Boomkat Product Review:
claire rousay presents a ‘Live’ album, assisted by friends playing strings and objetcs for a compelling set of world building, in miniature.
Flanked by Mari Maurice (violin, objets) and Henna Chou (cello, electronics), Rousay expands on the organic themes of the remarkable ‘a softer focus’ across 24’ minutes of open, elliptical strings and ‘tronics that appear to move and occur in laminal flows. It’s loosely guided by a notated score, with loosely being the operative word, as they naturally feel out the piece with a patent familiarity that results in naturally elegant, but not precious, turns of events that feels quietly radical in the face of more fluffy ambient classical works to be found elsewhere, with passages echoing aspects of Scelsi or Ullmann giving way to folksier creak recalling Jim O’Rourke, but with a languid appeal of their own.
““They are two musicians I trust wholeheartedly,” Rousay explains. “This is equally due to their technical abilities as well as our friendships outside of the performance space. I wanted their personalities, sound, and improvisational styles to really shine.” Rousay crafted the piece for the release performance of her album a softer focus, made in collaboration with visual artist Dani Toral, and knew that it needed to reflect the substance and flavor of that release while also not overstaying its welcome. Its execution was clean, deliberate, but also fun - “We did a 10 minute soundcheck prior to tracking the video/audio,” Rousay explains. “There were text scores handed out that utilized timestamps and performance instructions as the main way of guiding the three of us through the piece, but it was intentionally very loose.” A lush accompaniment and continuation of a softer focus, Live is Rousay in the moment, directing and reacting in real-time, fully engaged, fully loving the process.”