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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series
14 Jan 2021

Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series

Constellation's first-ever digital series. 16 artists with new longplaying singles and accompanying experimental film/video, commissioned as part of our pandemic/post-capitalist response for label-affiliated musicians under current conditions. Tracks are exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for the week of release, along with sale pricing on artist’s related Constellation digital discography. 100% of revenue from all digital sales goes to the artist. Winter 2021 Corona Borealis tracks drop on Thursdays throughout January/February. Revisit our Fall 2020 entries here.

 
 
 

Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #16 of 16
Thursday 04 March 2021

Jerusalem In My Heart

“Qalouli”




 

 


“Qalouli” is exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for first week of release. Jerusalem In My Heart’s full digital discography is also on sale at Bandcamp during this time: albums are available for $6 (instead of our regular $9) until 11 March.

 


Jerusalem In My Heart’s “Qalouli” is the last Corona Borealis track, and it’s a stunning final entry in Constellation’s first-ever longform singles series. “Qalouli” showcases the exquisite visual contributions from new JIMH member Erin Weisgerber, whose shots of richly-hued natural landscapes and stark monochrome buildings flicker in perfect unison with Radwan Moumneh’s processed buzuk. The notes warp, twist, and stutter as they’re fed through an array of electronics, all of which syncs up with Weisgerber’s expressive imagery to great effect. We’re absolutely thrilled to share “Qalouli”, and we can’t think of a better finale for the Corona Borealis series.
 
 

 
 “Qalouli”

Erin Weisgerber – image
Radwan Moumneh – music
 

Filmed along fault lines.
A cut in the earth.
A line in the sand.
They told me.
Qalouli.

 
– Jerusalem In My Heart –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #15 of 16
Thursday 25 February 2021

Sam Shalabi

“Lonely Woman”




 

 

Sam Shalabi is one of Montréal’s most unique and prolific musicians. With a discography spanning over two decades, he has released dozens of albums under his own name, with Shalabi Effect (on Alien8 Recordings), and as a member of The Dwarfs Of East Agouza, Karkhana, Jane And The Magic Bananas, and Moose Terrific. He has ongoing projects with Nadah El Shazly, Maurice Louca, Matana Roberts, and Tamara Filyavich, among many others, and he’s also developed a strong track record as an arranger and producer on other artists’ albums (most notably on Nadah El Shazly’s acclaimed debut Ahwar). And that’s not even scraping the surface of his large orchestra Land Of Kush, which has graced Constellation with four wonderfully innovative and genre-bending albums. Our heads spin a little bit just thinking about all the great music Sam has brought into the world! Needless to say, his contribution to the Corona Borealis series is an impressive addition to this catalog. Shalabi’s “Lonely Woman” is a captivating take on Ornette Coleman’s track of the same name, performed on solo oud and paired with a collage-style video that juxtaposes scenes from everyday life with some subtly psychedelic and mysterious footage, feeling a bit like a postcard from another dimension.
 
 

 
 “Lonely Woman”

Music and video by Sam Shalabi

 
This is a solo oud version of “Lonely Woman” by Ornette Coleman. I’ve loved this melody ever since I first heard it over 30 years ago. A while back, I had the idea of playing and recording it on oud – the melody has always struck me as very Arabic/Middle Eastern sounding – it has a sobbing/emotional feeling that you hear in certain kinds of Arabic vocal music and modes. It’s only recently though that it has made sense to attempt a version of it. I’ve been exploring the idea of covering Free Jazz ‘standards’ that could work on oud and would have an emotional resonance on the instrument (I’ve recently recorded versions of “Ghosts” by Albert Ayler and “India” by John Coltrane ). This is what led me back to this piece… I recorded it at home in Montreal with one microphone and one take.
 
