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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series
1 Oct 2020

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. Tracks in the series drop every Thursday in Oct/Nov 2020 and Jan/Feb 2021.

 
 
 

Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #8 of 16
Thursday 19 November 2020
All proceeds to artist

Joni Void + N NAO

“Je Vois / Non-Dit”




 

 
“Je Vois / Non-Dit” is exclusive to Bandcamp and PWYC for first week of release.

Joni Void’s Constellation digital discography is also on sale during this period. Head over to Bandcamp and pick up Mise En Abyme and Selfless for $6. Proceeds from all these sales go 100% to the artist.

 


Montréal-based avant-electronic artist Joni Void is a prolific force within the city’s DIY scene: alongside his solo endeavours, Cousin works continuously with a wide range of collaborators and curates his own music site, micro-label, community and concert series Everyday Ago. Among these recurring musical accomplices is poet and singer N NAO (Naomie de Lorimier). Since first meeting in 2016, the two have worked together frequently in both live and recorded settings. “Je Vois / Non-Dit” combines live recordings by the duo into a single longform track where N NAO’s vocals are given unearthly yet organic treatments through Void’s warped manipulations, sampling, atmospheric textures and deconstructed beats – joined by Eddie Wagner on flute about halfway through the track’s 21-minute running time. Filmmaker Sonya Stefan‘s accompanying video is an impressive work of avant-garde analog filmmaking it its own right, in the tradition of materiality/light-as-sculpture, amplifying the hypnotic and dreamlike trajectory of “Je Vois / Non-Dit” with its abstract, spatial, refracted projections.

“Je Vois / Non-Dit” is the last Corona Borealis track of 2020, and a luminous final chapter in this first half of the series. Stay tuned for the second batch of 8 longform singles that will begin dropping in January 2021.

 

 

“Je Vois / Non-Dit”
Music by Joni Void + N NAO
Flute by Eddie Wagner
Video by Sonya Stefan



“Je Vois / Non-Dit” consists of live recordings from two different Montréal concerts in 2019, reflecting several years of non-linear work and serving as a testament to collaboration. The music combines Joni Void + N NAO performing “Je Vois” at the
Mise En Abyme album launch at Casa del Popolo on October 5th 2019 and “La Plus Belle Chose + Non-Dit” performed at Église St-Édouard on June 16th 2019 during the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival (with special guest Eddie Wagner on flute).
 
My first proper collaboration with N NAO (Naomie de Lorimier) was at the end of 2017, when an extensive voice recording session in my apartment led to the song “Non-Dit” which appears on
Mise En Abyme. In September 2018, I ended up with an a cappella soundboard recording of Naomie’s set from one of my Everyday Ago events – which I used as a starting point, cutting four distinct loops of her “Je Vois” lyrics and running them through a series of effects. The resulting ‘micro-remix’ would serve as the opening music for almost all my solo performances over the next two years. We came full circle during the two live performances featured in this single, when we had the chance to perform “Je Vois” and “Non-Dit” together.
 
Sonya Stefan‘s visuals consist of rehearsal recordings shot at the microcinéma La Lumière Collective for our 2019 MUTEK multi-media performance. The video combines our respective visual techniques and practices, consisting mostly of a 16mm projector light shining through water, glass, and color gels that is captured and replayed on a video-line. This creates a literal ‘mise-en-abyme’ through feedback.

 
– Joni Void –


 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #7 of 16
Thursday 12 November 2020
All proceeds to artist

JOYFULTALK

“New Biology”




 

 


The pandemic derailed JOYFULTALK’s 2020 tour plans, but Jay Crocker – the multi-disciplinary artist behind the JOYFULTALK moniker – has put the extra free time to good use. Crocker has been woodshedding at his rural Nova Scotia compound, yielding (among many other things) this extended new track and accompanying video. “New Biology” in many ways synthesizes the strategies and sonic palettes of JOYFULTALK’s previous two albums: weaving ever-shifting slippages of clockwork repetition and randomization in the spirit of A Separation Of Being, with sounds and beats that hit harder and crunchier like 2018’s Plurality Trip. Crocker’s junkyard video art practice gets a great workout here too, as his signature lo-fi VHS re-projections and analog light treatments jam along in a glitchy fever-dream to the relentless exuberance of this real-time improvised machine-music. The 28-minute “New Biology” is the seventh track in our Corona Borealis series – the longest in the series to date! – and a terrific follow-up to JOYFULTALK’s last couple of albums.

