Presented as a re-creation of two live sets performed in 2019, Patrick Gallagher deftly melds field recordings, a "fairly standard" synthesis toolkit, and prepared electric guitar into two peerless electro-acoustic compositions comprising his debut album for ENXPL (enmossed x psychic liberation).
As the album's title implies, "Set In the Bardo" embraces indeterminacy in all respects. An extreme range of timbrel variety and complexity is employed, from pure sine waves to nearly-incomprehensible sonic blasts. With a formal education in mathematics, Gallagher's astute arrangements modulate between smooth glissandos and abrupt interruptions, reflecting the compositional process used: salvaging hitherto-abandoned recordings and live snippets from the artist's archive. Post-processing was eschewed on the album in order to preserve the improvisatory nature of a live performance, giving an organic quality to the album which is often lost in academic compositions.
While "Set In the Bardo" was created in pre-pandemic times, it also functions well at this particular juncture of history. We have been 'set in the bardo' ourselves, and Gallagher has made an engrossing set of pieces - encapsulating and unfolding sonic uncertainties as we venture through trying times. Well worth many listening sessions; high volume and high fidelity during playback are recommended.
Patrick Gallagher is a sound artist and composer currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. He cut his teeth in the North Carolina avant-garde underground, perfecting his composition processes with numerous live performances as well as releases on Tone Log, Hot Releases, Refulgent Sepulchre, and other independent labels.
released January 29, 2021
mastering :: Jack Callahan
cover artwork :: Autumn Casey
design ++ layout :: Robin JM Vanderheyden
a portion of Side A was recorded live at Rhizome (Washington, DC) by Steve Sanford
all proceeds to The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (Philadelphia, PA) :: www.yasproject.com