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Company is a state of being here, on an album which speaks in worlds.

In Edward Hamel’s Gray Neon Life the cellist is his own companion, uttering words which are not so much spoken over the music as sprayed on and under it, made both surface and core: adornment and essence. This double figure – cellist and voice in one – is Seth Parker Woods, and the piece in both concept and execution is a vehicle for his co-creative input, ranging from the precise choice of pitch material to the derivation of the texted component from the SAMO© tag of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s and Al Diaz’s New York street art, of which Woods is an aficionado. What Hamel makes from it is a sort of manifesto for city life and city art, summoned into existence by a harmonic double stop which, recurring as a fourfold refrain, finally offers a tentative way out … or on.

On, at first, into a hall of mirrors. The three remaining works on this album – two of them, like Gray Neon Life, written for Woods – surround the cello with electronically produced sounds, and in the first two, by Michael Clarke and George Lewis, these sounds are derived in real time from the cello’s own material. In Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s asinglewordisnotenough3 (invariant) the sound sources are more diverse, and yet the work’s worlds are again conjured forth by this lone yet multiple figure. Here he is at the centre of it all: muse and master of ceremonies, devising it all for company.

© 2016 John Fallas

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Artwork by Massimiliano Siccardi

Released November 25, 2016

Seth Parker Woods : violoncello + voice

Recorded at the University of Huddersfield, UK, 13 - 16 July 2016
Lead engineer and Producer : Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
Assistant engineers : Frederic Dufeu, Dave Jones and Sebastien Lavoie
Mixing and Mastering by Christopher Botta at Staple Chest Audio, Harrison Pl., Brooklyn, NY