Dragon’s Eye Recordings is pleased to present On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen) by Clinker (Edmonton, AB). On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen) originated as a live cinema performance commissioned by the 2008 Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. With On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen), Clinker explores Cohen’s continued romance with the light and dark inside our human experience. Using the lush bass tones of Cohen’s voice as a point of departure, Clinker deconstructs and reassembles Cohen’s voice into dreamlike soundscapes.
On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen) was created using analog synthesis, processing, and his own voice. Clinker’s vocals have become a major sound source for creating harmonic layers and overtones and were used extensively in this piece. This work continues his interest in meditative spaces and the kinesthetic and synesthetic effects of sound.
That’s right, you read correctly: the composition is a homage to the author of “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne”, commissioned for the 2008 Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton, Alberta; in essence, this was a “live cinema” performance, one of the various specialization of Gary James Joynes, who’s also a visual artist and a vocalist besides composing commendable music (at least from what I could gather from this, my opening meeting with this man’s production). Exploring “meditative spaces and the kinaesthetic and synesthetic effects of sounds and visuals”, Clinker develops intriguing textures of processed vocals and synthesized resonances, contextualizing his work in the advanced rank of what once would have been designed as “dark/space ambient” with a pinch of (perhaps unintentional) Lustmordian influence. Indeed the growling features of the basic factor – Cohen’s low tone – meshed with the infinite wavering and oceanic swells of the electronic treatments generate more than a few moments of intense resonance, both emotional and physical. Harmonious meditations on the absence of weight, diffusing around our persona with the same levity of a flock of black-haired cherubs looking at us with a mix of resignation and severity. Nothing really new under the sun, but – inexplicably – absolutely stunning for long segments.
– Temporary Fault
Altro lavoro della label statunitense Dragon’s Eye Recordings. Ed altro prodotto fortemente segnato da una connotazione sperimentale. Gary James Joynes (o per meglio scrivere Clinker) ci conduce nel suo mondo di idiosincrasie electroniche. “On The Other Side… (for L.COHEN)” è un cd che conquista poco alla volta. O sarebbe più opportuno dire che avvolge lentamente. I loop sono medaglioni intrisi di spine avvelenate. I minuti di ansia sono quarantadue. In questo ampio lasso di tempo suoni analogici destrutturati ti piazzano con le spalle al muro. La musica è rigorosamente strumentale, e visioni prospettiche si materializzano come d’incanto. E’ la materia che viene creata in funzione del libero arbitrio umano.
On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen) may seem, conceptually, a distinctly unpromising experiment by Edmonton-based tonesmith Gary James Joynes, aka Clinker; the bass tones of Leonard Cohen’s voice hardly seem an inspirational departure point for ambient drone experiment. But once Joynes gets down and deconstructive with analog synthesis, digi-dusting, and a touch of his own voice, any qualms are dispelled as an oneiric suite emerges. Clinker’s manifesto is one of “meditative spaces and the kinesthetic and synesthetic effects of sound,” and, having initially established a serene and euphonic dronosphere, he articulates it in terms of a 42-minute tract, drawing out the smoky lows of Cohen in an evacuated space, then lacing them his own wispy highs. Cohen’s voice, suspended between mantra and Gregorian chant, seeps back through, cracked, distended, bled into by Mr Joynes’ altered states. A slow transmutation is effected, first into subtle dissonance, then on to a dramatic closure of thickening timbres stretching toward shimmering shivering uplift. Cover art again reflects musical meaning potential, Cohen’s physog abstracted beyond recognition, evoking his struggle with light and dark. Joynes works with Cohen’s voice, a nocturnal hum maneuvered into sweeping movements; gradually emancipated from Cohenic attachments, it enters into a spooked drone zone redolent of NWW’s Salt Marie Celeste. All in all, Clinker joins Lissom to form a doublet of finely wrought dronescapes to further cement the Dragon’s Eye reputation for quality experimental electronics.
– Igloo Magazine
Originating as a live cinema performance at the Leonard Cohen International Festival in Alberta, Clinker’s 45 minute ‘On The Other Side’ is a thoughtfully and beautifully structured piece of work. Using bass tones from Cohen’s music as well as some serious processing and synthesis Clinker perform a mini miracle of soundscape pleasure. It’s an initially serene and very beautiful drone piece with suitably atmospheric and haunting sound design which, over time, transforms into subtle dissonance and then on into a dramatic end section with a gorgeously dense texture and a strangely uplifting lilt to the chords. Penetrating deep into your subconscious this is another release from Dragon’s Eye that left me with a lasting impression that made me want to go straight back to it. So many wonderful releases from this label – absolutely superb!
In processing the voice of Leonard Cohen beyond recognition, sound artist Gary James Joynes liberates it from structure and narrative development, and uses it, alongside analog synthesizers, to induce in the listener a suspended listening, wherein its intimacy doesn’t absorb or placate but pushes one back into one’s own multi-colored memories.
Cohen’s breathy bass tones are most readily noticeable in the opening moments, where they unfurl in long tendrils alongside sparse but carefully conceived accompaniment. The groans and strained overtones continue to twist around subliminally felt mantras for the first ten minutes of this forty-two minute set, and while pleasing in their ability to trigger memories, its the unexpected excursion into the dark intensity of the slow-burning, sultry drone that occupies the mid-section of the work, as eerie as it is erotic, that really ensnares the attention.
Near the end Cohen’s voice, which sounds not wholly unlike a Gregorian chant, seeps through the pores of the piece once more, broken with spare crackles and distended by Joynes own high-pitched inflection. The album, apart from effectively demonstrating Joynes ability to render a small clutch of component parts almost endlessly flexible, thus making a fine example of high creativity from basic means, represents a strong extension of Cohen’s apparent interest in the light and dark elements of human experience.
– Cyclic Defrost Magazine
Tired of endless covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”? Those of the more experimentally-minded persuasion should treat themselves to On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen), a fascinating homage to the Canadian poet by sound artist Gary James Joynes (aka Clinker). Certainly the soundscape, which originated as a live cinema performance commissioned by the 2008 Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, is unlike anything else the Cohen devotee might have been exposed to. Using analog synthesis and processing, Joynes created the uninterrupted, forty-two-minute ambient drone by stretching the bass tones of Cohen’s voice into endlessly long trails and augmenting them with layers of his own voice. Uncannily suggestive of snoring, the low register of Cohen’s voice punctuates Joynes’s soothing, high-pitched tendrils in a manner that only intensifies the work’s already-dreamlike character. True to drone form, there’s slow-motion ebb and flow, occasional pulsation, plus harmonic shifts so gradual they verge on imperceptible, and all of it’s executed with precision-point control. Halfway through, Cohen’s frog-like tones vanish, only to re-surface minutes later like foghorns piercing mist. During the work’s final quarter, the choir-like voices call to mind both Gregorian chant and Tuvan throat singing before vanishing a final time and ceding the stage to a shimmering drone. Apparently, Joynes’ live presentations explore the synaesthetic effects of visuals and sound but On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen) is more than capable of producing synaesthesia in an audio format alone.
Dragon´s Eye Recordings have recently slid down the American west coast from Seattle to Los Angeles. Home of a small cadre of artists mainly committed to shaping and manipulating the very air and architecture around them, as witnessed by recent releases like Yann Novak´s pulsating “In Residence” and Steve Peters´ “Filtered Light (Chamber Music 4)”, in which the latter proves that an empty room is far from being a silent room. Since its back catalogue is small enough to fit into a medium-sized Samsonite, I assume they schlepped their stock with them, both are still available at a mere ten bucks a crack.
Its latest release is an homage to the man in the famous blue raincoat, Leonard Cohen, by Clinker, aka artist and sound designer Gary James Joynes, and was specially composed for and debuted at the Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton last year. One wonders how the audio-visual performance was received by an audience of Cohen scholars and geeks.
