MYSTERY SEA 71 | mites
| [something to ponder upon for a restless soul like
...To look for that something you couldn't think of, something you couldn't
have thought of by yourself. Something that has nothing to do with emotion
or thought. Like producing a machine. This machine grows hands and invents
Inbal Milgrom, February 2011
Piano-polished, held the tranced machine
Of ocean, as a prelude
holds and holds,
Who, seeing silver petals of white blooms
Unfolding in the water, feeling sure
Of the milk within the
saltiest spurge, heard, then,
The sea unfolding in the sunken clouds?..."
Wallace Stevens, Sea Surface Full Of
Coming seemingly out of nowhere, like a well kept secret, Mites
is the moniker under which Grisha Shakhnes, an Israeli
has chosen to assemble his peculiar sounds...regular frequentation of
a local venue called Zimmer, virtually the only place for experimental
music, nurtured a growing love for the use of tapes, and the analog
way of doing things...frequent impro sessions with other people contributed
to the elaboration of a sound identity... Most of Mites'
soundworks so far rely on almost non edited, collaged live sets based
i.a. on tapes studded mainly with field recordings...via the use of
multiple cassette players, focused structures & juxtapositions spiced
with a substrate of noise, his soundworks come out as being both rough
edged, but also astutely sewn together and very organic...On his behalf
so far, 3 self-released cdrs and a praised one on Alamut "nothing's
ponder upon for a restless soul like you", his MS material
rings out like a precious warning, or perhaps a philosophy precept...
Whispers circle in a confined
the same compulsive gestures, a feeling of discomfort...
A languorous clamouring rises up,
obsolete mechanisms lead their own life...
A grey veil, layers of dust...
a trembling unlit urban theatre...
Birds sing concrete songs
within an eroded circus...
pervasive wind, & continuous unreeling...
abundance of life in the backyard...
Stones tell strange tales,
stories of lost freedom & deep fears...
A non-stop motion ending in friction,
the echo of the void...
ponder upon for a restless soul like you" flows like a
murky river straight into the haze...
emitting some flickers piercing the enveloping night...
and the day-to-day hum becomes roads to oblivion...
Lengthy rotations, eclipses,
homespun sceneries retag our unconscious...
here is the seeding of vast questions, the triumph over superficiality,
a poetic act of weight...
for a restless soul like you
03. kings real and imaginary
04. well c'mon, its' just snow
05. something to ponder upon
CDR ltd to 100 numbered copies
THE FIELD REPORTER post 68|Alan
--- NEW !
This is an interview with Grisha
Shakhnes (Mites) about this very interesting
and beautiful release.
Q) Is there a specific premise, subject
or idea you tried to articulate through “Something to ponder upon
for a restless soul like you”? A) No. For me, it’s just music. I don’t really care
for concepts and such.
Q) On “Something to ponder…”
what method did you use: did you capture the sounds specifically for
this project? A) No. I have an ever growing library of about 130-150 tapes
and I choose from them.
Q) How important is the process of listening
in your work an in “Something to ponder..” in particular?
/ How you select the sounds you record? Is it a merely intuitive process
or there is some sort of plan or preconceived idea? A) It’s very important. I always have an idea of what
I want in mind, but its always more about dynamics/structure. The sounds
I am playing dictate my next choice during the piece. I wouldn’t
call it intuitive, it’s not a gut feeling, I listen, I think and
i choose accordingly.
Q) There is a very particular and beautiful
crudeness quality to the sonorities in “Something to ponder upon
for a restless soul like you”, are you aware of that? if so how
you articulate this sonorities with your experience with the actual
sounds when you recorded them? A) I am very aware of this, naturally. Besides being a side
effect of materials I use (cassettes), it’s a very important quality
for me. A lot of field recordings based works i hear go for the nice
and ambient, I think it’s a very small part of out surroundings.
Maybe i just want to show that you don’t have to look very hard
and far to find fascinating things. You just have to listen. Plus, I
like to offer a certain challenge to the listener.
Q) Seems like “Something to ponder..”
is mostly based on unedited captures, using long fragments of recordings
is merely a formal / aesthetic choice or it has to do with the nature
of this particular work? A) Well, yes and no. This is how I work. I do not stick fragments
together during editing, I record live (and sometimes edit afterwards,
cutting the unnecessary bits). With this release I tried to stay more
or less within the framework Daniel wants for his label, so it’s
quite static on the average, but i think it’s quite representative
of what I usually do.
Q) What is the importance of “Something
to ponder..” in your process as an artist? A) As for the release, and it’s importance for me, it
felt more like a side step. I tried to do something very specific music
wise. it was an interesting challenge, but I am not sure I would do
it again. The next CD I recorded, “It’s something, but it’s
not tomorrow”, is quite different.
I would like to thank Grisha Shakhnes
for this answers and his time and hope this interview offers us an insight
to this very powerful work.
VITAL WEEKLY 802|Frans
--- NEW ! Grisha Shakhnes is
Mites, and he hails from Israel. I believe this is
his first release in Europe. His music is based on field recordings,
which is hardly a surprise if you end up on Mystery Sea, I'd say. But
unlike other he tapes them to cassettes and then in a sort of live situation
he plays those recordings and does a meta-collage of said recordings.
That adds a certain rawness to the music, a kind of noisy-ness which
is very nice, and something that is not heard a lot in this particular
corner of the musical world. Of course its not really noise in a HNW
kind of way, but its an electrical undercurrent which is quite loud
at tomes such as in 'Well, C'mon, It's Just Snow', which may indeed
sound like snow falling on an electric board. Mites
plays all five, three of which are very lengthy, pieces in a minimal
vein, slowly but steadily evolving to keep the attention of the listener.
A work full of promise I'd say, room for improvement and some fascinating
sound events. Raw and untamed, this is certainly something fresh in
the world of field recording. vital weekly
--- NEW ! Trying to quantify what it is about
the music of Grisha Shakhnes (mites)
that's so fundamentally appealing, I hit upon a number of things, to
be sure, but foremost is usually the sense of commitment I get, of having
a strong basic idea and seeing it through, for exactly the length of
time it requires. Shakhnes uses field recordings pretty
much but with such a deft hand and ear. As is often the case, print
descriptions are pretty valueless; suffice it to say that he tends toward
the grainy and sooty but with great depth and a wonderful knack for
opposing and mixing textures. Every track in each disc is strong, all
of them capable of being listened to and examined numerous times with
new detail and structural relationships emerging on each occasion. On
the Mystery Sea disc, they linger at mid-volume level save for the "climax",
as it were, in the penultimate cut when the dynamics surge; it's a drama
that feels well earned.
Don't let this slip through--really
excellent work. just outside