Khôra is an experimental music project of Toronto resident Matthew Ramolo aimed at blurring the lines that separate the organic and synthetic, improvisation and composition. The emphasis in Khôra’s music is distributed between interlocking melodies (nested arpeggios, broken fugal voices, etc.) performed on acoustic and electronic instruments and experimentation involving field recordings and analogue/digital processing. From moving sparseness to fervent density, the music summons the spirit of eastern modes, contemporary classical, avant and sacred minimalism, experimental rock, and various forms of electronic music.
Though recorded in a variety of contexts, all of Khôra’s music is assembled and produced in his meager bedroom studio which, in the spirit of autobiography, he likes to call The Ratio.
In 2006, after a period of dwelling in Montreal, Ramolo self-released a handmade full-length record under a different moniker entitled Now Beacon, Now Sea… on his Rift-as-Passage imprint. Through subsequent years of fatiguing wage slavery, Khôra emerged from a long period of isolation, writing and refinement with the album Silent Your Body Is Endless in 2009.
In autumn 2010, in collaboration with Constellation Records, a re-mixed, re-sequenced, and re-mastered version of Silent Your Body Is Endless was released as part of the label's first edition of their Musique Fragile series.
In live performance, Ramolo is occasionally joined by guest musicians but usually plays solo, building intricate longform pieces using multiple instruments and loop machines,
Khôra has played often in Toronto and Montreal and also embarked on a month-long North American tour with labelmate Nick Kuepfer and Time-Lag/Indian Queen Records artist Silent Land Time Machine in June 2011.
Says Matthew about Khôra:
The word khôra appears in the context of one of the West’s oldest cosmogonic myths. It is a word which gracefully evades definition even as it perpetually beckons for it. In colloquial Greek khôra is used to designate space or place (such as territory, country, boundary, town, etc.); in Tibetan Buddhism it can signify the circumambulation of a sacred site; in the origin myth described in Plato’s Timaeus it is only spoken of obliquely in the metaphors of a womb, a matrix, and impressionable wax. Khôra is said to ‘give space’ for existence to transpire but cannot itself be said to dwell in being or non-being and so is referred to as a third genus – that which is fully other. It is this mystical dynamic, this indeterminacy as provocation, this unhinging of a name from the terrain of semantic meaning and restoration as pure sound, this seemingly infinite play within and without the word (homonymically the word suggests something essential, a core, a heart, which only thickens the mire) that I find entrancing and beautifully apt as a structural analogue for the artist, their practice and predicament: a constant struggle through and with identity in the context of questions of freedom, force, the limits of the body and its relation to the world, and the resources and language of expression.
The Bern event is a Constellation takeover of the Heartland Festival and represents an expanded 4-day affair, with a CST art exhibit curated by Dis-patch Collective (Belgrade) and performances by several artists who cannot make the Paris weekend: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Colin Stetson, Hrsta, Nick Kuepfer and Khora.
Details for each night of the Bern event (and single night tickets) can be found HERE.
If you are looking for information about Bern accommodations, we encourage you to contact Dachstock@Reitschule HERE.
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We would also like to note the following Constellation-related concert dates happening in France and Belgium as the label celebrates throughout November with many artists on tour:
Toronto sound sculptor Mathew Ramolo - who performs as Khôra, and whose Silent Your Body is Endless LP was included in our Musique Fragile Volume 01 box set - will make a couple of live appearances in Berlin later this summer. Ramolo's Khôra project is based chiefly on acoustic/electric guitar and field recordings, with extensive signal processing and digital interventions conditioning these sources to create an immersive soundworld of drones, chimes, rings and other pointillistic sonics. His taut, sharply-focused live performance is not to be missed.
Check out dates below, and check out footage of a recent live performance of Khora in Toronto. Silent Your Body Is Endless is available as a stand-alone release here, and as part of Musique Fragile Volume 01here.
Joined by Silent Land Time Machine of Austin TX, Montrealer Nick Kuepfer and Torontonian Matthew Ramolo aka Khôra have piled into a car and are touring as a triumvirate of sublime solo sound(e)scapists through the American north- and southeast.
See all the dates, get free MP3s, and find more info HERE.
We've remodeled our website a bit (perhaps you've noticed). Among the changes is a new video interface on our Audio/Video page, onto which we've loaded a few (mostly) new videos of Eric Chenaux, Esmerine, Siskiyou, Khora and Colin Stetson.
We highly recommend you check them all out here, starting with Eric Cazdyn's gorgeous treatment of "Warm Charleston" by Eric Chenaux, also below: