Patrick Shiroishi is a Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles.
Daniel Wyche is a Chicago-based guitarist, composer, and improviser. Working with a wide range of physical preparations, extended techniques, and pedal instruments, his solo recordings and live performances are characterised by long-form structured improvisations and multichannel guitar. He has been a curator with the Elastic Arts Foundation in Chicago since 2013, where is work has been described as “crucial” by Dusted and “vital” by the Chicago Reader. In March of 2020, Daniel co-founded The Quarantine Concerts in collaboration with Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio. The series has been widely praised as a model for online/streaming live music. Along with his solo guitar work, Daniel is involved in several ongoing collaborations, most notably the trio of Wyche, Mark Shippy (US Maple), and Ben Baker Billington. His new solo record, Earthwork, was released on American Dreams Records in 2021.
This music is the second set of recordings Patrick and I have ever done, and it is not a coincidence that this is also the second time we've ever hung out in person. I encountered Patrick’s music through the web of mutual friends and connections, but I think it was primarily through Gabriel Vanlandingham-Dunn that I was inspired to really take a deep and focused listen around 2018. In 2019, I was taking a trip to LA to visit my sister and Patrick and I got in touch and made plans to do some recording as a trio with the percussionist Ted Byrnes. That session had a kind of energy of the time: it was loud, hard, intense, noisey, and chaotic. It was how we were feeling then, that day at least, and with the first note everything was just pure communication. In the time since then, we've collaborated remotely, mostly through the Quarantine Concerts, a series I helped found in March 2020. But with a few years between us, everything is a bit different, everyone in a new headspace and both of us were thinking to try something different. This time, it felt intuitively right to approach this next session with gentleness, patience, care, and maybe even a sort of kindness. So in October 2022, we did what we did the last time we met: made music. And as I said, the intuitions were, for me anyway, just the same, even as the content was different. There was a quiet care right there from the first sounds, and it all just waded into this wash, and here we are.
For my part, I try to make the kind of music that I listen to. That means a lot of things, but I spend a large amount of time every day reading and writing, but also just sitting and listening. In all those cases though, even while working, I listen to music that to me makes sense as something that is there, that accompanies my day and what I'm doing, and which cultivates a kind of overall focus, though not in some kind of overly grim way. This is the case even more so with the kind of directed listening I hope that music like this also facilitates. I think we are all indebted to Oliveros and Cage and Ellen Fullman and the many, many others that collectively and individually cultivated and created the conditions and thinking that goes alongside this kind of deep and dedicated listening. I have been very interested in the Wandelweiser Group for years, and as I live in Chicago, I am blessed with the many, many New Music ensembles based here, and have been able to see many performances by and of composers like Jurg Frey, or people like Michael Pisaro. My friend Sarah Hennies is probably my favorite living composer, and she brings all of this into another level: I recall the debut of The Reinvention of Romance and I am still holding my breath. But I think at the same time that these examples are both important but misleading. This piece with Patrick is certainly inspired by this general movement of gentleness, of music that asks for your attention, that you can't talk over or you’ll miss a string squeak or the click of a key on the horn, music that feels like you're breathing out. But I think this is also true of the loud, blistering music that Patrick and I made before. So, while they are sonically different, they are spiritually commensurate: this music, however loud and whatever the landscape, will, I hope, call attention to the small details, and invite re-listening and re-hearing in the moments when it is time for listening. We are thankful for the quiet, but we, after all, care a great deal for sound.
– Daniel Wyche