Erstwhile Records 018 Weather sky

Keith Rowe/Toshimaru Nakamura

Keith Rowe, tabletop guitar, electronics; Toshimaru Nakamura, no-input mixing board.

  1. Weather sky #1 (40.32)
  2. Weather sky #2 (05.02)
  3. Weather sky #3 (27.26)

Recorded on 11 June 2001 at Le Chok Theatre, Saint-Etienne, France.

Front cover painting (reproduced above) by Keith Rowe.

Press release from Erstwhile: September 2001

Keith Rowe and Toshimaru Nakamura are two of the most important musicians in the world today. Fans of each other's work, they began to collaborate in early 2001, and have created in Weather Sky a timeless work of art.

Rowe, who is best known for his groundbreaking work with AMM (the seminal improvising collective he co-founded in 1965 with Eddie Prévost and Lou Gare), also currently leads the Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra, an all-star group featuring many of Europe's premier electronic musicians. Over the last few years, Rowe has also been pursuing numerous projects outside of his two primary projects, releasing superb records with Burkhard Beins (Grain, on Zarek), Günter Müller/Taku Sugimoto (The World Turned Upside Down, on Erstwhile), as well as his solo work, most recently documented on the difficult to digest but very strong Harsh (Grob).

Nakamura plays the "no-input mixing board", connecting the input of the board to the output, then manipulating the resultant feedback. Since 1998, he's been exploring the possibilities of his instrument in contexts ranging from solo to collaborations with Sachiko M, Andrea Neumann, and the duo project Repeat with drummer Jason Kahn. Nakamura is also a co-founder of The Improvisation Meeting at Bar Aoyama, a monthly concert series in Tokyo, which recently changed its name and location to Meeting At Off Site, and has toured Europe quite frequently over the last few years, to widespread acclaim.

Weather Sky was recorded in Saint-Etienne, France in June 2001, and consists of three live improvisations totalling 73 minutes. Both musicians almost entirely sublimate their egos throughout, creating a pure abstract feedback, with occasional flecks of sound jumping to the foreground, coalescing to produce a sense of eternity.

"Rowe and Nakamura's is a music at once immensely sophisticated and utterly simple. A music which recreates the uncanny and pregnant suspension of time in live performance; and which is itself the physical manifestation of an exquisite sense of proportion. An ergonomic music which is philosophically and aesthetically radical, drawing on - and seemingly echoing - the flight of the most numinous abstractions; and yet felt as a physical tremor in the very brain of the listener, reminding us that the body is a memory, the profound depths of which are only fitfully probed. This is the sound of a deep dive into the void, breathtaking and mysterious." -Ed Baxter

"Here are some stories/fables about silence and stammering, or duration and discontinuation, or memory and incident. We are not "hearing" the sound. We are "being" unawares at the inner side of the sound. "He" makes "space" and the other "He" has made "time." "He" has a name as Keith Rowe, and the other "He" has a name as Toshimaru Nakamura. Of course, It is needless to emphasize that the name of "He" is exchangeable toward the other." -Atsushi Sasaki

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