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Aug 15 / Devin Sarno

Francois Dumeaux “Curar”

François Dumeaux "Curar"

From The Composer:

“Curar is a work between music and sound, between sound art and installation.
It’s a process,  a slowly evolving drone, always the same and always different.

I wanted to make something like sonic medicine.
I used two analog synths: Arturia Minibrute and Roland SH101.

This piece should be better experienced between good speakers or with a good headphones pair.

In Spanish, « curar » means cure, heal or treat…”

Curar 

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Aug 1 / Devin Sarno

Christian Bonner “A Crash Misprint”

Christian Bonner "A Crash Misprint"

From the Composer:

“Acoustic guitars and vocals were recorded live to cassette tape; the basic recordings were digitized, then heavily manipulated and edited (using very basic software) to create the final track. As with most of my recordings, there was a certain crudity to the editing process, which was intended.”

A Crash Misprint 


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Jul 2 / Devin Sarno

All Good Things…

AoW

As with most good things, they must eventually come to an end.

Absence of Wax has been a most electrifying ride for me since it began (on a complete whim, mind you) on 1.1.11. When all is said & done, AoW will have offered over 60 track releases. These releases have been contributed by Composers (and friends) from around the globe: United States, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Peru, France, Germany, Italy, Bahrain, Slovenia, Argentina, Spain, Russia. The intention has been a relatively simple one: curation of a website to showcase work from adventurous musicians on a monthly basis for free streaming and download…and perhaps even serve as a jumping off point into further worlds unknown.

I really didn’t know what the response would be like when i started this…unsure if anyone would care to listen or care to contribute. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response almost straight out of the gates. It has most certainly propelled me to keep things rolling for as long.

{It continues to boggle my mind what worlds can open up with a simple idea, an internet connection and a laptop.}

Beginning in August, we will feature 2 releases per month as we lead up to our final offering toward the end of this year.

Until then, thank you one and all for the support…and most especially: for the listening.
Truly.

A special shout out to David Nemeth & Marc Weidenbaum for their early support of AoW (and inspiring websites).

Jul 1 / Devin Sarno

Cat 500 “The Realist”

Cat 500 "The Realist"

Cat 500′s “The Realist” insinuates itself into the cortex with the familiarity of a favorite Sci-Fi movie soundtrack from a bygone era.

The Realist 

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Jun 1 / Devin Sarno

Daniel Kaufman “Pattern Exhaustion Pt. 1″

Drawing Series III/2314/A & B

From the Composer:

“This track was made using recordings of clarinet as well as bass.  I processed the tracks heavily with physical gear (distortions, EQ, mixer/send overload techniques).  I then digitized the output by live mixing the tracks into the computer.  The finished song is result.  It is the first song off my new EP, Pattern Exhaustion.”

Pattern Exhaustion Part 1 

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May 10 / Devin Sarno

Absence of Wax Zine (2014)

We are very proud to announce the latest Absence of Wax zine for 2014 which features the work of 14 artists who have graciously contributed their time & amazing work to the cause: Terminal Radness, Tim Biskup, Will Bryant, Jeremy Szuder, Daniel Gibson, Alex Schubert, Matt Furie, Michael C. Hsiung, Ramsey Dau, Travis Millard, Nathaniel Russell, JT Steiny, Britt Randle and Rich Jacobs.
 
This is a limited edition of 50 hand numbered copies only & was printed by the fine folks at Never Press.
 
Also included in each package is a download code for an exclusive (previously unreleased) track by Composer Devin Sarno.
 
Proceeds from the sale of this zine will be donated to Creative Commons and The Internet Archive.
 
USA ORDERS

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS

May 9 / Devin Sarno

PREPARE THYSELF.

 

May 1 / Devin Sarno

Julia Hanadi AL ABED “DERRIERE LA BOBINE”

DERRIERE LA BOBINE

From The Composer:

DERRIERE LA BOBINE (possible translation : behind the coil)

Composition revealing the plasticity of some of the recordings i’ve made with my coil microphone. It was in the different US airports i dropped by during the end of october 2013 (such a perfect place to experiment that). For the illustrative purpose, it’s just pointing out the two sides of the surroundings, the presence of both one : side by side….the machine/the human/the machine. What are we listening to?”

