted Weather and Ocean of Sound changed my life. I lived in New York City at the time and much of what I had heretofore heard as noise pollution became a symphony of sound. So, I was chuffed, as they say on David’s side of the pond, to be able to converse with him at length about music and sound.
A performer as well as a writer (see Below), Toop has shared the stage with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Thurston Moore. A lifelong guitarist, Toop’s latest recording, Apparition Paintings, combines his love of twang, his encyclopedic knowledge of sound art (a term he might not care for) and a wanton disregard for genre.
Seattle based guitarist Bill Horist and Jakob Riis embarked together on a short tour of the Northwest US in the summer of 2009. We interviewed Bill in 2012. Composer, laptop musician, improviser Jakob Riis is active in the fields of electronic music, sound art, sonic web art, improvisation and contemporary composition.
They convened after the tour to capture on record some of the musical magic they felt playing together. The Cessation Elegy is the culmination of this brief encounter. A limited edition of 100 copies is available on CD; the packaging is handmade, with gold ink screen printed onto black card. Digital versions will continue to be available. They agreed to answer some questions about the process of recording this serendipitous meeting.