No edit, no mix, no second takes. The artist and his environment in tentative, fragile harmony. The unexpected synchronicity of the world in plainsong. Truly wonderful.
Favorite track: Fog Rolls Out Rabun Gap.
as of this writing, i'm reading this book called 'the voice of the infinite in the small' that's about connecting with insects. i acquired two mantids and learned to take care of their feeder crickets. i concurrently collected soil filled with tiny beasties and keep them in ecospheres on my windowsill. my eyes strain from looking at my computer all day so i take time to look at my friends and the outside creatures as well. this fits perfectly into my world right now. i love you ben
Favorite track: 11pm Sudden Thunderstorm.
Wonderful album to play on any day, but particularly touching as it was recorded about 50 miles from my home town and brings a piece of north Georgia to NYC via my cassette player. Great design for the cassette. Recommend. Also, it arrived with brood x.
During an artist residency in the thick of the pandemic, tucked away in a dance studio at the base of the Appalachian mountains, Ben Seretan set out to finally make the piano recordings he had always wanted to make: pristine, clean, ringing, indeterminate. For two weeks he would be alone with an antique Steinway—a blessing that, in spite of an unexpected, globally tragic, and tremendously surreal circumstance, miraculously remained possible.
But "silence" and even "peace and quiet" are slippery, man-made illusions that we can never quite grab hold of, and this proved to be especially true in the woods. The environs there were riotous, almost joyously noisy; the old wood creaking with rot, rain pelting the roof five times a day, rolling thunder. And then there was the breathtaking presence of critters; hissing feral cats, fiddling crickets, birds belting their songs every morning and, ever-presently, the sea of cicadas—enormous swarms of them—so loud and so multidirectional, as though they might try to lift the concert piano right off of the earth.
"It was clear the moment I hit 'record' that any sound I captured from the piano would always carry some other sound with it. There would be no silence whatsoever. So I gave in—I threw open the windows and let the world in."
Cicada Waves, then, is the sound of allowance. It's the sound of room being made, of guards being dropped, of adaptation. It's more often than not the sound of a piano *not* being played. It's the sound of wings or wind or water doing what they will.
These recordings are shared with as little artifice as possible; there are no edits or comped parts, no mixing, no second takes. The album is, more or less, simply and exactly the sounds that happened in the world at that moment, as chaotic and full of sound as they ought to be.
released April 30, 2021
Performed and recorded by Ben Seretan, August 2020 while in residence at the Hambidge Center, a really wonderful place in the unincorporated community of Rabun Gap, GA
This has become one of the most important albums of my life. It’s essence is indescribable. Every sound from the start of the record through the end is placed delicately and with care. The album cover is by Julie Mehretu. It’s absolutely an incredible release for which I shall be eternally grateful. Aniket
It's the perfect album. Songs that fill you with joy, songs that make you feel melancholic, slow haunting tunes, and songs that have you tapping your feet. Play it in the background as you work, put it on for a long drive, or sit and listen and enjoy the incredible and innovative techniques and try to guess how she even did it! koshpeli