Sound Artist Kraig Grady: Improvisational Rain

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The tuning for Kraig Grady’s 2011 release “Our Rainy Season” resembles a scale once found among the Chopi people of Mavila, Mozambique, an area that experiences a severe rainy season.

Another Visit to Kraig Grady’s Anaphoria Island

Sound-artist-ethno-composer Kraig Grady has released a new CD called Our Rainy Season – Nuilagi, on either/OAR.  From the label’s notes:

The two pieces on this album reflect the sounds and the duality of the experiences of our rainy seasons. The first is an internal reflection sifted through memories. The second is a realization of the very music played by the people of Anaphoria to give thanks to the rain.

Our Rainy Season features only two but highly skilled improvisers: Jim Denley and Mike Majkowski. The artists were asked to improvise on single notes with extreme pitch accuracy to within one tenth of a cent, which they could evaluate with the aid of a visual display while performing. While the tuning for Our Rainy Season is from Anaphoria, it resembles a scale once found among the Chopi people in the village of Mavila in Mozambique, an area that likewise experiences its own severe rainy season. In the process of composing another work, Beyond The Windows, it became more and more noticeable how various nuances of the performers’ gestures contributed to the feel and personality of the piece. It was in Our Rainy Season that these possibilities could be fully explored.

Nuilagi reflects the newer style of music-making found during the wet months of Anaphoria. We hear the sounds of rain embraced by the trio of metallophones playing in their Meta-Slendro scale. The piece celebrates the coming of the rainy season after the relentless dry season that precedes it. Anaphorian performers (pseudonyms used to confuse evil spirits): Erin Barnes, Jonathan Marmor, Kraig Grady.”  (Kraig Grady)

STORY: Post-Indigenous Microtones: Kraig Grady’s Anaphoria Island.

Kraig Grady played at The Cad Factory in May 2010 as part of The Cad Factory’s series of ten live recording, filming and art parties supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and 2ser. This is show number 8. www.cadfactory.com.au

Kraig Grady is a composer/decomposer/sound explorer. Since 1975 he has pursued the formation of ensembles of acoustic microtonal instruments of his own design/modification to explore an interaction with environmental spaces, the contextual influence of visionary space, and psychoacoustical pitch phenomena. Seeing personal fulfillment as not possible within the confines of specialization, he has also engaged extensively as a shadow puppeteer, tuning theorist, filmmaker, world music radio DJ and concert promoter. His compositions often include interactions with his own silent films and shadow plays.

The 90’s saw Grady’s first work connected to the activities of The North American Embassy of Anaphoria Island and more recently The Austronesian Outpost of Anaphoria. Both organizations serve to promote the visionary geographical culture of this island.

Despite the fact that the nature and size of his instruments make touring difficult and rare, his work has been presented at Ballhaus Naunyn Berlin (Germany), the Chateau de la Napoule (France), the Norton Simon Museum of Art (Los Angeles), the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), and the Pacific Asia Museum. Generally it has been within reach of his locales where he engages in most of his activities.

For an excellent review of the CD, see: Fouter and Swick, By James Wyness.

For Kraig Grady’s blog: http://anaphoriasouth.blogspot.com/2011/02/our-rainy-seasonnuilagi.html

To hear a sample and purchase the CD: http://www.and-oar.org/pop_either_5.html

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