Julia Reidy makes music for processed and acoustic instruments (mostly guitars). Their recent recorded work—‘brace, brace’ (Slip, 2019), ‘In Real Life’ (Black Truffle, 2019), and ‘Vanish’ (Editions Mego, 2020)—can be described as a series of non-traditional song forms which combine unstable harmonic territories, rhythmic elasticity and abstract narrative over stretched, episodic forms. They have performed at Tectonics Festival (SCT), Send/Receive Festival (CA), Mona Foma (AUS), Berlin Jazz Festival (DE), Angelica Festival (ITA) and Borderline Festival (GR).
This piece began as a study to explore a tuning in 13-limit just intonation. The harmonic material was an adventure in voicing chords outside of the range of the guitar. The 16 pitch sets were all devised more-or-less intuitively and plugged in (quite painstakingly) afterwards instead of playing them live.
The synth tones are all digital and digital-sounding—quite pure and cold— a sound I either like or have convinced myself I like out of not being able to afford or operate an actual synthesiser.
The environmental sounds are recordings of me tending to a garden plot that I shared with a person I love a lot, an activity which at certain points has felt like an important ritual in nurturing something we’d started together.
‘Gardening’ attempts to establish a kind of suspended harmonic space, with scenes from this particular environment shifting in and out of focus.
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