Ed Osborn – Stone North


CD – Estuary Ltd

Live electronics and tabletop guitar: these are the main elements of Stone North by Ed Osborn, a 2009 production now released by Estuary Ltd, a label focused on experimental fields that stands out for its approach toward the contemporary: moveable and open, but rigorous at the same time. From the first cuts the signals generated and released by the guitar are developed and delayed to create an effective background for layering other sounds. The album keep attention focused on the solidity and definition of the treatments, and the distinct audio emergencies move in concentric patterns. “Guitar Mechanical” (1989-92) weaves together finely constructed guitar manipulations and other sound elaborations in a free-form electroacoustic setting that is based on unusual evolutions and highly variegated and sometimes fragile loops. The first track is performed in memory of Elisha Blakeman and Tabitha Babbitt (two seminal inspirational leaders for Osborn): the combination of sequences paying homage to the inventor of “piano violin”, a chordal table instrument (Blakeman), and to the designer of the first model of circular saw (Babbitt). Both were members of the Shaker community, a branch of Quaker puritan Protestantism at the beginning of the 18th century. This is the first Ed Osborn album since 1989: as a result it is dense with “sensitive connections”, idealized and gathered together giving life to a listening experience that is perhaps not immediately gratifying, but has an undeniable charm, depth and pleasure. This is absolutely a release not to be missed.

Ed Osborn {Stone North}