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Clarice Jensen, "Drone Studies"

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Clarice Jensen is a composer and cellist based in Brooklyn, NYC. As a versatile collaborator, Jensen has recorded and performed with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, Owen Pallett, Max Richter and numerous others. As the artistic director of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), brought to life some of the most cherished works of modern classical music, including pieces by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Dustin O’Halloran, and more.

Jensen now follows her debut album For This From That Will Be Filled with Drone Studies, highlighting Jensen’s improvisational prowess, venturing even deeper into the meditative mire but with more organic, naturally expressive air.

"The Organ that Made You Bleed" presents a succinctly striking suite that opens in medias res, awakening in a howling chorus of disembodied tones. This tragic ocean of estranged sound ebbs and flows, almost unnoticeable growing in a swell of hymnal hysteria. The calmly chaotic frenzy soon gives way into a layered composite of deep drones and tidal textures. Hopeful harmonies clash with eerie dissonance, suggesting the deeply human balance between darkness and lightness. It’s a magnum opus told in a sequence sketches, and each new turn is a cavern of radiant resonance.

"One Bee" perfectly foils the A-side with an insomniatic interplay of pure tones and richly repetitive cello phrases. The piece begins as a blank canvas, simultaneously empty and brimming with potential. One by one, solitary tones reveal themselves in the foreground until forming a small choir of complementary combinations. This beautifully odd ritual plays out in slow motion as Jensen’s cello performs a tight loop of emotionally expressive notes.

Taken as a whole, Drone Studies a harrowing set of deep listening that uncovers new gifts with each repeated listen.

More information can be found here.

 


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