Manual

by The BSC

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  • Paperback Book and Digital Download Edit

    112 page paperback and 65 minute album. Details below.
    Note: shipping will be added automatically when you enter your address: $4 within the US, $6.50 to Canada, $12 everywhere else.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Manual via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Paperback Book and CD-r (Digital Download Included) Edit
    Compact Disc (CD)

    We know that some of you like to have physical copies of everything, so we'll make a CD-r of the music and ship it with your book, if you desire. Nothing fancy — just a jewel case with a handwritten label — think of it as "handmade".

    Note: shipping will be added automatically when you enter your address: $4 within the US, $6.50 to Canada, $12 everywhere else.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Manual via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

  • Edit

    For the bit-oriented: a pdf of the book plus your music download. The pdf will be emailed separately, on the same day as your order.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Manual via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    Might we suggest a lossless format (FLAC or Apple Lossless)? Your ears will not regret it.
    (Digital Album does not include book)

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about

"Incisive and trenchant... their music inspires." Philip Clark, The Wire

"For those with even a passing interest in the workings of this group of musicians... Manual along with the three accompanying recordings is an indispensable document." Michael Rosenstein, Paris Transatlantic

Music by the BSC (with Pauline Oliveros)
Book edited by Bhob Rainey with contributions from Damon Krukowski, Aaron P. Tate, Ben Hall, and Mike Bullock
3 tracks, 65’30″
Hardcover and Paperback with Lossless Download: 5.8125″ x 8.25″, 112 pages
Published by NO Books

Manual is a combination full-length album and book focusing on the music and improvisational practice of the BSC, an eight-member electroacoustic ensemble formed by saxophonist and composer Bhob Rainey in 2000. More than just music with copious liner notes, Manual examines the process of improvisation from both within and outside the BSC, encountering topics ranging from genealogy to architecture, the boundaries of sense to the benefits of failure, flows of energy to bouts of guilt. The intersection and unfolding of ideas is often complex, but the writing in Manual is earthy and comprehensible, keeping jargon to a minimum without sacrificing the depth of the subject matter. Manual is not a monument to the BSC but rather an appreciation of improvisation from the perspective of an especially prolific community.

The music portion of Manual consists of three extended improvisations covering a six-year period in the BSC’s history. The most recent piece, a vividly captured concert highlighting some of the more elegant aspects of the BSC’s unique musical lexicon, was recorded in 2009 and includes renowned composer Pauline Oliveros on accordion. The earliest piece was recorded in November 2003 at the end of The BSC’s only extended tour and contains some of the noisiest, most unhinged work the ensemble has ever released. 2007′s “23% Bicycle and/or Ribbons of the Natural Order”, recorded in Somerville, MA, provides a balance between the other two tracks, illustrating the BSC’s strong formal control amidst chaotic conflagrations of feedback, tape degeneration, and general instrumental instability. Stage plots and recording notes are included for each track.

The book portion of Manual contains contributions from five writers. Bhob Rainey (director and founder of the BSC) provides an introduction in which he engages with the book’s other contributors while reflecting on failure, adaptable dispositions, and the upside to being oblique. Damon Krukowski (musician, poet, half of Damon & Naomi, one-third of Galaxie 500, and one-fourth of Magic Hour) contributes a series of prose poems aimed at evoking certain effects the BSC’s music has on him. Aaron P. Tate (classicist at Cornell University whose areas include ancient and contemporary improvisation), through extensive research and interviews, pieces together and examines the BSC’s early history and rehearsal practices. Tate uses this information, along with recorded documentation, to approach the music with great insight from a dynamic, open-ended perspective. Ben Hall (percussionist, gospel archivist, and restaurateur) unravels ideas about genealogy, community, politics, and authority as they present themselves in the tradition from which the BSC emerges. And Mike Bullock (audio/visual artist and bassist for the BSC) develops two metaphors for evaluating music like that of the BSC, applying these metaphors to an analysis of the 2009 performance with Pauline Oliveros featured in this release.

credits

released 20 December 2011

Bhob Rainey: soprano saxophone, director
Mike Bullock: contrabass, amplification
James Coleman: theremin
Chris Cooper: guitar and electronics
Greg Kelley: trumpet
Vic Rawlings: amplified / prepared cello, open circuit electronics
Howard Stelzer: tapes
Liz Tonne: voice

Pauline Oliveros plays accordion on Track 1.

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