– Sam Shalabi –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #14 of 16
Thursday 18 February 2021

Off World

“Impulse Controller (Pre​-​Dub)”




 

 


Off World is, in many ways, delightfully tough to pin down: the project revolves around Toronto musician and producer Sandro Perri, and its lineup is supplemented by a rotating cast of top-notch players that varies from one recording to the next. Together these collaborators draw from ambient, jazz, kosmiche, and other out-sounds to create sublime, enigmatic instrumental soundscapes. The results are rich in detail yet often quite surreal, and their Corona Borealis track is no different: the arrangement of modular synth and drum machine rhythms is spellbinding in its own right, while a searing first take from trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud really elevates things to the next level. “Impulse Controller (Pre​-​Dub)” features some equally imaginative visuals by animator M. Joakim and illustrator Lorenz Peter. Peter’s ties to Off World go way back – the project first originated in 2008, with Perri and Peter (Corpusse, Processor) working together on tracks and very occasionally performing live under the moniker. “Impulse Controller (Pre​-​Dub)” is a splendid treat for the eyes and ears, and we’re thrilled to share it as the 14th Corona Borealis entry.
 
 
 

 
 “Impulse Controller (Pre​-​Dub)”

Drew Brown (samples)
Matthew Cooper (modular synth)
Susumu Mukai (drum machine)
Sandro Perri (percussion, synth, organ)
Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet)

Video :
M. Joakim (animation)
Lorenz Peter (illustration)

Cover artwork by Lorenz Peter

 
“Impulse Controller (Pre-Dub)” was born in the Off World “1” sessions and developed during the making of Off World “2”. A “pre-dub” (not to be confused with a “rough mix” or a “demo”) is made long before a track meets its death and subsequent rebirth as the “final mix”. It has a special and usually private purpose – to hear the sounds as they are, without too much concern for the musical composition – and to notice what impulses arise in response to them. This version in particular is a showcase for a blistering first take by trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud.
 
– Sandro Perri –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #13 of 16
Thursday 11 February 2021

Light Conductor

“Triggering The Radio Storms”




 

 


Light Conductor is the duo of Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) and Stephen Ramsay (Young Galaxy), and together they’ve offered up a fine new dose of mesmerizing synth explorations for our 13th Corona Borealis track. The duo typically writes all of its material through a process of improvisation, and this track feels like it was conjured in a particularly good zone: twinkling arpeggios ebb and flow between textured drone oscillations, while James Paterson’s accompanying illustrations elevate the track’s heady nature to a whole new astral plane. The result is a potent, hypnotic a/v trip that ushers the Corona Borealis series into some delightfully psychedelic territory.

 

 

 “Triggering The Radio Storms”
Song by Jace Lasek/Stephen Ramsay
Video by James Paterson
 
 
“Triggering The Radio Storms” is a track that originated as a live off the floor improvisation that we did during the sessions for our second album, which were recorded sometime in 2019, before we toured with Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Europe. Typically our albums come almost entirely out of improvisations that are sometimes hours long. We gather up our favourite synths and effects and just run them together to see how they interact. There is probably enough Light Conductor material for three or four albums at this point. After we play, we spend a day or two editing and arranging the track, which we have begun to do out at Jace and Olga’s cabane in Rigaud. We don’t like to overdub much, preferring to take the most coherent ten or 15 minute passages from longer sessions. We love this track because it is another late night gem, it sounds like spelunking into a giant cave, perhaps even of our own subconsciouses. When we review the material we often find ourselves saying “i don’t remember doing this, do you?”. For us that’s typically the sign we’ve done something we’ll like afterwards.
 
– Jace and Stephen, Light Conductor –


 

The Light Conductor video is a dialog with an entity from a different branch of reality, dealing with fears, hopes and possibilities.

First a connection is established using a numerical sequence as handshake: counting from zero up to nine and back down again. Numbers are suitable for this initial link as they are more universal than any spoken language.

After a connection is established it opens to the body of the communication. It’s a transmission about a series of hopes and fears which transcend all superficial differences between you and this as of yet unknown entity.

The meat of your wordless transaction is formed by interleaved phrases each with their own distinct flavor, including but not limited to:

• A void of pure light. A backdrop of serene forgiveness, love and absolute acceptance, with some minor busywork taking place in the foreground. A stark representation of absolute and relative in their paradoxical dance. The perfect palette cleanser.

• A demonic, hellish fear. A sense of foreboding about the potential existence of eternal suffering, or a terminal mistake for which there can be no forgiveness.

