|Piano on Tape
|Open Delay 2
|Harp of Yaman
A suite of raga-inspired compositions and improvisations that grew from a fertile collaboration between Christina Vantzou, Michael Harrison and John Also Bennett centered around a devotion to just intonation tuning, deep listening, and resonant spaces.
Michael Harrison is a composer and pianist who is a dedicated practitioner of just intonation and North Indian classical music. He was La Monte Young's protégé and piano tuner during The Well-Tuned Piano years and a disciple of Pandit Pran Nath, and has since developed his own customized tuning systems. Guided by conversations with Christina Vantzou, who provided structural frameworks for each piece and directed the sessions, the compositions drew from Harrison's daily raga practice, using its ancient forms as starting points from which the compositions could blossom and morph. A resonant backdrop of modular synthesizers played by John Also Bennett, who also contributed piano improvisations played on Harrison’s custom tuned Steinway concert grand, expanded the sessions into true collective praxis.
As noted by Parul Gupta, a conceptual artist based in New Delhi who contributed the stunning artwork for the album, “the songs feel like an extension of silence.” The notes from the piano emerge, resonate, and dissolve in measured and meditative sonic fields, allowing for a concentrated listening experience where every sound lives, breathes, and ultimately returns to silence. Contained within these aural ecologies are potentialities that emerge from a collective listening and improvising experience, and a resonant rebuttal of the standard equal tempered tuning system that has dominated Western music for centuries.
This release collects the verdant recordings from the trio’s 2019 Berlin sessions on two 45rpm records, accompanied by a risograph printed insert featuring track credits and Harrison’s handwritten tuning charts used on the album.