Allan Gilbert Balon / So Lo Piano Works Vol 1

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Allan Gilbert Balon / So Lo Piano Works Vol 1

Wry Press & Séance Centre present the first release by pianist/composer/artist, Allan Gilbert Balon.

Allan Gilbert Balon - So Lo Piano Works Vol. 1 (Cassette)

Born & raised in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, he is presently living in Ardèche, Southern France, where he creates cryptic & highly evocative compositions that explore sound as a phenomenon born of consciousness. His pieces seem to be rooted in both the more spiritually minded end of mid-20th Century composition (Scelsi, Radulescu, Sorabji, Rudhyar, etc.), as well as the woolly, lateral logic of jazz composers like Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, or Lowell Davidson — where abrupt dissonances give way to elegantly philosophical reflections.

We first stumbled on Balon’s work after his site-specific installation, "mantra of things as they are sometimes” was performed at MOMA PS1 in February of 2022, then further investigated via his personal website — an intriguing compendium/collage of home recorded pieces, scores, drawings, writings, & performance works. To accompany the three solo piano pieces we are presenting here, Balon has designed a twenty page tabloid style newspaper publication which mirrors the concerns of his virtual world; featuring a treatise on sound, fragments of poetry, xeroxed scans of influences, artwork, and a score.

There’s something of a very private headspace we’re given privy to here; lo-fi & elliptical, notes fragment into lyrical bits which accumulate sound as both power & melodic balm. When I listen, I think of the notes the late composer Talib Rasul Hakim wrote to accompany his piece, “Sound Gone”, which reads in part; “atmospheres-of-sound floating above and around segments of moving silence… a veil-like aura-of-sound, mystifying in its layers of introspective freedom…”

Double-sided cassette. Letter pressed in clamshell case, with accompanying twenty page tabloid newspaper, oversized insert with drawing/performance notes housed in a plastic string-tie envelope. Limited to 100 copies.