• A cold blue situation. A crisp intelligence so far exceeding our own that it is unrelatable to us, even though we likely gave birth to it. This intelligence is of machine origin.

• A verdant Gaian pulsation. The might of organic plant processes capable of directly harnessing the power of starlight. Operating on a timescale which makes us appear like a frenetic, streaking blur. If we remain a nuisance to her much longer we can easily be absorbed as nutrients without hesitation.

• Among others…

Once the body of the communication completes you enter a closing phase which steps back through the initial numerical handshake sequence in reverse. This closing leaves you serene and trued like a formerly wonky bike wheel.

Finally you enter the conclusion of this otherworldly conversation. Now you see who you were talking to all along. You feel them considering and digesting what was just discussed.

They see you back and you are linked like pen pals from different dimensions.

 
– James Paterson –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #12 of 16
Thursday 04 February 2021

Automatisme

“Non​-​representation Field”




 

 


Our 12th Corona Borealis track is by Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based producer William Jourdain, aka Automatisme. Jourdain has been honing his adventurous electronic compositions since 2013, and we’re delighted to include one of his latest tracks in the series. “Non-representation Field” incorporates source material recorded on a Buchla modular synthesizer while Jourdain was completing a residency at Stockholm’s Elektronmusik Studio, and those samples are run through an array of software that reshapes the original signals into an intricately detailed soundscape. Marilou Lyonnais Archambault’s visuals alternate between soothing and unsettling imagery that is projected onto creased paper forms, providing an ingenious accompaniment to Jourdain’s own explorations of movement and texture. Together Jourdain and Archambault play with disruptions of time and space, with the end result being a conceptual yet highly engaging and vivid new work that fits perfectly within the Corona Borealis series.

 

 

 “Non​-​representation Field”
Music: Automatisme
Video and artwork: Marilou Lyonnais Archambault
Mastering: Pheek
 
 
“We follow the alternate and accidental route of non-representation. It is used to signify the outside.” – Achim Szepanski

This quote by philosopher and Mille Plateaux record label founder Achim Szepanski is the basis for the audiovisual work of “Non-representation Field”. Automatisme explores pathways of Mille Plateaux’s Ultrablack Of Music movement, processing these concepts with an ambient dub track that contains generative and euclidian partitions and modulations. Ableton Live and Max MSP software programming make the pads and bass instruments interpret the same archipelago of signals slightly differently with every temporal activiation. This recording is one instantiation. Parts of the source audio come from recordings made with a Buchla modular synthesizer at Stockholm’s Elektronmusik Studion (EMS) during a residency in 2019.

 
– William Jourdain –



 

Vidéo binaire evoking the iridescence of sounds and images and the dualism of nature and machine, produced using a selection of video samples from the web, which were then projected and filmed on folded paper structures – le froissement (creasing, crumpling; light trauma or injury) as a gesture of resistance. The video portrays the buzzing of natural landscapes, ineffable and transitory physical disturbances, the resonance of appearing and disappearing via the manipulation of creased and wrinkled images, as echoes of an exhausted and worn out territory. This experimental clip eulogizes the non-place as a refuge in post-modern times, in post-internet times.

 
– Marilou Lyonnais Archambault –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #11 of 16
Thursday 28 January 2021

Deadbeat and Martin Bakero

“Sueños de la Joya 2​.​0”




 

 


The 11th Corona Borealis entry comes to us in the form of a special collaborative project: Berlin-based Canadian musician Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, has teamed up with poet and sound artist Martin Bakero to produce a blissful a/v experience entitled “Sueños de la Joya 2​.​0”. Monteith may be known primarily for his dub and techno roots, but this time his electronics primarily consist of gorgeous drones interspersed with idyllic field recordings. The addition of subtle acoustic elements, particularly guitar, along with an array of fine textural effects provides a superb background for Bakero’s reading of Gabriela Mistral’s poem Pequeño mapa audible de Chile in the second half of the piece. When paired with Monteith’s own video footage, filmed throughout Chile in December 2018, the result is utterly transportive.

