The Gland Canyon

by horaflora

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This album is intended to be listened to as a single uninterrupted piece, the track marks are merely there to help one navigate should they so choose.

This album consists of many different layered solo, duo, and trio improvisations and field recordings from 2002 - 2007.

Nearly everything was close mic'd, late at night, with binaural microphones; thus a vividly present sound is inherent throughout the proceedings. The late night sessions made for great isolation in each source (no traffic or street noise), as well as the extra-spacial bent allowing each sound to sit in it's own space without interfering with other sources that eventually became it's partners in time! The cumulative effect of such nonsense is a heightened spacial illusion for the listener where not only do the sounds appear to be in the room with him/her (provided headphones are employed upon playback) but that all of the sounds were played together in a room at the same time, perhaps by an improvising ensemble all gathered closely around a stereo mic....

...Though what this ensemble would be playing would be extremely difficult to assemble in one room, and fit around one microphone! Some of the sounds were sourced from old creaky playground equipment, industrial water diffusers (part of a huge shower-head, basically a cymbal with holes), a chinese instrument shop on a quiet day, my family singing christmas carols as I walk up from the basement, as well as a lot of other instruments... homemade granular synthesis sampler, french horn, sax, flute, voice, lots of ebow'd objects (previously mentioned showerhead, mbira tine, toy harp...), custom cell phone rings modulated by mouth cavities, vietnamese woodblocks, egg slicers, ceiling fan, book pages, circuit bent budda box, answering machine message fed back through skype connection, guinea pig, broken hard drive, turntable belt drive motor, music boxes, bone resonator hearing test device, mineral water (gerolsteiner) fizz slowly escaping through the cap which is a little wet, rubbed trampoline, toy piano, and... harmonica! None of the aforementioned instruments were played "properly", though... except for the guinea pig. The guinea pig was unprepared.

All of these recordings were then arranged on computer in early 2007 during which time my recording situation was hampered by a loud refrigerator hum from a cafe below the apartment I had moved into that year, the hum was omnipresent throughout the apartment 24/7 and made it's way into the last track as one of the last recordings I made before settling down to edit and arrange the whole thing into it's present day form.

Aquarius Records said:
"Bay Area sound artist Raub Roy goes by the name of Horaflora; and his performances are really impressive exercises in controlled electro-acoustic chaos, with low-tech electronics skittering above various tactile scrapes counterpointed by reversed currents of placid bass frequencies and tonal undulation. One of his best performance stunts is to fill up large balloons, shove a trumpet mouthpiece inside the balloon, and drop the metal mouthpiece on a large drumhead. With two of these devices going, Horaflora can generate prolonged vibration and acoustically phased drones that are really amazing.
Gland Canyon is a small run edition released by Instal Records (which had released a Caretaker disc a while back, although this shares little aesthetic similarity), and works through many of the clamorous, decomposing sounds that Horaflora generates in a live setting. It can't be qualified as 'noise' as these collages are more in keeping with a tradition of automatic writing through sound, with idiosyncratic juxtapositions of electronic bloops, ring modulated flanges, minuscule clatter of wood and metal, mad-scientist weirdo percolations, and those sublimated balloon drones. As such it's more in keeping with some of the HNAS collages or something deconstructed from Small Cruel Party and old P.16.D4 tapes. The various tracks ebb and flow with an unhurried pace that slowly magnifies some of the many sounds into more sparse hypno-repetitive passages and then sweep everything into rather dense crescendos of scattershot sediment."

Foxy Digitalis Said:
"Horaflora’s “Gland Canyon” is a piece of experimental music composed of improvisational meet-ups of various sizes as well as solo performance and field recordings. The entire album is one piece where individual tracks serve merely as markers in time, as well as mood. The recording process is unique in that each sound, or series of sounds, was recorded binaurally and then composed through editing. These sounds were collected over a period of five years before their arrangement. Each instrument has been modified by means of preparation, transduction or extended technique. The instrumentation itself is liberal – scads of both traditional as well as invented or object-oriented devices have been implemented.

Horaflora is Raub Roy of San Francisco via Massachusetts. On this recording Horaflora’s sounds take on many shapes and character of which few repeat. Through the utilization of binaural recording each sound occupies a similar headspace, one of an actual head. Roy has created his own approach to binaural recording by using stereo lavaliere microphones placed directly in his ears. This allows for a more accurate spatial relationship between the sounding object and the listeners perception. On headphones a stereo field is created which mimics that of the room or space of the recording – placing the listener within the context of the sound and its relationship to its environment.

The material here ranges from percussive sounds delineated either by an accurate stroke of play or the clattering of objects intersecting a surface, to sustained tones of broken machines or whirs and buzzes from everyday electronic devices. There are also electronic sounds from electronic instruments, many of which were constructed by Roy himself, including a homemade granular synthesis sampler. Roy has also confessed to sampling a guinea pig, mineral water and a bone resonator test-hearing device. Although the specificity of these sounds has been disclosed, none of the sounds register as their actual form. This formlessness is remarkable in that each sample has not been altered through any means of process or filtration.

“Gland Canyon” is a moody piece of experimental music. Where many artists working with this vocabulary of extended technique shy away from feeling in their compositions, Horaflora allows many of the sounds to fuse into aural landscapes of much emotion. There is an overarching mood to the entirety of the piece, which has something of a rising, chaos, falling action similar to that of a simple narrative. Yet, the lexicon of aural information is so deep, so rich, that ones ability to comprehend this piece with any type of narrative understanding is limited. Instead, the sounds –working together – create an unusual dialog of uncertainty. This uncertainty moves from anxiety riddled to complacent and back again."


released June 6, 2007



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horaflora is currently based in Oakland, CA

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