As winter 2019 begins its painstaking ascent into spring, Full Spectrum records is pleased to announce the debut recording from the fertile collaboration between percussionist Kevin Corcoran and vocalist Gretchen Jude.
After meeting by chance in 2015 while traveling independently through Japan, the pair struck up a friendship thanks to their shared interest in free improvisation and the exploration of pure sound. Upon returning to San Francisco, they quickly committed to their first public performance – an off-the-cuff affair at San Francisco’s Canessa Gallery, accompanied by dancer Peiling Kao. Inspired by this initial creative foray, they decided to delve deeper into their unique sound world
Throughout 2016, Jude used her trusty Sony PCM-D100 to capture hours of their improvisational sessions at her apartment in Oakland and the decommissioned A168 munitions magazine on the Mare Island naval base in Vallejo, California. Over the course of the following year, this raw sonic material was painstakingly deconstructed and reassembled into the narrative structure that comprises hirakito. The end result is a nearly hour-long exploration of space and time, warped via the lens of modern recording technology and the inclusive spirit of free improvisation.
As the duo developed their collaborative process, they discussed at length what characterized the ‘sound’ of different places [i.e. ambient / environmental sound and acoustic resonances, or ‘room tone’] and what it meant to record – and thus permanently ‘fix’ – freely improvised sound. Their aim was to push back against the notion of forced objectivity as it pertains to recorded media and audio quality.
Rather than using high-end equipment to deliver what some might refer to as the “best” representation of a performance, they explored the limitations of their equipment and interacted with the acoustic characteristics of their environment to generate a pure, honest document of their creative partnership. In a sense, the battered PCM-D100 that served as their witness, the cavernous acoustics of A168 and even the subtle background hum of Jude’s apartment, interwoven with Corcoran’s personal field recordings documenting his time in Southeast Asia, all act as ensemble players in this remarkably expansive release.