DERRIERE LA BOBINE 

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Apr 1 / Devin Sarno

Jim Gable “Mantra”

Jim Gable "Mantra"

From The Composer:

“A fear of flying. Head pressed against the window of the plane for reassurance.  Bone to glass. Comforting vibrations from the drone of the engines…no sudden moves…we’re probably going to be ok. Mantra was produced in the Buchla 200 studios at Cal Arts in 1978. It comes from an upcoming collection titled One Strip of Light Left.”

Mantra 

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Mar 1 / Devin Sarno

Hilde Marie Holsen “Krossane”

Hilde Marie Holsen "Krossane"

From the composer:

“Krossane” is a melody made by the norwegian folk musician Rannveig Djønne. I found both the melody and lyrics very beautiful, the lyrics being a sad story about two poor kids in a boat during a storm. In this piece I try to express this story, using trumpet and live electronics.

Krossane 

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Feb 2 / Devin Sarno

Francisco Meirino “The Back Of My Skull”

Francisco Meirino "The Back of My Skull"

From the Composer:

“Unprocessed recordings of no-input feedback techniques on reel-to-reel recorders seeking out the sonic spaces within the reel-to-reel’s motors. Assembled and mastered at Shiver Mobile, August 2013.”

The Back Of My Skull 


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Jan 1 / Devin Sarno

Lauren Sarah Hayes “Contactor”

Lauren Sarah Hayes "Contactor"

From the composer:

“This improvisation was formed out of a playful exploration of my most recent hybrid analogue/digital performance system, where an excessive number of hardware components mutually affect each other through a network of sound analysis and digital signal processing. Often engaging with different parts of the instrument through a simple controller, I bring a sense of immediacy into my hands: the slightest movement may trigger a mechanical relay bank, which in turn may set a digital process in motion. In Contactor I attempt to portray some of what I find most joyous about both the analogue and digital sonic domains.”

Contactor 

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Dec 7 / Devin Sarno

Another year…

AoW 2013

2013 is rapidly coming to a close and so I figure it’s an appropriate enough time to reflect a bit on the past year of Absence of Wax: aka the odd little website in my life that’s become home to about 50 releases of an otherworldly sonic nature. As i’ve mentioned in previous ramblings, everything related to AoW is/was an off the cuff whim…initially conceived & executed in a couple of hours time on 1.1.11. And so, that i would have reached this point, with this much inspiring music under its umbrella, from an array of utterly genius artists is a bit beyond my comprehension. Truthfully, I tend not to think all that much about it and just allow the thing to propel forward as much as the cosmos will allow. That seems to be the most respectful path.

As always, i simply want to thank…humbly and profoundly…anyone who comes to visit this website and most especially everyone who agrees to contribute a piece of themselves to it. I’m proud of what the site represents and hope it brings some inspiration to others as much as it does to myself. I’m happy for AoW to exist in the shadows, the fringes, the crevices…as a sort of respite from the mundane.

What about 2014, you may ask?

Well, happily, there are already half a years worth of releases sitting on the hard drive waiting to be uploaded and set free. (Literally.)

In addition, over the past several weeks, i have been hard at work on curating a new AoW zine. Art is as profound an influence on my life as music and so it seems only fitting (to me at least) to offer a companion piece in this way. I have approached several artists whose work i admire greatly. While things are still being formalized, i can announce that the following folks are already on board: Tim BiskupMatt Furie, Will Bryant, Ramsey DauRich Jacobs, Michael C. Husing, Daniel GibsonNick Guenzler, JT Steiny, Alex SchubertNathaniel Russell, Jeremy Szuder, Britt Randle & Travis Millard. It’s a list of talent that continues to make me smile in amazement. I cannot express how thankful i am for their willingness to participate. As with the 2013 zine, this will likely be limited to 50 copies with all proceeds going toward Creative Commons and Internet Archive. Two organizations that are at the backbone of this net label, and most others as well. I will continue to keep the site (+ Facebook/Twitter) updated with the progress of the zine and its expected release date…so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy this month’s release from Martin Rach. I hope you will enjoy next month’s release from Lauren Sarah Hayes…and all the other fine music (and art!) that is forthcoming. You all deserve it.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 1 / Devin Sarno

Martin Rach “bjoa medley”

Martin Rach "Bjoa Medley"

bjoa medley 

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Nov 1 / Devin Sarno

Felix Gebhard “Rites Of Spring”

Felix Gebhard "Rites of Spring"

From the composer:

Rites Of Spring came about on April 30, 2013, when I was sitting down in my bedroom witht the intention to record a very quiet song. May 1 is a much celebrated holiday in Germany, so the night before is always a big night out, especially in my neighborhood. Instead of recording that quiet song I captured some of the yelling and singing down there on the street – and in the end even fireworks. This led to a completely different piece of music than I originally had in mind.”

