Ben has voice reeds, twin infoldings stretched across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs. Open during inhalation, closed when holding one's breath, and vibrating for speech or singing (oscillating 440 times per second when singing A above middle C), the folds are controlled via the vagus nerve. Birds don't produce vocal sounds by means of vocal folds but by oscillations of membranes in the syrinx.
Ben Seretan isn't a bird. He's more like an angel.
"Ben Seretan" on two magnificently colored vinyl records, in two different color swirls. Features bonus instrumental piece "The Windmill Sings" on side D. Features a risographed insert and beautiful, thoughtful design by Alex Tatusian. A wonder to behold.
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We conceived of and recorded these sounds in various places over the course of a year. In that time, friends and family died, bank accounts ran dry, and I cried. But we also stood on the tops of actual mountains. We swam in the Pacific at the height of summer and in the Atlantic at the bottom of winter. We laughed at the dinner table and hung our heads out of car windows. These sounds are a triumph.
-I don't believe in God
-Doing nothing is important
-Try to live simply
-People and humans
-My heart is free and easy, baby
"I want the sweetness and the brutality, and I want to go to the very end of each of those feelings. I’ve been trying to find a way for the beauty and the terror to live together in one song. I know it’s possible." -Sonny Sharrock
"..the songs she heard were about hearts breaking and hearts aching, or hearts quaking as they slid, spewing sparks, across the electrified threshold of new love." -Tom Robbins
Thanks to Alex Lewis and Nico Hedley for traveling with me - Alex especially for Mount Royal and Liberty, Nico especially for Coney Island. Thanks to Fayaway for keeping me sharp. Thanks to my brother and Joe for visiting New York in 2013. Thanks to Jamie for everything, especially your emails. Thanks to Alex Tatusian for being my friend and for getting it. Thanks to Michele Mirisola - you are a good friend. Thanks to the town of Sitka, AK. Thanks to Carina Kaufman for reaching out back in 2012. Thanks to Maddie Caldwell for letting me sleep on your floor in 2010. Thanks to my sister, my mom, my dad, my uncles, my aunt Kitty. Marion Seretan, you are missed sincerely and I think of you every time I see the East River or the Flatiron. Thanks to Ben Kupstas for Blushing in Bed. Thanks to George Pratt for playing me a VHS tape of the Plasmatics performing during lunch period when I was 15. Thanks to Glenn Raucher for making sure I have a job and for driving me back from upstate NY summer 2012. Thanks to the Early/Badlands, especially for Thanksgiving 2011 and for all the times we went swimming. Thanks to Jack Reilly for your enthusiasm about my guitar playing when we shared a wall. Thanks to Mike and Heidi for having a great wedding. Thanks to Emily Hsiao for hosting your radio show. Thanks to Katie Von Schleicher for playing music with me at dawn. Thanks to Sayre Sundberg for going with me to Wesleyan that one time. Thanks to Tom and Alex at Spaceman Sound, for your work and for letting me sleep and record with Morgan at Troutman Spaceman in 2009. Thanks to Reid Bingham for selling me that great broken keyboard for a dollar - I love it. Thanks to Sarah Mankoff. Thanks to Annie Cross. Thanks to Leonard Knight and Robert Ashley. Thanks to Tully McLoughlin for Christmas 2013.
"Light Leaks" and "Blues..." recorded June 2013 at Spaceman Sound, Brooklyn, NY
"My Lucky Stars" recorded November 2013 at Ben's Mom's place in Tustin, CA
"The Windmill Sings" recorded outdoors to cassette tape at Flux Factory, April 2014
All else recorded Jan/Feb 2014
"My Lucky Stars" features a guitar that used to belong to my grandma Marion. The song is dedicated to her memory. "Ticonderoga" also features her chord organ.
released December 28, 2014
Ben Seretan - songs, singing, guitar, chord organ, broken keyboard
Alex Lewis - guitar
Nico Hedley - bass, singing, flugelhorn
Alex Tatusian - drums, singing
Katie von Schleicher - singing
Ben Kupstas - guitar, noise, singing, janglies
Morgan Heringer - singing
Bryan West - cello
Maddie Caldwell - singing
Tom Tierney - singing
Mike Seretan and Joe Zazueta - catering
Engineering and mixing by Tom Tierney and Alex Mead-Fox, Spaceman Sound
Mastering by Gus Elg, Sky Onion
Cover photo by Sean Pierce
LP Design by Alex Tatusian
Cassette tape edition by Hope for the Tape Deck