"[An] elegant example of contemporary minimalism… Owing much to the composer’s own ingenuity, A Separation Of Being was made by just one person and an acoustic sideman, and makes densely assembled music sound feather-light and, yes, joyful." – The Quietus
"A Separation of Being is a giant step forward, both in concept and execution... Utilizing a refreshingly organic approach and a unique sense of inspiration and bravado, Crocker's latest release under the JOYFULTALK name is full of passion, intensity, and unbridled joy." – PopMatters
"A conceptually striking, enjoyable record... Each effect is precisely placed, each transition obsessively traced. As reverberations of DIY instruments join the synchronous whirl, Crocker makes subtle sound design adjustments, repositioning sources, altering dynamics and slicing across the textural cloud." – The Wire
"A Separation Of Being is a colourful, sophisticated, tripartite composition rooted in his unique brand of minimalism. The album’s incredibly striking artwork is based on Crocker’s own system for visualized composition, 'The Planetary Music System' – a mesmerizing visual score of circular staves with handwritten melodies and vibrant greens, teals, lilacs, and yellows. Upon listening, those circular, insistent melodies come to life through the three distinct yet intertwined movements... The pacing of this album is pristinely executed; every note is essential and happens exactly when it should." – Musicworks
"[JOYFULTALK's previous two albums] MUUIXX and Plurality Trip were both hazy, fractured assemblages of arrhythmic patterns coaxed out of self-built instruments, informed by Krautrock, dub, techno, and new age. A Separation of Being retains those influences, but is overall a much more ambitious, cohesive undertaking, and sounds significantly brighter and grander... It's uplifting, ebullient music for the mind to dance to, and an absolute pleasure to behold." – AllMusic
"There’s an appealingly alien quality to JOYFULTALK’s third album, a sound that drifts beyond familiar reference points… ”Pixelated Skin” is a mutant percussion piece with a playful gait and lush embellishment from guesting violinist Jesse Zubot." – UNCUT
"One of the year’s most interesting electronic experiments to date." – Vancouver Sun
Free-thinking Nova Scotia composer, musician and visual artist Jay Crocker (aka JOYFULTALK) channels Minimalism, Japanese environmental music, Maghrebian rhythmic modes and other numinous folkways to create his most focused, vibrant work to date. Based on a monumental, kaleidoscopic graphic score, A Separation Of Being is translated from two-dimensional page to trans-dimensional aural life using an array of homemade instruments, crowned with a majestic string arrangement written by Crocker and performed by Polaris and Juno winner Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Destroyer).
Visual scores often provoke ideas of openness, interpretation, improv and fluidity. JOYFULTALK’s third album, and second for Constellation, is an altogether different beast. This three-part suite is airtight; interlocking arcs of polyrhythmic deep groove and new minimalism roll out in spellbinding propulsion, the music gathering its warmth from the strings and its peculiarities from Crocker’s bespoke instrumentation and analog clockworks. The separation of being here is not division or rupture, but buoyant freedom through conduction of circulatory energies, marked by flowing melodic rondos of gyrating strings and sonic pointillism. A Separation Of Being is a systems music feast for the heart and mind.
And lest we forget the eyes: Crocker began developing ‘The Planetary Music System’, his particular methodology for visualized composition, in 2012. The score for A Separation Of Being is the pinnacle of his system to date. Impressive in scale and scope, this stunning 5’x10’ mural (acquired by Nova Scotia’s provincial Art Bank in 2019) features geometric multi-directional cycles of brightly-coloured, finely-detailed sound notation. Album packaging on CD and audiophile 180g LP features details on the outer jacket cover art, and a reproduction of the full score on the inside gatefold, and as an exquisite 12” x 24”pull-out art print, respectively.
Both the intricate graphic score and the superterrestrial music distinguish and elevate Crocker/JOYFULTALK as a creator/producer/performer who’s been integrating sonic, artistic and sculptural practices into unique installation, environmental and recorded works for the past 15 years. A Separation Of Being is a career-defining conceptual and compositional endeavour that finds one of Canada’s most iconoclastic experimental music minds sublimated into a work of entrancing rigour and dynamism. Thanks for listening.
1. Part I • I've got that trans-dimensional feeling again
2. Part II • Pixelated skin
3. Part III • Liquified then evaporated
Running time: 00:33:20
LP is 180gram audiophile pressing on midnight ultrablack vinyl in 100% recycled 20pt CCNB paperboard jacket with 12"x24" art print poster + DL card.
CD comes in custom mini-gatefold jacket printed on 100% recycled 20pt CCNB paperboard.
Written, arranged and performed by Jay Crocker
Recorded and mixed by Jay Crocker at the Prism Ship in Crousetown Nova Scotia
Strings performed and recorded by Jesse Zubot at The Deep Bay Bunker
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market
Artwork by Jay Crocker