Artist: Seth Nehil & Matt Marble
Title: Ecllipses
Catalog Number: and/30
Release Year: 2008
Format: CD
Status: Sold Out

Track List:
01. Aprupture
02. Skully
03. Flock
04. Hither
05. Ecllipses
a/O is very pleased to present this highly anticipated first collaboration
release between two American "sound composters", Seth Nehil and
Matt Marble. A dynamic whirlwind tour through states of ellipsis and
eclipses, abrupt ruptures, reuniting and igniting. Where nothing is
static for too long. Through an invigorating admixture of instruments,
field recordings and various found matter, a compelling and
mysterious world comes alive to spark the imagination.

Seth Nehil is a multimedia artist living in Portland, Oregon. He has
composed sound for CD, multi-speaker installation, solo and large
group concerts, dance, theater and performance. Apart from and/OAR,
Seth has release work on international labels such as Alluvial
Recordings, Kaon, Intransitive, Cut, Edition Ellipsis, 20 City, Erewhon
among others, and has collaborated with composers such as John
Grzinich, Olivia Block, Matt Marble, Brendan Murray and MIchael
Northam. He has performed throughout the US, Europe and Japan.
Seth is also co-editor and designer of FO A RM projects, a
collaboration of arts and research with a focus on sound art. He
teaches Time Arts and Art Theory at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Matt Marble is a composer / performer and writer / researcher. Matt
has composed works for film, theatre, dance, CD, stereo diffusion,
multimedia performance, and instrumental ensembles. Currently and
for the past 5 years he has been focusing on a practice of scored
improvisation, which emphasizes collective self-organization, social
and sonic geometry, and rhythmic elasticity. Exploring social
e-motions
without a predetermined or singular cultural ideology or aesthetic.
Composing for nervous systems as much as sound. Matt studied
music composition at CalArts (with Michael Pisaro), music theory at
Portland State University and the University of Paris VIII, St.
Denis-Vincennes (with Eugenia Duta), and is currently in the midst of a
graduate program in Music Composition at Princeton University. Matt
received his B.A. in Speech & Hearing Science from Portland State
University.
Smallfish  (September 2008)
Ecllipses is the first collaboration between these two American sound artists
/ composers. It's a voyage through seemingly thrown together sound
sources and rhythmic influences. It never stays static for long and is full of
constant movement. The more you listen, though, the more it becomes clear
that it's not as random as you may think. There's a coherency and solidity to
the tracks that's carried right through the CD and the invigorating range of
styles and sounds is pretty mindblowing on further inspection. In particular
the last two tracks (also the longest, incidentally), 'Hither' and 'Ecllipses', are
incredibly deep with the former using a deep textural drone to draw you in
and the latter adding bass hum to static and scratchy tones to make a really
compelling finale. The most challenging of the three new and/OAR releases,
no doubt, but one that I find myself completely drawn to. Absolutely superb.

*Update - 'Hither' (track 2) is simply amazing. I've been listening to it for hours
over and over again. I can't remember whether I sampled it or not, but I'll work
it out and do one if it's not there. Awesome track!*  (Mike Oliver)
Aquarius Records  (August 2008)
Naturalist aktionism? Sure, let's call it that. We can't really say that the
Hermann Nitsch and Gunter Brus bloodletting as grand allegory is
applicable to this collaboration between Portland based sound artists Seth
Nehil and Matt Marble; but a rigorous body of work is definitely at hand.
These two are the editors of the sound art journal FO A RM, and have both
generated impressive bodies of conceptually minded compositions through
field recordings, found objects, the almighty drone, and hand-built
instruments. Here, Nehil and Marble wax poetic about the overlay of tactile
sounds to emphasize the ruptures, holes, and negative spaces which may
have been present on each layer of sound. So, instead of a gaping piece of
unbroken ambience, Ecllipses is a tense and discordant album of rollicking
textures which bristle and scrape against each other. Nehil and Marble revel
in tumbles and scrabbles of what could be a revolving metal drum filled with
various pine cones, twigs, and pebbles. Elsewhere, they focus upon
churning bowed steel-strings, which offer buzzing clouds of softly rendered
acoustic noise; and then soft pluckings of what sound like softened
dulcimers drift into prolonged echo, hinting at avant-folk drones of Jewelled
Antler (especially the Ov recordings) and Kemialliset Ystavat. Barring a
minimal amount of signal processing and ring modulation, the album
flourishes in the sodden palette of natural objects: wood, grass, leaves, soil,
and rock.
E / I  (November 2008)
Seth Nehil and Matt Marble are keen on subverting musical flow and yet they
rarely seem any less alive to the situation. In fact, on account of their peculiar
method, the opposite proves to be the case: the positive presence of
Ecllipses is structured by a series of elliptical movements around an
assortment of micro-temporal cut-outs. It's these very breaches and gaps
that ultimately keep the resulting music both constantly moving and yet
structured. Owing to this process, and the fact that at first the sounds seem
to be issuing from fragmented and unrelated harmonic and rhythmic spaces,
they have a tendency to seem somewhat bold and harsh. That being said,
it's actually anything but simple messy soldering and abstruse perversion of
electricity. The two demonstrate themselves to be exceptionally disciplined
and they never seek assistance from outside their own internal necessities.
Intervaled silences penetrate a low ground swell on "Skully", transforming an
otherwise hypnotic ambience into a swirling, insistent and centreless piece.
So too with "Flock", metallic percussion rattles like the links of a chain
uncoiling and strings pointedly trickle around a few high end notes, foraging,
amidst magnetic fluctuations, shortwave demodulations and spiraling
squeals, for a melodic opening that is never allowed to quite take form. From
here the pieces widen into a stately panorama of obscure and
half-submerged gestures. By virtue of contrast, in these larger spaces of
curved-wall acoustics, coated with fizzling drones, the tiny textural striations
and other such open-ended masses of miniscule events are all the more
beguiling, giving off a glimpse of the immensity and near emptiness of
space.  (Max Schaefer)
Touching Extremes  (December 2008)
Portland, Oregon's Seth Nehil is a multi-talented artist whose work includes
installation soundtracks, dance, theatre and performance; taking a look at
his resume, among the memorable collaborations we come across Michael
Northam, Olivia Block, John Grzinich, Brendan Murray. Matt Marble - also from
Portland - studied composition at Cal Arts with Michael Pisaro, his activities
as a composer, performer and writer spreading through several multimedia
contexts, although the recent work is mainly focused on scored improvisation
emphasizing "collective self-organization, social and sonic geometry and
rhythmic elasticity". There's a too-often used adjective that perfectly describes
the quality of this substance, and that's "organic". The pieces are constructed
and developed around a bidirectional axis which, on the one hand,
comprises field recordings and concrete sounds - and, perhaps,
ectoplasms of guitars or otherwise strung instruments - assembled in a way
that defining "skilled" is just about limitative; on the other, these
manipulations aren't nothing but the ideal terrain for us to catch glimpses of
the natural resonance of reality, manifesting through that kind of vibration that
only truly sensitive beings can perceive. The acoustic properties of common
(and less) objects, the drops of water that bounce on resonant surfaces,
appear like music written by nature itself even after Nehil and Marble's expert
management and assemblage; furthermore, the couple doesn't put forward
a detailed list of sources. A heteromorphic miscellany of sebaceous
materials and stammering evolutions of sonic phenomena that finds its
most engrossing flash at the exact moment in which the whole mutates into
the harmoniously breathtaking drones of "Hither", over thirteen minutes
where the process of acceptance of our role in life - as miserable as it may
be - is finally brought to completion.  (Massimo Ricci)