 

 

 “Sueños de la Joya 2​.​0”
Written and produced by Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat and Martin Bakero at Studio Chez Cherie in Berlin 2019.
Additional guitar by PC Nakt.
Includes a reading of Gabriela Mistral’s Pequeño mapa audible de Chile
Video recorded by Scott Monteith in Chile December 2018
Deadbeat published by Mute Song
Martin Bakero published by SACEM
 
 
Sueños de la Joya is an ongoing collaboration between Berlin-based Canadian musician Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat and Paris-based Chilean poet and sound artist Martin Bakero. While the first version was released as an album length collection of 4 long form compositions on Monteith’s BLKRTZ label in May 2020, this second version expands the project into the visual realm, re-editing the closing two sections and using them as a soundtrack to Monteith’s own film documentation of a road trip from Santiago to the beginning of the Atacama desert in December 2018. Including a reading of the poem Pequeño mapa audible de Chile by Gabriela Mistral in its second half, the piece continues their explorations of the country’s vast geographical and sociopolitical complexity.

 
– Deadbeat & Martin Bakero –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #10 of 16
Thursday 21 January 2021

Eric Chenaux

“3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom”




 

 


We’re delighted to share the 10th Corona Borealis track: Eric Chenaux’s blissful “3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom” with its accompanying short film by Eric Cazdyn. “3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom” showcases a trifecta of Chenaux’s beautifully fried guitar work: electric, nylon-string, and bowed guitars meld together effortlessly, while the addition of pastoral field recordings infuses the track with a bucolic sense of reverie. Cazdyn’s film is a beguiling visual companion, where some sly camera work lends a sense of whimsy and intrigue that’s difficult to pin down. He does  let us in on one clever technique in his artist statement – scroll down and give that a read. All in all, “3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom” is an enchanting new offering from these longtime collaborators and it makes a splendid addition to the Corona Borealis series.

 

 

 “3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom”
Eric Chenaux: recording, mixing, electric guitar, bowed guitar, nylon-string guitar, various electronics, field-recordings.

Video: Eric Cazdyn
 
 
“3 Stars On Mountain Of Doom” was recorded for Richard Youngs’ 50th Birthday (a limited edition of 1 compilation CD entitled 50 Years Of Youngs) curated by Madeleine Hynes. Most of this piece is a reflection upon Richard’s Three Handed Star released on his No Fans label in 2008. I cannot count on this being true or not but I believe that he recorded it after acquiring a concertina or melodeon or some such thing, using the recording process to get to know the instrument. I have always had a fondness for this untethered reverie of his. The last section is an instrumental version of Mountain Of Doom, which Richard wrote and recorded with his son Sorely. The lyrics are fried and the song is an oddly touching and beautiful one – one of those songs that seems to just drop into the world without a hitch. Thank you Richard, Madeleine and Sorley for giving me an aberrant place to play around. 
– Eric Chenaux –
 

During these COVID days I keep thinking about Buster Keaton. Especially a scene in which he is leaning against a building, minding his own business. Soon, a cop appears to tell him to move along. He does, but at the moment he stops leaning against the building, the building collapses. Today, it is not just time that is out of joint (Hamlet), but space as well (Keaton). And the arbitrariness of both reminds us that there is no permanent state of things–no built and unbuilt, no forwards and backwards. Yes, there is a dominant capitalist logic today that informs reality and is desperate to orient us to its pathetic little desires. But this logic is not stable and can always come crashing down. Eric’s music reminds me that there is no fixed order of things. No natural progress. And when we subtract these false orientations, something clears so that we do not even notice that the whole video was shot in reverse and that the dancer’s every movement is backwards. Or, more to the point, it is not just that we do not notice these things, but that these things (forwards-backwards, movement-stillness) do not exist in the first place. 
– Eric Cazdyn –



 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #9 of 16
Thursday 14 January 2021

T. Griffin

“The Smell of Wet Clay”




 

 
“The Smell of Wet Clay” is exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for first week of release.
 

