A Boat Upon Its Blood
CST119      CD 180gLP MP3 FLAC
"Easily one of the most mind-blowing things I’ve heard in 2016, an emotive collation of avant garde and beyond-post that will likely chill you to the core. I love how this record trembles. It’s a sign of how superbly Sharp can build the bubbling process of anxiety, that while this record tries on so many different sound ideas – the hissier, more ear-crackling noise and glitch of “In The Construction of the Chest”; the full-on free jazz noise blast of “A Blast at Best” – it reaches the heights it does through a precise approach to structure and narrative, an obsession with keeping some unspoken atmosphere at the centre. Cerebral music that beats the heart."

"Technically compelling but also meditative in its freewheeling air. A recurring concept in all of these songs is the rhythms of the body, breath and heart rate as sources of musical material. However irregular the geometry, there is an idiosyncratic perfection here, as only nature is capable of. And yet, the concept here is ancillary; the range of textures and dynamics (and the skill with which they are employed) are more than captivating and cohesive enough to draw listeners in and hold them rapt."
Exclaim 9/10

"Sharp’s debut speaks obliquely to his varied background; drawing freely from electroacoustic, free jazz, film-score, and techno tropes, it never gives way to pastiche or virtuosity. Organized into two suites and a two-part interlude, the music on the album ebbs and flows with equally organic and electronic textures, and occasionally erupts into noisy climaxes in a tightly composed, almost cinematic scheme. Far from any recognizable jazz or new music, the evocative fluidity and ambiguous intensity bring to mind Carmine Coppola’s soundtrack for Apocalypse Now, filtered through the new school of electronic music exemplified by Tim Hecker and Ben Frost. Fundamentally, it is narrative music; it subsumes a wide variety of techniques from disparate genres, not into the moulds of song or improvisation but into something more like the classical modes of the suite or tone poem, circling around and honing in on a particular intensity."

"Combining elements of jazz, drone and musique concrete, packaged into a highly experimental album experience, we see Sharp truly pushing forth his own creative vision. Sharp refines and develops key specific concepts on his debut instead, giving everything a clearly defined edge in presenting itself…[he] has certainly made the right choices here, and has produced a stunning debut."
Echoes And Dust

"Taking inspiration from Robert Creeley’s poem ‘The Heart’, Sharp boils down the detritus of fragmented abstraction to its molten essence – much as Kit Downes and Tom Challenger whirred around the sounds of Suffolk on their recent Vyamanikal set – making for an engaging strain of ambience far removed from the vagaries of Windham Hill’s zone age. Sharp’s reed tones create electo-acoustic undulations like a lonesome craft."
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Jason Sharp has been a fixture of Montréal’s experimental/improv scene for many years, chiefly as a saxophonist exploring drone and durational music, while also collaborating in a wide variety of jazz, avant and contemporary music ensembles – he has several prior links to Constellation, notably as part of Sam Shalabi’s Land Of Kush orchestra and Matana Roberts’ Coin Coin Chapter One band, and as a session player on Thee Silver Mt Zion’s 2010 album Kollaps Tradixionales.

Sharp’s work as a composer, conductor and band leader in his own right is now featured on A Boat Upon Its Blood, the first album-length recording to be released under his own name: a bracingly meditative multi-movement instrumental work that charts a highly compelling arc of shifting energies and intensities, tracing a heterogeneous cycle of minimalisms and maximalisms. Using custom-built equipment to translate breath and heart rate into variegated sonic triggers, along with other modes of signal processing and in tandem with traditional instrumentation, A Boat Upon Its Blood features Sharp’s own reed playing and contributions from a few guest musicians, particularly Josh Zubot on violin and Joe Grass on pedal steel guitar.

Taking its title(s) from Robert Creeley’s poem “The Heart”, A Boat Upon Its Blood deploys the human metronome of amplified pulse as a recurring undercurrent, with compositions that incorporate electro-acoustic and musique concrète strategies, drone, noise, electronics, methodical dissonance, tone poem, layered rhythmic and melodic figures, and improvisation.

Recorded by Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mt Zion, Vic Chesnutt) at the Hotel2Tango in Montréal and mixed and mastered by Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Drip Audio Records), A Boat Upon Its Blood is a genre-defying album with a highly immersive and satisfying sound palette that impels deep listening and demands to be taken in as a whole. Constellation is thrilled to present Jason Sharp as a unique and invigorating new voice in modern contemporary music.

Thanks for listening.

Release date: 30 September 2016
Running time: 38:01

Packaging notes
CD comes in a custom gatefold jacket printed on thick 24pt. paperboard with a printed CD dust sleeve. LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl at Optimal (Germany) and comes in a heavyweight jacket with black poly-lined audiophile dust sleeve, credit insert, pull-out art poster and download code for 320 kbps MP3 copy of the album.

1. A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 1
2. A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 2
3. A Boat Upon Its Blood Pt. 3
4. In The Construction Of The Chest, There Is A Heart
5. A Blast At Best
6. Still I Sit, With You Inside Me Pt. 1
7. Still I Sit, With You Inside Me Pt. 2

Music written for amplified heart and breath
All compositions by Jason Sharp

Jason Sharp: Amplified heart, feedback, synthesizers, bass saxophone
Joe Grass: Pedal steel guitar
Joshua Zubot: Violin

Architek Percussion (Ben Duinker, Mark Morton, Ben Reimer, Alessandro Valiante): Microphone & mini amp (track 4)
Jesse Zubot: Drum machine, synthesizer (tracks 4, 7)

Recorded by Thierry Amar at Hotel2Tango in Montreal
Edited, mixed and mastered by Jesse Zubot

Artwork by Kevin Lo

Music inspired by and song titles derived from "The Heart" by Robert Creeley.