For this “bass-scape”, Joynes alchemically renders Cohen´s self-proclaimed “golden voice” into some lesser but hardier metal whose tones while also deep and resonant are dirtier and rougher, less gleaming and seductive – wrought iron, perhaps, maybe brass. Joynes deploys analogue synthesizers and even lends his own voice to the mix, though pitched high in the stratsosphere above Cohen´s earthy mulch. The synths have the perfect timbre for accompanying his ominous rumble, which over the course of nearly three quarters of an hour is abstracted into obscurity. Even the cover art, I would deduce, are visual equivalents of the music – Cohen´s visage stretched and abstracted beyond clear recognition.
Joynes intends his piece to reflect wordlessly the tussle Cohen has fought with light and dark that would heal or harm the world. Despite a clunker of a name, Clinker has succeeded in an inimitable fashion. Since being inimitable is also a characteristic of Leonard Cohen, it is even a meta-success.
Dragon’s eye have just resurfaced on my radar after my brief hiatus from reviewing, and this release is typical of the label’s most recent output. Clinker have presented what amounts to a drone work, a kind of audible still life that takes as it’s source the voice and vocalisations of Leonard Cohen. Originally commissioned as a live cinema performance for the Leonard Cohen International festival in Edmonton, Canada.
Cohen’s voice, renowned for its resonant, reverberant tonality, becomes the impetus for a prolonged piece. Clinker’s technique stems from an interest in meditative spaces, and the kinesthetic and synesthetic effects of sound and tonalism. What we have here is a long form drone piece, with Cohen’s vocalisations time stretched and distorted..spun out into a continuous wave form, a strand that becomes the basis on which Clinker builds his sound, with other complimentary tones and drone passages.
Over the 42 minutes, as with most drone pieces, one is lulled into a kind of sublime otherworldy space, where time and matter lose their significance, and we are placed into suspended animation, cast adrift in a flood of tidal drones, ebbing and flowing, and coaxing us into an altogether more spiritual plane. For hard core drone fanatics, this will be another treasure to add to your collection. Capably handled, and well worth a listen.
Clinker aka Gary James Joynes is an audio/visual artist from Edmonton, Canada who works in the electronic experimental music field, exploring the possibilities of technology, found objects, organic sounds and visuals. Both analogue and digital devices are used. He has performed in various music festivals in Canada and abroad combining his music with visuals. For “On the Other Side… (for L. Cohen)” Clinker was commissioned by 2008 Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton for a live cinema performance. Gary James Joynes works with Cohen’s deep bass voice stretching it producing a trance-inducing mood a bit dark as well and getting into a zone of ambient drones that recalls me some passages of Coil’s “Time Machine” or NWW’s “Salt Maria Celeste”. It would be great to see sometime the accompanied visuals of this music.
Apparently there is such a thing as a Leonard Cohen International Festival in Edmonton for which this work was commissioned as a live cinema work. Behind Clinker is Gary james Joynes, ‘a dedicated audio and visual artist, composer/musician/vocalist, and sound designer’ and has done various visual works in combination with sound (or vice versa of course). On ‘On The Other Side… (for L. Cohen)’ he concentrates on the bass tone of Cohen’s voice, which he stretches out into a forty-two minute piece of music. I must admit I have no idea wether Cohen or his fans are really heavily into microsound, but this ambient work was no doubt an odd-ball at the festival. The stretched out, dark humming sounds pass with great majestical movements. I must also admit that if I hadn’t known the story behind the piece, I would have never guessed any connection with Leonard Cohen. I think I would have said that this is a fine work of ambient, drone and warm glitches, that makes a great late night listening. Spooky, haunting, dark. Also music that is nothing new under the ambient, drone and warm glitch sun, but Clinker produced a fine work. The two questions that remain: what did the visual side of things look like, and how was this work received? The audio part was received well here.
– Vital Weekly