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Ethan Rose preps new album for Holocene Music, plays in the Alaskan snow

By November 9, 2008No Comments

Ethan Rose

MP3: Ethan Rose – “On Wheels Turning”

Holocene Music is proud to present the new album from acclaimed ambient electronic experimentalist Ethan Rose. This is Ethan’s third full-length, following on the 2006 release, Ceiling Songs, and the 2007 release, Spinning Pieces. Ethan’s music was also featured in Gus Van Sant’s latest film, Paranoid Park.

Rose will be traveling to Anchorage, Alaska in January for a very special performance piece where he’ll be playing music inspired by an art installation created entirely out of snow – Ethan explains “I was invited to do a sound piece in collaboration with Molo ( Molo is one of 12 teams of designers that are flying up to Alaska to build structures/installations entirely out of snow ( I will be making field recordings of the snow, ice, and general environment and make a sound piece out of these elements. I will then perform this piece live at the Anchorage Museum. And then the piece will play inside of Molo’s installation on the opening day of the exhibit.”

Ethan explains Oaks as follows:

“Over the past year I’ve been coming out to the Oaks Park Roller Rink to play and record the Wurlitzer Theater Organ that is located there. The organ dates from the 1920s and was originally housed in the Broadway Theater in downtown Portland where it was used to accompany silent films. It is currently played and maintained by Keith Fortune who has been involved with the organ and the rink for the past fifteen years. I’ve had the privilege of assisting Keith with organ repairs, which has deepened my appreciation of the instrument. Musically speaking, my primary interest with this organ has been to bring its antiquated sounds into a modern context, and I have treated the organ with the same sense of sonic reinterpretation that I have brought to my previous works.”

Ethan Rose’s work reflects his interests in old technologies, new sounds, and the restless exploration of musical form. Over the past ten years he has released recordings, scored films, performed internationally, created sound installations, and worked with a variety of collaborators. Drawing from his interests in musique concrete, chance operations and American minimalism, Ethan creates shifting sound environments that merge the old with the new.

His music is electronic in nature but maintains an organic quality because of his exclusive use of acoustic sound sources. Much of his recent work has centered around instruments from eras long past, including music boxes, player pianos, and carillons. However, he is interested in pulling new sounds and ideas out of these antiquated devices rather than treating them with a sense of preservation. By bringing a carefully detailed sense of arrangement to his music, Ethan’s pieces transport the close listener to a warm and unusual place.

Praise for Ethan Rose:

The New York Times:
“Last year this Portland Ore., tinkerer released ‘Ceiling Songs,’ an enticing homemade album that used short sounds to create long ones. Flickering snippets of instruments overlap and accumulate to create restless but mellow collages that sound vaguely nostalgic.”

“Some of the most incomparably lovely works to come out of the Northwest in recent memory.”

“Rose enjoys this sort of blurring: taking familiar, melodious tones and shaping them into still- recognizable but mostly dissimilar ideas. That these tones come primarily from mechanical gadgets gives form to the flotsam he injects between them; not merely pretty noises separated by digital wicker, Spinning Pieces is pretty noise strewn about the wires, gears, and scrolls they were once constrained by.”

The Wire:
“What´s also interesting about Rose´s approach on Ceiling Songs is that although his contraptions are so processed, the results are lyrical, melodic, after a fashion. Somehow a ghostly essence of nostalgia, yearning and a hard-to-describe otherness still seep out of these compositions.”

Willamette Week:
“Musique concrète for worn souls, the ambient passageways of Ethan Rose are one of Portland’s greatest musical treasures. Through layers and layers of effects and delays, Rose turns oddities like player pianos, music boxes and church bells into gurgling, slowly chiming works of wonder that still manage to sing.”

Portland Mercury:
“Rose boldly combines modern electronics with forgotten instruments like old player pianos and music boxes. At its very core, it’s unlike anything you have ever seen or heard-it’s music that needs to be experienced.”


Jan. 9 & 10, 2009 Anchorage, AK Anchorage Museum
Jan. 27, 2009 Portland, OR Oaks Park

Ethan Rose
Street date: Jan. 27, 2009

01. On Wheels Rotating
02. Rising Waters
03. Grand Marcher
04. The Floor Released
05. Fortunate
06. Scenes From When
07. Mighty Mighty
08. Bottom



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