Small Cruel Party ‘In Thicket’

Small Cruel Party 'In Thicket' front coverSmall Cruel Party 'In Thicket' spreadSmall Cruel Party 'In Thicket' side 2Small Cruel Party 'In Thicket' insert

01 In Thicket side 1 (13:55)
02 In Thicket side 2 (13:35)

Total time 27:30

10” picture disc released by Sounds For Consciousness Rape, Bordeaux, France, 1994

The moment illusion and seduction of conventional music are dropped, new musical rules take over. Musique concrète emerged from a deliberate disregard for formalness and a yearning for the more unexpected, neglected sounds at hand. This fruitful tradeoff is perfectly illustrated by ‘In Thicket’, two sublime slices of musique concrète courtesy of Small Cruel Party, aka Seattle composer Key Ransone (now relocated in France). Whether this was inspired by Charles Olson‘s 1950 poem ‘In Cold Hell, in Thicket’ (listen and read) is not known to me, yet the music on this disc retains some of the poem’s impenetrability and even seems to mirror several tangible objects listed therein, like ‘the traceries, the markings, the canals, the pits, the mountings . . . a wagon, for a sleigh, for the beak of, the running sides of a vessel . . . smallest branch, plant, fern, root. In its use of disparaged objects and overall organic processes, the music somewhat echoes the substance of what emerges from the poem. The A side, for instance, was possibly built from various found objects along cheap sampler, low motor rumble and objects on a turntable. Both tracks on ‘In Thicket’ have an organic feel, and the found objects have a breath of their own. The fact the instruments used to produce the sounds remain undisclosed reminds a similar strategy in Marcel Duchamp‘s own ‘A Bruit Secret’ sound sculpture.



2 Responses to “Small Cruel Party ‘In Thicket’”

  1. 1 William Key Ransone July 7, 2013 at 12:01 am

    The piece itself was not intentionally inspired by the Olsen poem, but the title was indeed taken from it, and it makes me deleriously haopy to know that you keyed in on that; I’d never, perhaps, admitted that, but how thrilling that you thought of it ! And, how appropriate your quotes from that magistral poem seem to be…

  2. 2 continuo July 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the kind words, William.

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