Prayer & McLaughlin – Dawn Chorus

Prayer / Nathan McLaughlin Dawn Chorus
Full of Nothing
Cassette C34

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Digital available via FON

If you’re following the story so far, this is the first post Whale Fall document created by Joe Houpert and myself. A call in the morning to let your friends know…it is time to fly.

There is a natural progression to things, an organic or unforced way for an organism to grow, and it is in this natural way we find ourselves riding. After years of playing and recording together as Loud & Sad, we now have a great geographic distance between us that makes this process impossible on any sort of regular schedule. While there is still much to share from those years and the years ahead, the dawn chorus tape you hold here is the first new organism to grow out of this whale fall… the slow change in Loud & Sad that signaled the start of new lives. An almost collaboration on a shared concept… a sharing of life together despite distance… a continued exploration of music done together and apart… a realization of the connections people have and should not sever… an effort at being transparent in concept and true in spirit.
Immediately after this split was brought to life it became apparent early on that our past failures to bring a well devised concept into the physical realm could come back to us again. Instrument restrictions, graphic scores,stylization… we scurried back to our dark corners. Stress and mania and alcohol, locked doors, a yearning for the tape deck upstairs. Tape going bad and breaking, saturday clarity, hero worship. Synthesis exhaustion, cynical music critiques, restraining the self importance. Transparent presentation… here lies dawn chorus.

A few years ago, or lifetimes ago, Nathan McLaughlin and Joe Houpert played as a duo called Loud & Sad, which released only a couple of CD-Rs and one tape before being separated by geography. These releases are, however, small gems. The power of Loud & Sad is immediately obvious, and is partially derived from sincerity – theirs is music that is unflinching, in its own way completely unafraid. Now, McLaughlin and Houpert have reanimated Loud & Sad with a more individual but no less communicative spirit, and their first release in this form, an elegant tape on Russia’s Full of Nothing label, shows that they haven’t lost a step.
Loud & Sad has released a couple of lathes this year, as McLaughlin and Houpert slowly sift through their recorded archives; along with new material like this, the new era of their collaboration should be very exciting. Both men possess a rare sense of commitment – to friendship, to collaboration, to facing the unknown – that only deepens with time.

Travis Bird
December 10, 2012