Loren MazzaCane Connors
Darin Gray & Loren MazzaCane Connors
The Lost Mariner
Harmony of the Spheres
Connors turned 50 just recently. He played live shows in NYC every night for a month. He released many new albums. He released a box set of acoustic improvisations from 20 years ago. Road Cone released Airs , which sounds like a sequel to the elegant Evangeline of last year. Twenty guitar suites find Loren at peace with himself and his surroundings. Airs is simultaneously emotionally betraying and subdued, and sounds as if he wants to be alone in a cathedral with a table of bells which he would patiently ring in melody. Space is the loudest instrument. Each of 19 tracks, all entitled “Airs,” are variations of the same theme, and may also be variations of the same few notes. Notes which initially sound wrong are bent to behave. The last track deviates just enough to warrant the different title, “The Death of Shelley.”
Darin Gray has worked with Connors in the past, most notably on the big band album Hoffman Estates , which brought together Alan Licht, Jim O’Rourke, Connors, Gray, Kevin Drumm, and others in a huge, noisy, intense racket. The Lost Mariner exhibits two musicians connected at the skull. Slow, rumbling bass works so well when tied this exactly to Connors’ bending notes. Tension is noticeable in the attempt to sink. Aptly, titled this music does exhale a feeling of confusion, fear, and dizziness. Very adventurous.
A few years ago, Drunken Fish released a 3LP box set of space rock which sold out as soon as it was released. Six artists were awarded with the task of filling an entire side of an LP with music. Finally re-released, you can now listen to it on CD, but will still have to track down the vinyl. Bardo Pond fill over 20 minutes with alternately droning and screeching guitar, indecipherable fey vocals, and never changing bass and drums. Flying Saucer Attack offers four versions of the same song which include 1) static and backwards feedback, 2) feedback which could be a symphony tuning, 3) two repeated notes on a synthesizer, and 4) more feedback looped and looped. Jessamine woke me up one night with some sort of jarring noise that turned out to be a misbehaving synthesizer erupting from it’s wackiness entitled “22:30”. Roy Montgomery restores my interest by performing washed out guitar drone that sounds like bagpipes and harpsichords in a fantastic land filled with elves and magic. Then Loren MazzaCane Connors halts this image suddenly with a four piece suite entitled “Revolt!,” reminiscent of his Long Nights days in which guitar takes on the guise of a siren and stamping feet and a cry to arms all in a few minutes time. A very different person than that heard on Airs or The Lost Mariner , Loren uses volume and pitch in trying to deal with whatever turmoil is at that time plaguing him.
Road Cone, PO Box 8732, Portland, OR 97207. Family Vineyard, 1703 N. Maple, Bloomington, IN 47404. Drunken Fish, PO Box 460640, San Francisco, CA 94146