 


 “New Biology”
Music and video by JOYFULTALK
 
 
“NEW BIOLOGY” is an extended improvised piece with a focus on the exploration of “free” electronics. For the past decade my practice has been working towards the construction of a portable electronic music system completely based on the principles of immediacy. I have tried to design a system where I can explore improvisations without ever being “cornered” by the system itself. A system that can be played and manipulated as easily as a guitar, saxophone, drums etc. I wanted to be able to play in time or with the absence of time to perform manipulations of stored sounds or constant recycling and reimagining of new sounds with no dead ends and only the limitation of creativity as an obstacle.
 
The visual aspect of the piece works along the same lines of improvisation. It is a meditation in smudging, painting, glitching and pulsing analogue and digital strains into endless video streams of trans-configured consciousness. NEW BIOLOGY follows a loose narrative of moving from this physical manifestation of being to another. Bypassing linear time to be recast as something new.

 
– JOYFULTALK –


 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #6 of 16
Thursday 05 November 2020
All proceeds to artist

Fly Pan Am

“Mirror Cracks Seeking Interiority”




 

 

The pandemic sadly scuttled pseudo-legendary Montréal avant-rock band Fly Pan Am’s first tour in 15 years (to have rolled out in UK and Europe in May/June 2020) along with Frontera’s 2020 world tour schedule, which featured a live soundtrack composed and performed by the quartet. But during lockdown the band has been trading files at a distance, including experiments with remixes of the Frontera live soundtrack recordings. Their Corona Borealis track “Mirror Cracks Seeking Interiority” is the first fruit of these efforts and a first for Fly Pan Am in terms of process: each chronological section of the track is a solo work by each individual member, remixed in isolation, then stitched together in mostly linear fashion. The result sounds fantastic and wholly Fly Pan Am – like no other band.

 


 “Mirror Cracks Seeking Interiority”
Music by Fly Pan Am:
Félix Morel – drums, scrap cymbals
Jonathan Parant – guitar, computer
Roger Tellier-Craig – computer, synthesizer
Jean-Sébastien Truchy – computer, synthesizer

Composed August-September 2020

Drums recorded by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, February 2020

Video by Charline Dally




The social and the mirror is so obvious, being and rediscovering the omnipresent objection of the recovered tendency to the exteriority by a hard, fast object in exteriority. (Re)gaining in self is being personal on temperature differences. Although some aspects of the recovering in exteriority are delineated to a loss of personal autonomy and valorization into pieces.

 
– Fly Pan Am –


 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #5 of 16
Thursday 29 October 2020
All proceeds to artist

T. Gowdy

“Emerald Teeth”




 

 


T. Gowdy is a Canadian music producer, audio/visual performer and sound artist. He has performed live works in venues across North America and Europe, such as at MUTEK (Montreal, Barcelona), Pico Union Project (L.A.) and Spektrum (Berlin). After studying choral music and classical guitar, Gowdy pursued graduate studies in sound recording and has accrued production and engineering credits on over 60 albums. Since 2017 he released three solo albums: B-Stock (2018), Vitrify Kate (Liberation Through Hearing, 2018) and Pachira Aquatica, released internationally with Shimmering Moods (2019).

Gowdy’s Constellation debut Therapy With Colour came out earlier this year, earning praise for its “vivacity and effervescent energy” (Beats Per Minute) and declaring Gowdy “a master of his craft” (Exclaim!). Following the album release he has taken part in a number of events, both in-person and digitally, including the MUTEK Montreal presentation of de Bias at Société des arts technologiques, NODE Festival Frankfurt, and a live performance for TBD Presents in Santa Barbara. “Emerald Teeth” finds Gowdy teaming up with multimedia artist Kai Luen Liang, whose kaleidoscopic visuals serve as a perfect accompaniment to Gowdy’s gripping electronic sound world. Together, T. Gowdy and Kai Luen Liang have crafted an immersive and resplendent work that’s a superb new addition to the Corona Borealis series.

 


“Emerald Teeth”
Music by T. Gowdy
Video by Kai Luen Liang

 
An étude on the sculpturality of resilience. Timbres are squeezed together in a small suction filled compression chamber to produce a warped temporal mould, highlighting the role of pressure as a shaping element. Zooming out to see larger circumstantial compression chambers forming curves in the broader structures of social organization. Across the various permutations of scale, resilience is an engraving in time.
 
