MARIA CHAVEZ & LUCAS GORHAM "Live At Jewels Catch One"

Ratskin Records

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“Live At Jewel’s Catch One” is a live collaboration between renowned abstract turntablist, and sound sculptor Maria Chavez and avant-garde guitarist Lucas Gorham. This collaboration afforded us with a unique opportunity to work with both artists and release a sonically and conceptually beautiful sound work. Both Chavez and Gorham are known internationally for their acute investigations into improvisational sound, the complexities of chance improvisation and free-jazz inspired compositional methods, unifying the breath of all sounds big and small, and seemingly the very essence of sound herself.

On “Live At Jewel’s Catch One”, the duo creates a deep, rhizomic, sonic investigation of texture and rhythm that span deep listening through chance operations. Synthesizing the space between Chavez’s uniquely brilliant and idiosyncratic methods of turntablism and Gorham’s fractured, abstracted lap-steel guitar/electronics work, a beautiful sonic adventure emerges. Chavez’s extended technique of turntablism, chance operations and compositional strategies pull equally from John Cage, Elaine Radigue, Pauline Oleveros and DJ Premier alike.

Gorham creates a landscape of cauchopanous peaks and cavernous valleys through string-based sonic articulations as Chavez’s cut up, broken loops sew a city of beauty and acceptance atop the rigid rumblings of Gorham. Despite not being able to hear each other in the original performance due to a monitoring issue (there were none) Chavez eloquently plays off the landscape, using her methods of change and trust in her collaborator, drawing a complex web of cracking architecture and shifting temporal spaces. Chavez creates looping shards, created with such nuance and intimacy they present themselves like mysterious gifts to the listener, magnifying both the richness and impermanence of sound. Through her own decades-long investigation of all aspects of the turntable as both instrument and vessel for experimentation, Chavez has repurposed the mechanics and all of its idiosyncrasies as her own once again, playing off Gorham’s abstract lap-steel guitar work perfectly. This collaboration is rooted in trust, chance, and the intricacies of sound and space themselves. A process, at least in Chavez’s work, usually reserved for live performance only, we are more than honored to be able to present this live document to those who couldn't attend the original performance.

“In the late 1990s/early 2000s in Houston, TX, an experimental music workshop for young people helped to forge a lifelong friendship. Focused on the improvisation of sound and the development of an individual approach to it, this weekly workshop also helped to shape the creative course of both of these artists for the rest of their lives. Almost two decades later, on April 28, 2018, this friendship culminated in a long-awaited performance at Jewel’s Catch One, a night club in Los Angeles. Maria Chavez (turntable) and Lucas Gorham (lap steel guitar) give their first live performance together here. Due to an error that must have been a lapse in production logistics, the sound person working that night neglected to provide monitors, and neither could hear each other nor themselves for the entire duration of the performance.

Gorham managed to bring a mobile recording set-up and captured the result, which pleased both artists.”

-Lucas Gorham

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