Rites Of Spring 

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Oct 1 / Devin Sarno

BANAPHSHU “For The Parliament of Owls”

BANAPHSHU "For The Parliament of Owls"

“It is already six months now since I became general director of Radio Nabu Congul  and I am pleased to have kept the station on air for 24 hours a day. We are still greatly understaffed, and finding those interested and willing to present programming especially through the night has been difficult. Since I am already at the station most of the day I have had to say, experiment to find solutions.

One of the artifacts acquired from the previous radio station, which was run by missionaries who were forced to flee with their lives, was an old Hammond B-3 Organ. As customary with most colonial instruments when abandoned and reclaimed, an attempt was made to retune the instrument to our own indigenous scales. Unfortunately while attempting to adapt the instrument to a tuning found on the regional mouth organs of Anaphoria, mistakes were made as the nature of the instrument resisted modification. At the end of the process in which error followed error, even the keyboard became inoperative, and in creative desperation only a single nine-tone chord, one used in a popular song of defiance, was all that could be salvaged.

Every evening as the last program is coming to an end on Radio Nabu Congul, I have been playing with this organ and I adjust the various puller knobs to shape and sculpt the timbre. Sensitive to the fact that it will be sounded for hours, I attempt not only to draw on the energy of the station, but also the energy of the insects and often a parliament of owls who have taken a liking to the station roof and antenna. For fun I have kept recorded samples from each night and found 138 of these especially to my liking. One day I started playing with these tapes and I became inspired to create a few versions of this piece. Already these recordings are kept on hand for when harsh weather delays someone from arriving at the station on time, an event more common than one would hope for. I feel this final version in particular reflects my own emotions in running and directing this station. It is my whole life at the moment.”

For The Parliament of Owls 

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Sep 20 / Devin Sarno

Mike Kennedy & Tim Biskup “The Video Game War”

Mike Kennedy & Tim Biskup "The Video Game War"
In the months leading up to January 17th, 1991 artist Mike Kennedy and Tim Biskup were watching with dread as US led forces ramped up their preparations to invade Iraq. They, along with many of their friends and families had attended protest marches in the Bay Area and Central California, written letters and signed petitions. It was clear, though that it was all going ahead regardless. On the night of the 17th, as they watched a new kind of war break out on CNN they set up their instruments on the dining room table at Tim’s parents’ house in Clovis, California and began to put together a wash of sound. There was nothing else to do in that moment but observe the horror of detached killing and attempt to express what it felt like to watch it live in the comfort of home, thousands of miles away.

Mike Kennedy:
Electric Guitar, Voice

Tim Biskup: Analog Synthesizer, Voice, Tapes, Radio

The Video Game War 

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Sep 1 / Devin Sarno

OWLOW “Equinox”

OWLOW "Equinox"

OWLOW is an improvisation sound project created by Barcelona-based composer Juan Rey Romay. “Equinox’” is a piece that perfectly mixes the contrasts he likes: a conversation between ambient Buddha Machine and synth noise, exploring loops and repetition to create halcyon atmospheres with non planned results.

Equinox 

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Aug 1 / Devin Sarno

Lord Havoc “Sorrow Within Nebulae”

Lord Havoc "Sorrow Within Nebulae"

From The Composer:

“Sorrow Within Nebulae” was made with Ableton Live and with various pads and audio effects. The idea for the track (and later EP) came from emotions humans can feel while connected to space – what if stars could feel emotions too when they were born and died?

Sorrow Within Nebulae 

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Jul 6 / Devin Sarno

Acts of Silence review of Shelly Knotts

Check out this Acts of Silence review of Shelly Knotts “I.E.M. (Impromptu Entropy Machine)”.