12 O'Clock Track: "Two to Your Right, Five to Your Left," a chunk of loud, visceral cello music from Okkyung Lee | Bleader

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

12 O'Clock Track: "Two to Your Right, Five to Your Left," a chunk of loud, visceral cello music from Okkyung Lee

Posted By on 05.08.13 at 12:00 PM

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Over the last decade or so the Korean cellist Okkyung Lee has nonchalantly toggled between disparate music worlds, leading her own projects, helping out others like Vijay Iyer, Laurie Anderson, and Wadada Leo Smith, and improvising in countless contexts. She's a terrific composer and arranger, as you can hear on the 2011 album Noisy Love Songs (Tzadik), which presents her in some of those disparate contexts. But until now there hasn't been a recording that really captures her interest in and talent for creating dense, in-your-face noise. Her forthcoming solo album, Ghil (Ideologic Organ), was recorded by Norwegian noise maven Lasse Marhaug, who deliberately employed primitive gear to get a rude, tactile sound. Using a second-hand portable cassette recorder manufactured in 1976, he taped Lee's improvisations in disparate locales: his own studio, a back alley in downtown Oslo, a cabin in a remote forest, and a former hydroelectric power plant in the mountains outside of Rjukan. I've only heard one piece from the album (which is due out in late June), and it's today's 12 O'Clock Track, "Two to Your Right, Five to Your Left." Unless you're wearing headphones, it's definitely NSFW—there's nothing obscene about it, but the unholy screech might easily alarm your cubicle neighbors.

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