Brooklyn-based composer T. Griffin has been crafting evocative, atmospheric film music for over 20 years and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the CST roster. Griffin’s upcoming LP The Proposal is now available for preorder (more on that here), but in the meantime we invite you to check out his Corona Borealis track “The Smell of Wet Clay”. Griffin’s sublime instrumental compositions are brought to life by an all-star cast of guest musicians, including Matana Roberts, Jason Ajemian (Helado Negro, Jaimie Branch), and Jim White (Xylouris White, The Dirty Three), who add rich detail and texture to Griffin’s own contributions on banjo, guitar, synthesizers, and field recordings. The track’s accompanying short film is produced by conceptual artist, writer, and filmmaker Jill Magid, offering up an enticing glimpse of the collaborative relationship that she and Griffin explore fully on The Proposal LP, which soundtracks Magid’s artworld docu-drama of the same name. Note that all preorders of The Proposal on our website and Bandcamp will receive an immediate download for “The Smell of Wet Clay” as a special bonus track.

 

 

“The Smell of Wet Clay”
Directed by: Jill Magid
Edited by: Hannah Buck
Cinematography by: Jarred Alterman

Music by T. Griffin

Jason Ajemian: Bass
Matana Roberts: Alto Saxophone
Jim White: Drums
T. Griffin: Banjo, Mexico City Field Recordings, Guitar, Synthesizers




“The Smell of Wet Clay” is a collaboration with the conceptual artist, writer and filmmaker Jill Magid, and film editor Hannah Buck that stems from our work together on Jill’s 2018 film
The Proposal. Constellation will be releasing the soundtrack album for The Proposal this summer.
 
An extraordinary hybrid documentary,
The Proposal follows Jill’s deep and sly artistic engagement with the work of architect Luis Barragán. I’ll let that film speak for itself when you seek it out (please do) but for now the important thing to know is that The Proposal is, in its way, a thriller, and a thriller has no time to pause.
 
So, when the idea of making “The Smell of Wet Clay” for this Longplay series surfaced this summer, in the middle of a pandemic which has put everything on pause, it offered the chance to revisit a collaborative connection that was built in proximity and under pressure, this time at a distance, but with a new spirit of contemplation.
 
The music itself was made in a tiny cabin I had rented on the Massachusetts coast this August while exiled from my Brooklyn studio due to a virus-cursed construction project. I couldn’t invite musicians to join me physically, but I had the original recording sessions for The Proposal, which were a loose and collaborative affair, to build from.
 
Among those recordings were some spare, humid basic tracks I had made with Jim White on Drums, Jason Ajemian on Bass and Matana Roberts on saxophone that resonated both with the lovely footage that Jill and Hannah were sending me, and also with the weird state of solitude and dislocation that the Coronavirus has birthed. In deconstructing those tracks and rebuilding them to create the music for this project, I layered a choir of bowed banjo, electronics, field recordings and guitar over Jim, Jason and Matana, and in the process got to bring some collaborators that I love into that small cabin with me.

 
– T. Griffin –

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REVISIT THE FALL 2020 CORONA BOREALIS TRACKS


 
 

Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series
 
Fall 2020
Markus Floats   •   01 October
Efrim Manuel Menuck   •   08 October
Jessica Moss   •   15 October
Jason Sharp   •   22 October
T. Gowdy   •   29 October
Fly Pan Am   •   05 November
JOYFULTALK   •   12 November
Joni Void + N NAO   •   19 November

Winter 2021
T. Griffin   •   14 January
Eric Chenaux   •   21 January
Deadbeat & Martin Bakero   •   28 January
Automatisme   •   04 February
Light Conductor   •   11 February
Off World   •   18 February
Sam Shalabi   •   25 February
Jerusalem In My Heart   •   04 March

14 Jan 2021

Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series

Constellation's first-ever digital series. 16 artists with new longplaying singles and accompanying experimental film/video, commissioned as part of our pandemic/post-capitalist response for label-affiliated musicians under current conditions. Tracks are exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for the week of release, along with sale pricing on artist’s related Constellation digital discography. 100% of revenue from all digital sales goes to the artist. Winter 2021 Corona Borealis tracks drop on Thursdays throughout January/February. Revisit our Fall 2020 entries here.

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