– T. Gowdy –


 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #4 of 16
Thursday 22 October 2020
All proceeds to artist

Jason Sharp

“Gates of Heaven”




 

 
 

Jason Sharp has been a fixture of Montréal’s experimental/improv scene for many years, chiefly as a saxophonist exploring eletcro-acoustic and durational music, and in a wide variety of jazz, avant and contemporary music ensembles. Since the release of his acclaimed second solo record Stand Above The Streams in 2018, Sharp has toured the album in Europe with sound artist Adam Basanta, composed multiple soundtracks for film and dance, and collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush and Elisapie, among many others.

“Gates of Heaven” showcases Jason’s bold and inventive style of improvisation, rendered even more affecting by filmmaker Guillaume Vallée’s striking visuals. Inspired by the musical beauty of Sharp’s piece and its recording in a synagogue, Vallée began processing old Super8 footage through analog video tools to suggest the soft, dark ambience fitting for a place of worship. “I wanted the images to be sculpted by the music, as a pure depiction of the emotional states of mind this piece puts me in,” Vallée explains. “Gates of Heaven” is a tremendous work, and we’re thrilled to present it as the fourth instalment in the Corona Borealis series.
 
 


“Gates of Heaven”
Bass saxophone performed by Jason Sharp
Recorded at The Gates of Heaven, Madison WI
Engineered by Vid Cousins
Edited by Vid Cousins and Jason Sharp
Mixed and mastered by Jesse Zubot
Video by Guillaume Vallée
 
 
This recording captures a solo bass saxophone performance in the Gates of Heaven, a small synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin. After an exhaustive recording session elsewhere, I visited the synagogue en route to the airport to quickly record a solo piece. The engineer and I had only a couple of hours to capture something before catching our flight home to Montreal. Microphones were set up at varying distances throughout the synagogue and I improvised a solo piece using the acoustics of the space. We had just enough time to record what became an 18 minute multi-tracked piece. Each layer was a first take and a response to the previous. It began to rain heavily towards the end of our session audibly rattling the synagogue, we tore down the mics, and hurried to the airport. Taking this fleeting moment for myself to play in this beautiful resonant space was both nourishing and revitalizing. I returned to this recording when the pandemic hit in mid-March as a way to focus my attention on something positive and future-driven. Listening back to this acoustic document during this unprecedented time, I once again felt the support this space had provided – and was reminded of the fragility that improvised music can often reveal and the strength it can restore.
 
– Jason Sharp –


 

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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #3 of 16
Thursday 15 October 2020
All proceeds to artist

Jessica Moss

“Opened Ending”




 

 
 

Composer, violinist and sound artist Jessica Moss presents her first official new release since the sublime and acclaimed Entanglement LP in 2018. Moss spent 2018-2019 juggling solo tours, composing and performing the live score for Dust by Dancenorth (Australia), playing with Big|Brave, and recording a couple of indie film soundtracks – to name just a few highlights. With her spring and fall 2020 touring cancelled, Moss has been carving out precious moments in her home studio and self-recording lots of new work. “Opened Ending” is one of these resulting pieces, and it’s made all the more powerful with the accompanying film by eminent independent experimental filmmaker Jem Cohen. Jessica and Jem have known each other for almost two decades now: longtime collaborators and friends who’ve worked together on a number of projects over the years (including Vic Chesnutt’s two Constellation albums and Cohen’s concert/film Empires Of Tin, among others). Moss has a sublime video-making practice of her own and this is the first time someone else has officially made visuals to accompany her solo music – couldn’t have asked for more.
 
 
 


“Opened Ending”
Music composed, performed, recorded and mixed by Jessica Moss
Film by Jem Cohen
 

I’ve been thinking so much about mourning lately. About how we are all in it now, one way or another. About how so many of us don’t have any way to ‘actively’ participate in mourning, outside of our own individual internal pain. This has been a deeply important element of performance to me – the desire to create a place for a shared moment of reflection, alone and free with one’s thoughts while simultaneously being surrounded by people who may be feeling something same.
 
Of course I miss this with my whole heart.
 
I wish for us to find new ways to mourn together – to share some of this commonality with each other. I believe being true to these feelings can bring a renewed energy to carry on…
 
Since I was a kid, Jewish music has represented a kind of unspecified mourning to me. Engendering a profound sense of sadness, death, and a deep connection to renewal, to this day it’s the music I feel the deepest affinity with. I’ve been involved in Jewish music projects before – in particular Black Ox Orkestar, which remains very close to my heart – but this is the first time I am releasing something alone from that place. I guess it’s time.
 
I have been an admirer, collaborator, and friend of the filmmaker Jem Cohen for near two decades now; that he agreed to come up with some images for this piece of music is a dream come true. Beyond their quiet beauty, I’ve always found Jem’s images raise a sense of mournfulness, have so much sadness and/but love for the world at their heart. I walk away from watching Jem’s work with eyes opened anew, heavy heart but dreaming…I hope a nine-minute glimpse of a world through his gentle eyes will leave you in some similar place.


– Jessica Moss –

 

READ MORE:

JEM COHEN INTERVIEWED BY JESSICA MOSS ON THEIR CORONA BOREALIS COLLABORATION


 
 
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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #2 of 16
Thursday 08 October 2020
All proceeds to artist

Efrim Manuel Menuck

“BABY IT HAS TO FALL”




 

 
 
As one of the prime movers behind Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion over the past 25 years, Efrim Manuel Menuck needs no introduction. His solo work in recent years has also been rightly acclaimed, with Menuck diving headlong into blown-out electronics to forge new soundworlds around his piercing lyrics and anguished, yearning voice. His 2019 duo album with Kevin Doria is “practically blinding in its radiance” (Pitchfork) and “some of Menuck’s most vital music – an entreaty to the oppressor’s humanity that swings like a pendulum between dread and rapture” (The Wire). Operating outside expected genre, and largely outside the music industry altogether, Menuck is one of our generation’s most unwavering and poetic anarcho-punk iconoclasts.

“BABY IT HAS TO FALL” features some of Menuck’s most desperate and declarative writing: words of anger, disgust, despair and hope amidst the churn of three oscillators and a broken parlour organ.
 
 
WHAT VALUE IS A STATE LIKE THIS
A FOOL’S WEIGHT PRESSED UPON OUR NECKS
WHAT VALUE IS A STATE LIKE THIS
THAT WATCHES US DIE AND DOES NOT ASSIST
THAT BANKS ON OUR DEATHS NO MATTER THE PRICE
JUST TO DELAY THEIR OWN SLOW DEMISE
SO WALK ME TO THE EDGE AND BACK AGAIN
TELL ME EVERYTHING’S ALRIGHT
THRU ENDLESS DAYS AND THE MERCY OF NIGHT
THRU SIDEWAYS RAIN AND HARD SHARP SNOW
HOLD ME TIGHT AND DON’T LET GO

 

Read the full lyrics here

 

 
 
Recorded late august, year zero, 2020.
Made with 3 oscillators.
Made with broken parlor organ.
Made with mechanical, electronic and electric filters, and made with singing also.
 
Film by Efrim Manuel Menuck and Michele Fiedler Fuentes.
Made with cellphones, personal computer, paper and glue.
 
 
 
 
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Corona Borealis Longplay Singles #1 of 16
Thursday 01 October 2020
All proceeds to artist

Markus Floats

“Karl Marx. Capital Volume 1. Chapter 33: The Modern Theory Of Colonisation [Abridged]”




 

 
 
Markus Floats released his Constellation debut Third Album earlier this year to much-deserved acclaim. “A beautiful work of avant-garde electronic music. I unexpectedly started crying. Such is the power of this patient, abstract record.” (Jes Skolnik / Bandcamp Daily). Floats leads off the Corona Borealis singles series with “Karl Marx. Capital Volume 1. Chapter 33: The Modern Theory Of Colonisation [Abridged]”, placing an audiobook reading within a shimmering electronic score of arpeggiation and drone. The track title is literal – and a fitting start.
 
 
I’m not especially interested in writing lyrics but I recognize that music acts as a podium for the voice, and I try to respect that. In my live performances I use pre-recorded texts (e.g: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes, an interview with bell hooks, a speech by Toni Morrison etc…) in lieu of lyrics. My objective in using these texts is to spark an interest in the listener. I want you to have questions about what you’ve heard and I want you to seek out more information. At the very least, I want some of those words to find their way into your subconscious to resurface years from now as a random thought on a lazy morning. All this to say, I hope this song makes you want to read Marx. – Markus Floats
 
 

 
 
While somewhat of an outlier amidst the more experimental filmmaking cued up for this series, Simone Schmidt (Fiver) made the equally literal and wholly appropriate lyric video, so you can read along and really vibe with the words on this deep cut.
 
 
 
 
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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   •   15 January
Eric Chenaux   •   22 January
Deadbeat & Martin Bakero   •   29 January
Automatisme   •   05 February
Light Conductor   •   12 February
Off World   •   19 February
Sam Shalabi   •   26 February
Jerusalem In My Heart   •   04 March

1 Oct 2020

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. Tracks in the series drop every Thursday in Oct/Nov 2020 and Jan/Feb 2021.

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